Saturday, February 04, 2006


There is just no other word for it.

And of course it came at just the right time. My brother had sat Jackson Friday night so Michelle and I finally had a night out. I met with my GM600 group earlier today and we wrapped up enough work during our meeting that I could take the rest of the weekend off from school. We have an invite tomorrow to watch the Super Bowl and we will see some friends we haven't had time to see in awhile.

So I thought, hey, we are playing Penn State. At home. Penn State is almost at the bottom of the Big Ten. We have the longest active home winning streak in the nation tied with with Gonzaga and are ranked #6 in the nation. This should be a no brainer. So with my schedule and an easy win I wouldn't have to get emotionally involved in - I take my family to the bar for dinner out and to watch the Illini roll.

I apparently wasn't alone in this idea. With the colder weather and this game getting only regional TV coverage, the place was packed with Illinois fans. We were thankful that we had gotten there early enough to sit as a family in the gameroom and be able to eat.

Jackson was a trooper. He was well behaved throughout the game, played , made many friends and charmed the lot.

For those who saw the game, the Illini lost a game they should have one by 30. Wow, the perfect opportunity for a family event shot in the knee. Arguably though, with another 1/10th of a second, they could have won at the very last moment. The crowded room erupted when the ball went through the basket. It was the Arizona game all over again - faith restored.

When the moment reached reality and the word of the clock worked its way through the crowd I suddenlly couldn't hear anything. The weight of an unimaginable loss was setting in and my eyes froze on the big screen waiting for the official ruling. The deafening silence was broken by my son pulling on my leg. "Dad. That women said Shit. Shit is a bad word. She shouldn't say Shit."

"Yes Jackson, you're right," I replied and picked him up. He was smiling and was exited. He had been having a wonderful time. "Its a bad word and we don't say it anymore."

"The Game is over?"... "We go home home now?"..."Okay, I go get Momma."...and he was off.

You know, maybe it was just fine after all.


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