Back to the Grind

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Is it just me, or did last semester fly by? I could have sworn that the week before finals was the second week of school. And now here we are at the start of the second semester and I’m quite positive it’s going to fly by as well, but here’s to those best-laid plans!

A month off and nothing to write about.

I mean, ok, the men’s basketball team seems to have found its stride. Relegated by the preseason polls to the middle of the pack, they’re currently third in the conference. They just beat previously undefeated (in conference play) Albany, and quite handily at that. Going into this weekend’s televised showdown with rival Boston University they sit at a tidy 4-2 in conference, and maintain an overall .500 record of 8-8. Not too shabby at all for a senior-less team sporting 7 freshmen.

It could be the optimist in me, but I liked our chances from the start. I mean, what is there to lose? Everyone knew we’d be playing with a target on our back after three years of romping through America East. They’re by no means last year’s team; they’d be the first ones to tell you that. But there is something to be said for playing hard and playing smart, two things that have become a calling card of UVM basketball in recent years.

So, no, I’m not surprised at all. In fact I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. I’ve maintained from the start that we’re not a bad team. Nobody I talked to expected much out of this season. But when you think about it: A. we weren’t close to being blown out during a tough non-conference stretch; and, B. we’re 8 points short of being undefeated in the conference as both losses were by 3 points each.

So here I am, I’m saying it now: “We make a run in March and get, at least, to the finals of the conference tournament.” It’s not a stretch. Let’s see how that plays out.

I gave you the good news from a somewhat sad winter break first, to get your spirits up.

This leads me to the bad news, which is none other than the New England Patriots playoff loss at Denver. If you saw it, it was just sad. For me nothing more aptly describes the loss than that simple 3-letter word.

Prior to the game, my dad and I were listening to the radio (the electricity was out for the first quarter so we didn’t see that on TV) and the announcers were talking about how the Pats’ somehow always manage to play “errorless” football in the playoffs. We took note of this.

Four hours later that proved a useful and ironic note. For the first time in years, New England lapsed in their tradition of mistake-free football. It was turnovers that did them in, and it was painful to watch.

Aside from the turnovers, we outplayed the Broncos. We outgained them. Our defense played pretty well. Brady was sluggish at the start, but then righted the ship, or so it seemed. They got a lead on us, but then it started to look like we were going to chip away at it, if not take them by storm and romp to Super Bowl XXXX. We were looking sharp…my dad thought things were under control, it was late (9:30), and he went to bed.

Looks can be deceiving.

Every time we marched down the field, something went wrong. Brady threw an interception in the endzone, which was returned to our 1-yard line. A fumble here. Another fumble there. My dad even wakes up sometime in the third quarter and comes back to watch the end.

There was still hope halfway through the fourth quarter after a good defensive stop. And then Mr. Reliable, Troy Brown, formerly our punt returner, fumbles while trying to catch a punt…Denver ball.

It was so painful. It was disheartening. I didn’t sleep well. But, I suppose, all good things must come to an end.

Here’s to the new semester – new hopes and prospects, and the return of homework. Back to the grind. How many weeks until spring break?