Bad Ending

Well, Mountaineer basketball is done for this season. It was a great ride with a sudden and disappointing stop before reaching the final destination.Not to worry. With current situation, it should be no surprise to have more chances in the near future. Won’t need to wait till Jonnie West’s son is playing here.

I watched most of the first half at Gene’s. As expected it was packed and I saw some folks for the first time in awhile. But I had been just a little below par physically all day and the dense smoke there forced me to leave and watch the rest at home.

My summary of the game is that our weaknesses were exposed and exploited and Duke had excellent execution of their strengths. They deserved to win, although I hate to admit it.

I watched the post-game stuff and of course the team was disheartened. But in the interviews I saw no excuses were offered other than they acknowledged they didn’t play very well and Duke played extremely well. Butler feels his knee injury is not too serious but still has to get checked further.

Butler certainly seems to be a class act on and off the court. This is nice, but I think too much is made of whether players are “good people” or not. Most fans would cheer Hitler if he could average a triple double. And Gandhi would be booed if he couldn’t shoot threes.

While it’s no reason to celebrate, losing tonight is not sad, nor tragic, simply disappointing. Now the players have a lot more vested in this than do the fans. Their talent and the results of their hard work are on display. So they do have a right to be personally¬†hurt by the loss.

But at halftime while channel surfing I was reminded again of the difference between mere failure to win a championship in sports and what constitutes true devastation and tragedy. On WQED there was a documentary, I believe produced by students at Robert Morris, about this woman who became determined to find out more about the three uncles, her father’s brothers, who died in WW II.

Two of the brothers were killed in action and the third died of malaria, all within a short time span. Then all three bodies were returned to their hometown near Wilkes-Barre for burial together. That, folks, is a devastating tragedy. Losing a basketball game on any level at any time pales in comparison. ‘Nuff said.

Now I can concentrate on baseball season and then football in a few months. That might be limited to WVU as it appears most of the Steelers will be in jail.

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