Monday, June 11, 2007

Omaheels!!!! (again)

In case you watched the series finale of The Sopranos last night (which I imagine many of you did) or watched Game 2 of the NBA Finals (which I cannot imagine many of you did) or did not watch any television at all (which I commend you for), the UNC baseball team defeated the University of Little Carolina 9-4 last night to advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

Redeeming Prufrock is very excited about this.

The Heels made it to Omaha last year and lost in the championship game 3-2 on an 8th inning throwing error. Those of you who followed the team closely know how badly this disappointment hurt, how you loved that team because it was your second semester of senior year and you spent so many afternoons at the stadium and not in class because class had ceased to matter, how you watched in a bar alone on your birthday because you were on assignment in Boston where only the Red Sox matter, how you left despondent and alone with the Northerners not knowing what the big deal was, how you didn't talk the rest of the night - and didn't sleep either, how even months later that pang of "what might have been" still hanunted you, how you ranked that loss as the 3rd most emotionally intense sporting event in your top 10, how you felt those guys deserved better than such a gut-wrenching loss.

You must permit me a moment of lost perspective. Emotion often trumps logic.

A few baby blue demons still haunt Omaha and need exorcism. This return trip provides that opportunity. What sweet relief, even justice, it would be for them to triumph where they fell just short a year ago. Maybe even the second baseman could get the game-winning hit.

But a lot of those demons fled last night. This return trip to the College World Series ensures that the championship game from last year will not be the dominant memory for so many of those players (only four did not return from last year's team). Tar Heel sports addicts will remember them as the first back-to-back College World Series participants in UNC history, not as the team that came so close in '06 but threw the title away.

This makes us excited here at RP because that team deserves to triumph over the final game of last year. They deserve better than that because they play with great heart and, from all reports (and I do mean all), they represent the university as well as any group of atheletes can. They deserve better than what happened to them last year.

They deserve a national championship.

The road begins Friday at 7:00pm.

7 comments:

Brad said...

I figured you'd be excited about this. Rather than watching Game 3 last night, I was at Turner Field watching the Cubs almost beat the Braves before f#%$ing up in epic fashion in the eighth inning--they got nothing in the top of the inning even though they had the bases loaded with no outs, and they allowed three runs in the bottom of the inning to relinquish a 4-2 lead. My father, brother and I were miffed--watching the Carolina game would have been less stressful.

Oh incidentally, "f#%$" is my replacement word for "fold," just in case you were wondering, Mr. Humphries.

Ben said...

Thank you for the clarification, though I think it goes without saying that f#%$=fold. Standard translation these days.

Though the Cubs did "pull a Cubs," if you will, it seemed like you saw a pretty exciting, if not violent game, per the highlights. Lots of sliding with forearms raised and beaning hitters at the plate. Ahhhhh, baseball.

And yes, you are correct in me being excited about this. If I remember correctly, you had the misfortune of being the sole person I spoke to after the title game disaster last year. You are a good friend, entering depths such as those with me.

As an aside, I see you now are linked to a blog on your profile, findingtheophilis it appears. I hope this is what it looks like, an entrance into the blogosphere from Mr. Phillis.

Jeff said...

I watched the NBA Finals. After 24 minutes of that bilge, it felt like I'd pulled a Phil Leotardo...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRIN6rwGv2s

Good times! The NBA is FANNNNTASTIC!

Hilary Elvin said...

Yes,the RedSox are all that matter in the North, but My Grandfather(A die hard Red Sox fan!)was watching UNC vs. South Carolina on Saturday Night!(Granted the Red Sox didn't come on til 9:40, he had to kill time somehow!!!We Hope UNC wins,we're cheering for them!!

Ben said...

Three cheers for Hilary's grandfather:

Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip hip horray!

He gets partial credit for their trip back to Ohama :) Hope you all enjoy cheering for them and that they give you a lot to cheer for!!!

Nicole said...

What bar did you possibly find in Middleboro that was playing the UNC game? Just curious.

That's a really sad story :( I feel bad.

Ben said...

Nicole, The Hideaway consistently changed the channel from the Sawx game to the Tar Heels for us. Granted, the Sawx were on the other 7 tv's in the bar but still they did always give us one. I think they thought we were cute, coming in with funny accents and wanting to watch funny things on tv.