I am going to state this emphatically...My heart bleeds blue and orange. I am a Wahoo born and bred. I love the University of Virginia. Always. They will forever be my fandom. But...
after 12 years of working at & my husband getting his masters from Duke , I think my adoration was solidified quite some time ago. The first few years I worked in the SID office, football was one of the main sports I helped out with. I was there for multiple winless games. and yes, entire seasons without a win.
You would think with basketball (men's & women's) & lacrosse...I would be spoiled, but this is the South, I longed to root for the team and there be a legitimate chance to win. When they hired David Cutcliffe a few years ago, the differences were swift. Attitudes changed almost immediately and I found myself believing we could win a few games a year.
Last year when we made a bowl game, I was so elated. And yet, at this point I was a believer. I took coach at his word when he said that we would not only compete, but that we would vie for the top of our division in conference. So for this last game, we were in position to sit atop the conference and possibly beat Miami. Even writing the mere possibility of beating a team of their stature would have had me in stitches just two years ago.
So this past Saturday...I sat in that stadium in awe. Of the line to get in(line? for a football game...at Duke? say what?!) The excitement in the air. and as the game carried on and we were ahead of Miami, I would catch myself thinking that we may actually pull the win off...and I would shake the thought away for fear of the superstition that thinking it would jinx it.
and when the game was pretty much won, the last few seconds ticking off the clock....and the students were chanting "our house" and "football school" at a Duke...football game, my eyes brimmed with tears. Happy tears. and I loved every second of it for it was a long time coming. Seasons of no wins, my friends. That is not just games, I saw players whose entire careers never had a W in it.
and I will relish those few moments for a very long time coming.
Especially because in the last ten minutes, as I finished writing
this...my beloved Patriots just lost to the Panthers. And I live in North Carolina, people. Would you like to guess how many of these people I have ever seen comment about the Panthers before tonight? Boo on that.