Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Jere FAQ: The UConn Thing

Q: Jere, you were born and raised in Connecticut, you're psyched for this UConn thing, right?

A: No. Let me take you back to a year we affectionately called "1990." UConn's basketball team had last won an NCAA tournament game when I was less than a year old. All of a sudden, in 1990, when I'm in high school, they got good. Out of nowhere. Big East champs. Good for them, I thought, and our whole state cheered when Tate George made his last-second shot to send the Huskies into the Existential Eight. My cousin told tales of having babysat for the player who threw the baseball pass to George, Scott Burrell. The euphoria was short-lived, as Duke would give UConn a taste of its own 'tussin. Two days later (right?), Christian Laettner would hit a buzzer-beater of his own and the Huskies were done.

But then a weird thing happened. Before Tate George, there was no such thing as a "UConn basketball fan." Which is only a slight exaggeration. After Tate George, suddenly all these people from my state had a team to root for. And as you know, "because they win now" is not a reason to root for a team, unless you're a Yankee-loving, front-running, wagoner of band. All of a sudden, the halls of Ridgefield High were clogged with bulky, unflattering (remember 1990?) UConn sweatshirts. Oh no, I was not going to be a part of this. I kept on loosely following my parents' invisible Fairfield and Central Connecticut squads while all the other kids were default "winners," eventually celebrating four national championships, the most recent one occurring this week. Add to that the disgust of UConn's women's team being this all-time juggernaut, with a record of, by my estimation, 1,000-4 over the last few years, including another title...this week. What the fuck is that about? How did these teams get and stay so good? Is this ever going to end?

To add insult to injury for we who were happy for UConn but only for that one moment before they became a powerhouse, Tate George ended up in jail.

And before you go all "you're just like those people who like a band until they start selling enough records so that they can eat" on me, I shall say this: Fuck 311 too!

Your philosophy is familiar. That's why I've been a Wichita State Shocker fan for 50 years & they still haven't won a championship. It's been a fun ride anyways. Hell, the Sox figured it out, WSU may, also. I think we have the right guy at the helm.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States