Friday, March 27, 2009

March Sadness was pretty sad to watch the Zags be totally dominated by the Tarheels. UNC was strong inside, outside and every other way. Zags struggled inside - no answer for Hansbrough. They struggled outside - no answer for Lawson. They beat themselves with turnovers. But it was the Sweet Sixteen. Pretty impressive to end the year in the top sixteen of the nation. It was a great run -thanks Bulldogs for a very entertaining year of basketball.

It appears to me that the bracket builders for the year did a good job of setting up the tournament to really be the best of the best in the final four. I think some really exciting games are ahead. I just wish GU was in one of them.

So not that I know that much, but here are what seem to be some pretty obvious suggestions for next year. 1. Recruit another BIG inside guy. Sacre will be back, but how long will it take him to get in the game after a major injury? He has little experience against the tough teams. Will Foster aint gonna do it unless they send him to soccer camp over the summer and teach him some footwork and how to get off the floor. Another Ronny Turiaf is what I'm thinking. 2. Recruit some scrappy players. We're known as a finesse team. That doesn't go far against the Big East. Ira Brown shoulda played more just to be a feisty sparkplug under the net. 3. Bouldin is amazing, but when he gets shut down or has an off night, we don't have another answer for leading the team. They call Pargo the leader, but he is too inconsistent. Hopefully Goodson will be part of the answer to compliment Bouldin. 4. Don't rely on the WCC to be an indicator for how competitive we are. We need more games against the big guns later in the season.

Bottom line, it's still very impressive for little old Gonzaga University to be a major player in NCAA basketball. They've put Spokane on the map. I'm still a huge fan. Let's not be hanging our heads. We have some work to do, but I'm already looking forward to what next season will bring. I'm proud to say I am a Zagmaniac.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Second Round Heart Attack

So my Zags nearly did me in tonight. Keith and I had no choice but to abandon my parents and head for a sports bar that would be airing the GU-Western Kentucky game. My sister and bro-in-law joined us for dinner and refreshments. A few more Zags fans and a lot of U of M fans filled up the place. There were multiple televisions going, but as the Uof M women slowly faded into the sunset, everyone became engaged in the Bulldog battle. It was a great environment in which to watch the game as no one seemed to mind when we had outburts of enthusiasm or disappointment at the Zags performance. The Zags did not disappoint, but they definitely made it heart-wrenching along the way. A couple of times I had to just not look as it came down to the last seconds with Goodson pulling off the last two pointer with 7 seconds left in the game. Talk about cutting it close - sheesh!

Sweet Sixteen. Taking on a one-seed. The what-ifs are swirling around in my head. Weirder things have happened. Go Zags!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Round Jitters

How fortunate I am to have a daughter that works at Gonzaga University and is willing to go stand in line at ungodly hours to get tickets so I can see live games at the McCarthy Center. Spokanites can testify to the fact that tickets are very hard to come by and pricey to say the least. I have gotten to take in 3, count them, THREE games. Thanks, Whit!

Needless to say I have become a true Zagmaniac. I rarely miss the televised games and cringe in frustration when they are moved to ESPNU which almost no one in Spokane has access to. I love being at McCarthy with the crazy Kennel Club which makes it too loud to talk over. I enjoy watching the players mature and become "stars" of sorts. Too much fun.

So my Zags are once again in the NCAA tourney. They have had first round stumbles the last two years, so I was getting nervous for them before the game ever started. They came in as a #4 seed this year - best placement ever. They were playing an Akron team who had no tourney history. Should have been a walkover. BUT, it IS March Madness. And it IS the crazy first round where Cinderella teams blossom (i.e. Davidson last year). And the team seemed to have first round jitters, too. Akron lead a good portion of the first half as Gonzaga looked like deer in headlights. I was pacing. Had to leave the room a couple times. Hid behind the couch at one point repeating the mantra, "We're a second half team, we're a second half team". Seriously, I thought I might have a mini breakdown. But the boys are back. They wore Akron down and won rather decisively after keeping the Zips from scoring for 24 minutes. PHEW! I can breathe again.

On to Round 2. The expected rival would have been Illinois, but they fell to Western Kentucky last night. Could be good for the Zags. I'm hoping their jitters and mine won't be evident on Saturday. On to the Sweet Sixteen!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thirty Year Reunion

I've been trying to think how to word this without insulting anyone, including myself. On Saturday we participated in a gathering of our old friends (see? It just doesn't sound good, but I can't figure out how to say, "friends we have known for a really long time who really are getting to be older than dirt"). ANYWAY, you get the picture. We had dinner with Mac and Lorraine, Dale and Judi, Jon and Kristi, Milan and Nancy at the Halls' new home in Chattaroy. It was a grand reunion with MUCH laughter and reminiscing about the "good old days". We caught up on all our kids, recent happenings, jobs (or lack thereof - so sorry, Milan). And as is the case when old people get together, there were colonoscopy stories, tales of caring for aging parents, updates on medical maladies, and reliving events of the past. We caught up on friends who have moved on, friends who we never hear from, and friends that we decided to vote off the island.

The best part was realizing that even after 30 years, we still have so much in common and enjoy each other's company. We laughed till there were tears and it felt like we picked up right where we left off the last time we were together. We even stayed up till after 11:00!!! We're hoping this gathering will happen more often. But it's so easy for time to slip by, life to be busy, all of us nurturing newer relationships, spending time with our kids when they let us. But I feel a Cone backyard BBQ coming on. If it ever stops snowing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

View from a Hospital Waiting Room

I recently spent a whole very long day at Deaconess Medical Center while Keith had a procedure to improve his atrial fibrilation. Whitney came and spent the day with me and we had lots of time to people watch. Interesting places, hospitals. Interesting people of all kinds.

We watched several families come and go in the cardiac surgery waiting room. We also watched two patients who were being closely guarded by police types. We saw a plethera of pregnant people waiting to get ultrasounds. There was the very odd little man who made us just a teeny uncomfortable as he waited in the same waiting room with us. He was probably 40, with his mother, drinking a LOT of vitamin water and searching for People magazines. There weren't any, so he settled for a gaming magazine. He was up and down about twenty times before they called his name. His mother was busy watching Judge Judy. When they did finally come to get him, he took ALL of his Vitamin water with him. There was a very cute older couple. She was a little unsteady and he was very patient and caring, helping her at every turn - very sweet. There were hospital workers who were talking about losing their jobs. There was one girl who spent her whole shift wheeling a cart back and forth from one area to another. She was clearly bored and talked to anyone who would listen. There was a large group of teenagers who descended upon the cafeteria at lunchtime. They didn't appear to be workers or visiting anyone - maybe a field trip?

Just a little snippet that probably reflects the world in the bigger picture. I think it's sometimes good to be a captive audience and just take in the people around you. It made me wonder about their stories. It made me think sometimes it would be good to take the time to ask.