I wonder if Alexander Pope was a sports fan? I think he must have been—or at least he could appreciate that, no matter the situation, man will always hope for the best. In An Essay of a Man, he suggests that inside each of us is the ability (if not the desire) to believe that better things will come.
In every sports fan’s heart, there is a belief that their favorite team is just within reach of some goal. It might be the hope of a 3-point play, the thrill of beating a respected rival, or the joy of a winning season. It doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says at the buzzer, for the true fan is already thinking about the potential greatness of the next game. The next goal.
Our whole community has been thinking about the “next game” for weeks. For us, nothing else matters but the upcoming ESPN Bracketbuster game when the Murray State Racers will take on St. Mary’s, with the play-by-play called by none other than Dickie V, baby. As the last undefeated team in the nation, dare I say it was a relief, when the Racers lost their only game? In my humble opinion, nobody could ride that crazy train much longer. And yet the young men who so proudly wear the blue and gold handled the full court press with maturity and poise.
With each additional win, I offered a silent prayer for them to find the extra strength they would need during their time in the national spotlight. Our community has never had better ambassadors. Smart, articulate, and just this side of humble, these young men have charmed their way onto the front pages of every media outlet, let’s face it, sports writers don’t get places like Murray. They don’t understand that we’re just as excited that the Dairy Queen will open in a few days, as we are about the Racers winning another Ohio Valley Conference. Conference titles and the Dairy Queen are big deals. In Murray, March Madness begins with a vanilla cone and a chili dog.
As the sun slowly sinks into the western horizon Saturday afternoon, millions of fans will once again be focused on our Racers and our unshakable Coach Prohm. This one game will show the nation that our Racers are truly Throughbreds– and not one trick ponies. No doubt it will be basketball at its best. We’ll cheer ourselves voiceless for their incredible plays. We’ll be amazed by three point Canaanballs. We’ll find delight in the stylings of an impressive afro. We will love every minute.
With each tick of the shot clock, we’ll allow ourselves to dream the impossible dream, if only for a moment. Will it matter if we win? Of course not, because hope really does spring eternal. And anything can happen in basketball, baby!