Getting my heart broken again
I’ve written at great length in my columns about the benefit of sports, especially for young men and women at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Sports teaches so many lessons, including how to handle a loss with dignity - although after the way I was screaming at my computer over the weekend, it was anything but dignified.
Wisconsin sports always seems to find unique ways to rip my heart out and crush my spirit. For example, the Bucks missed making the NBA championship round once again, and this in spite of having one of the most dominant seasons in NBA history.
The Brewers made it to the playoffs - a rarity for the franchise, only to see our golden boy and MVP Christian Yelich get his knee cap shattered on a freak pitch.
To add to the ignominy, my Wisconsin Badgers football team turned the ball over four times in the Rose Bowl and lost to an Oregon team that in my opinion was overrated.
I was proud to see the Wisconsin Badgers women’s volleyball team return to the NCAA D-1 national championship match. It was their second trip in six years, with their last coming in 2013. They enjoyed a magical season, finishing runner-up and earning a Big Ten conference title.
It was great watching that run to the title match, but once more, I had to watch as another team won it all, while my team struggled to hold back tears.
Sports can be brutal at times, and unfortunately, there will be winners and losers. It’s hard to see it when your team is on the losing end, like the Green Bay Packers, who laid a goose egg in San Francisco, but you also look at the silver linings.
For anyone who has been a fan of Wisconsin sports, the 1970s through to the early 1990s were years of embarrassment and disgrace. We hardly ever did anything of sporting note, and we were often an afterthought to most sports fans.
That all changed in the 1990s, and since then, Wisconsin has seen an unprecedented level of sporting glory. There’s been Final Fours and Frozen Fours. The Wisconsin Badgers hockey teams have won national titles in the past 15 years and the Wisconsin mens basketball team made it to the championship game for the first time in 71 years in 2015.
So, while it’s painful watching a beloved team falter on big stages, what a pleasure and privilege it is to see that we made it to the big stage. I’m still sour about the losses, but I take nothing for granted when it comes to sports. Enjoy the ride while we’re on it, folks!
M USINGS AND G RUMBLINGS
ROSS PATTERMANN REPORTER