Pain now, Bobcat love forever
Two points. Two freakin’ points.
For the second year in a row, Robert Morris was just two points better than our basketball team in the NEC Tournament. As I slumped in my seat Sunday afternoon, I took stock of not only that game, but my four years here. It took me about 24 hours to go through the stages of grief.
This one’s pretty simple. The final horn sounded, and a bunch of us sat in the student section for what seemed like an eternity trying to make sense of what we had just watched. It took security telling us that it was time to go for us to finally get up and leave for the last time this season (and in my case, the last time as a student).
While we sat there in disbelief, Robert Morris fans – not students, mind you, adult fans – taunted us from the next section over. Get a life. Colonials sophomore Lijah Thompson also came out of the locker room to personally thank us for “coming to see the Bobby Mo show.” I’d like to respect a team that has shown its toughness two straight years by coming here and winning in a big game in a hostile environment, but they have made it increasingly difficult.
I didn’t want this to be my last memory of Bobcats basketball as a student. I hadn’t planned on going to grad school, but maybe I’ll enroll and experience the Bank for a little longer. Screw it, maybe I’ll just stop going to class. Then I’ll have to come back for another year. Makes perfect sense to me.
I barely slept Sunday night. I must have replayed the game in my head 20 times. I thought about all the little things from the game. The bad bounces, the borderline calls, and how just one of those things going our way could have led to a win.
When I woke up Monday morning, though, I had an epiphany. Losing close games in the playoffs sucks. I know that, you know that. But let’s take a step back and think about what it used to be like in Hamden.
In just a few years, the team has gone from a perennial NEC bottom-dweller to a force to be reckoned with. Quinnipiac has finished in the top five in the league every year since 2006-2007, and we won our first regular season conference title last year.
It’s the same story off the court, too. Taking out winter breaks, I can count on one hand the number of home games I’ve missed. If you’re a senior like me, you remember when the student section at games consisted of about 15 people. Coach Tom Moore always says that winning will bring people out to the games. This year, after going to nearly every other gym in the NEC, I can safely say that we easily have the best core group of fans in the league.
In fact, experiencing the atmosphere for those two losses to Robert Morris were moments I will never forget. That building gets damn loud during big games, and when I think back to the way it was my freshman year, it really speaks to how far we’ve come.
I’ll always be a Bobcat, regardless of whether or not I’m physically in Hamden. One day, when I’m working in some remote part of the country, I will proudly look at my bracket in my office pool, and advance the Bobcats to the Final Four. If my Quinnipiac education turns out the way I hope, I won’t need the money anyway.
Who am I kidding? I’m a journalism major. Of course I’ll need the money. But I’d rather flush my 10 bucks down the toilet than root against my soon-to-be alma mater.