I’ve been very lucky in the sports teams that geographical proximity has given legitimate claim on my fan devotion. When I was a kid it was the Yankees in the prime of their dynasty. By the time the Red Sox finally started winning World Series I had been long installed in New England. Which residency has also given me the perfect right to share in the glory of the Patriots.
In between for 17 years I lived in Hartford, one of the few benefits of which was being able to claim University of Connecticut basketball as it rose to national fame. That included the two years in which both the men’s and women’s teams won national championships, about as close to an epiphany as this atheist is likely to see.
UConn women have of course proven way more worthy of my fandom than the men and currently have a streak of 101 games going, having broken the school’s previous all-time record of 90.
I’m comfortable with that long streak. I feel well-rewarded for my fan attention. I wouldn’t mind if the streak went on and on, if in fact they never lost again (my, wouldn’t that be something). Although I can understand that people less geographically blessed might not agree with this.
But as you can perhaps imagine, given my fan background, UConn’s latest victory, number 101, was too close for my comfort. And perplexing. After beating most teams, even ranked ones, by double digits, doubling the production of numerous victims, they beat unranked Tulane by a mere three points. The game actually got tense toward the end. I didn’t appreciate the stress. Given what’s going on with politics these days, I don’t need my team to start exhibiting signs of human vulnerability.
And it doesn’t make any sense. Less than a month ago, UConn beat this same Tulane team by 44 points. How could they almost lose to a team they had so completely dominated such a short time ago? I don’t like it. And I don’t get it.
Seems to me that the story of that game is not that UConn won another one and the streak continues but that they almost lost. I’ve looked online for that story, for some explanation from basketball pundits, but in vain.
Why is no one else curious about this?