Sunday, January 20, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 01/19/19: The Undefeated Fall, Zags Win a Ho Hummer, Update from New York

1. I watched two undefeated college basketball team lose today as Wisconsin bested Michigan, 64-54 and Duke outlasted Virginia, 72-70. Now every team in Division I men's college basketball has been beaten at least once. I first started closely following college basketball back in about 1967 and from that time forward, until 1975, UCLA was the dominant program, winning all but one national title -- North Carolina State won it in 1974. Then, in 1976, Indiana won the national championship and was the last team to go undefeated.

I've been watching more college basketball in the last month or so than I ever have. It's fun to watch so many games where the outcome is not a foregone conclusion (unlike in the UCLA glory days). Every time I turn on the television, I see a score that makes me say, "Whoa! Are you kidding me?" For example, West Virginia had not won a conference game yet. Today they hosted the powerhouse Kansas Jayhawks. West Virginia defeated Kansas, 65-64. Byrdman texted me that this had happened and I nearly came out of my skin. I swear, every day in college basketball right now is as exciting as the early rounds of the March NCAA tournament with close games, upsets, and thrilling victories. Sometimes the games hurt. Like today. St. John's lost to Butler, 80-71. I'm going to emotionally stick with the Johnnies, but, some nights, it will be painful.

2. Out here in the west, in ZagLand, once again there was no suspense. I went over to Christy and Everett's and watched Gonzaga easily defeat the University of Portland, 89-66. It's not just the wide margin of victory that makes a game like this less enjoyable, but I thought the Zags seemed bored by their opponent and not very interested in this game. Maybe I was projecting some of my own boredom onto them! I don't know. It's fun to watch these games with Christy and Everett, though. I'll say it again: I wish the Zags faced better teams in their conference.

3. I received an email today that made me very happy. Adrienne wrote to me about many of the things that have been happening in hers, Josh's, and Jack's life since the wedding in August. Josh and Adrienne have seen several theater productions and concerts in NYC. Adrienne's been reading great books. Jack is doing amazingly well in school and has a life full of activities in sports and the arts. Josh keeps diving deeper into the world of craft beers. It's uplifting to hear so much good news about how they are doing and to find out that Molly and her children are visiting Adrienne's family this weekend in Valley Cottage, New York.

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