Whether to blame the refs, or the players, or the setting, or what was on the line, or chance, or some of all the above, regardless, that game was so ugly that I, a Gonzaga supporter going back to even before John Stockton’s freshman year, found myself thinking, around the halfway point of the second half, then saying out loud, twice, in front of other humans, ‘I’m starting not to care who wins this pig.’
With all the people about eating and drinking, there were lots of dishes. I knew that. I left watching the game, for what I’m sure was almost a half hour, to wash those dishes, only to find the doomed thing had only moved on 6 (six! in half an hour!) minutes. And while there’d been some scoring, the 1 point margin when I left had grown all the way to a 1 point margin when I returned.
So I went to the washroom; read and article; returned; still a one point margin — the total scoring had crawled up some, but nothing had changed in over 11 minutes total except players who were headed to foul trouble were headed to worse or to the bench.
Not gonna lie: I think it’s fairly likely I would have felt better had the Zags had pulled it out rather than what happened. But the margin of difference in my potential emotion reactions had taken on the arrhythmia of the doomed game flipping from one plus/minus to 1 -/+. Plus, I’m so old I learned how to handle both disappointment & elation decades ago,
I actually found myself longing for the subtle attractions of the Gonzaga — West Virginia game, the tiny perfect nuances (both of them) in the UNC — Oregon semi, or the tiny high bump when one finishes filling out the long form personal tax return or a migraine subsides.
Gonzaga did at least win the postgame press conference battle. Classy as hell.