It was my wife’s birthday and I promised her dinner that night even though IU was playing. I told her that I didn’t think they would win but at least it would be fun to watch them play #1.
So as she dragged me away from the TV to leave I saw a glimpse that this team was sticking with the ‘cats a bit to start but I thought, “no way it could continue”. However, I did notice that Terence Jones was playing well and Anthony Davis had gotten into early foul trouble. “I love my wife more” is what I kept telling myself.
So we head to dinner and my wife allows me to keep my phone out for updates. Tonight is her night!! I can’t remember what I ate other than it was a fancy pizza of some kind. I kept hitting refresh on my phone but it wasn’t an iPhone so the display was rudimentary. I would see streak across the screen of shots being taken and the score changing. Finally it came down to the last few seconds of the game.
The score was very close and they seemed to be changing leads after IU had gotten up a little. The gravity of the game was lost to me as I watched the streaks on my phone. But then it was about 5 seconds left when I noticed that UK had a few free throws to possibly put the game away. Then my phone kind of goes nuts. Silent for a minute and then another, final streak. The basket was good and the game had reached the “end of regulation”. Did that mean they missed the final shot? Did that mean overtime? Had they made it? One final refresh and it said that the Hoosiers had won! I looked at my phone. Then at my wife. Then around the restaurant to make sure no one else had a better phone. I told my wife Happy Birthday and said they won, I think.
We left the restaurant to head to another spots for drinks with her friends. Once in the other bar, only then did the significance of that ending hit. I had missed one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) IU games In history that did not result in a national championship. All for my wife….
Yes, we are still married but the refrain from her friends that showed up of “you didn’t watch it live?” Still makes me consider divorce today!
I was left to watch the sportscenter and YouTube highlights that night. However, it made the game and the reaction no less palpable. It was a great college game with a bunch of pros playing. Including several top 10 NBA draft picks. It was a watershed moment for IU BASKETBALL and signaled the end of a college basketball tradition, as Kentucky has now shied away from the home at home with an improved Indiana program. It was also a point (I believe) when ESPN figured out that college basketball could draw folks to the TV again.
So where was I that night? Seems like I was in the perfect place.