Thursday, March 12, 2009

We are the Champions, my friend.

In the midst of all of those horrible things happening, there has been some excitement in the Thomas world lately.

Every (yes, EVERY) Saturday, we have been spending our Saturdays like this:

11:00 Nuggets vs. Opponent at the Auburn University Rec Center.
12:00 Lunch & home for a nap
2:00 ish-Auburn basketball game.
So, you would think we would be Basketball'ed out. But we're not. Why, you ask?
Because. We. Win.
I mean, WDE, Auburn is doing the best they have done in YEARS. Men and women's. The games are fun, Emma Kate loves
them and usually my whole family is there.
Sometimes, even these folks show up (and Hoppy has that awful disease, Alabamafanitis).

But Auburn aint' got nothin' on these guys....

Every Saturday, the Nuggets would win. It got to the point where the games were crazy-physical because the teams were so determined to beat the Nuggets. No Auburn rec team had ever gone undefeated. Ever.

So, we made it to the playoffs undefeated, and most games we won by a landslide. Except the Pistons. We came from behind and beat them by one point in the regular season. Then they went on a 5 game winning streak. They were out to get us. So guess who we played in the first round? Yep, the Pistons.

My husband, Coach Mike as he is called these days, was more nervous than I had ever seen him. I had seen him prepare for a gazillion golf tourneys and never so much as blink an eye. Here he was, preparing to coach 5th grade boys in a city rec league and you would have thought he was Coach K in the Final Four.

He couldn't sleep. He couldn't eat. At one point I found him in our bathroom, standing at the counter at 12:30 am. When I asked him what he was doing he told me he had just thought of a new play and had to get up and write it down. INSANE.

Thursday came and went, and although one of our, um, spirited dads got thrown out of the gym for "talking" to the refs, the Nuggets BEAT the Pistons and moved into the FINAL GAME, set for Saturday.

Mike, I mean, Coach Mike went into full basketball mode. He had me make a warm up CD, circa 1993 complete with "Are you ready for this" and "Eye of the Tiger." He watched GAME TAPE of the first two times we beat the HAWKS (the other team in the finals). He went to Party City and had a run-through banner made. He had me buy posters and huge markers and find my inner-high-school-cheerleader and make posters with all the boys' numbers and names. INSANE.

His parents came down for the big game. My mom and grandmother came. Unc, also known as Deuce to the players, came. I think Mike had more people rooting for him than any one of the players. INSANE.

But, then something crazy happened. It was awful. It was scary. We were getting beat. The kids seemed defeated when the third quarter ended and the Nuggets were getting beat 22-11. The Nuggets HAD NEVER been down by double digits. Even I had lost hope (and I am the most optimistic sports fan of all time, like-I still think Auburn can win last year's LSU-Auburn game and it has been over for 6th months.)

Then, my husband, Coach Mike did what he does best. He COACHED. I mean, C-O-A-C-H-E-D. He put in his dream team. He had them run great plays, called a great defense, and pumped up his bench. He did what no one else in that gym was doing. He BELIEVED. He still believed in his boys, even when they (and, admittedly, everyone in the stands) didn't believe in them. He UNDERSTOOD that the game was not over and that as long as there was time on that clock, there was still a chance.

And there was.

Those guys played their hearts out for that last 8 minute quarter. They listened to their coach who told them that they COULD.

And they did.

They outscored the Hawks 18-1 in the fourth quarter. Is was more exciting than and Auburn vs. Alabama game. No, really, it was.
When the buzzer sounded, the Nuggets were the Champs. The Undefeated Auburn Rec 5th Grade Boys Basketball Champs.
I was so proud. I was like a momma bear to all those cute little 5th graders who played like it was the NCAA tournament.
But mostly, I was proud of Coach Mike.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

I just got chills...