The words of the exasperated VCU point guard Joey Rodriguez in the post game interview after their heart wrenching loss to their worthy opponent Butler. Exasperation not only by the players, but by those of us across the nation who transformed into their fans over the past few weeks.
That giant sucking sound we all heard at the buzzer was the air being let out of the Rams hot air balloon that they were traveling in; A giant hole was left in our hearts not unlike the unexpected hole that somehow spontaneously occurred in the side of a Southwestern jet. Where did it come from? Where did VCU come from?
We are left looking back at this unexpected event (their run to the final four) in awe, but yet still wanting more…
Shut down from the Arc, in part due to luck (in and out shots to everyone’s amazement just didn’t drop) but more importantly due to Brad Steven’s smart defensive strategy. Yeah, was it the 3’s weren’t going in or were the opportunities not there? Either way, it wasn’t their night.
VCU came out like gang busters with their fast paced offense, the Bulldogs quickly adapted. Their inability to grab the offensive rebounds took its toll on the Rams.
The shining star VCU: Jamie Skeen, laden with foul trouble, forced to sit out for a time, even he was cursed at the foul line in the waning minutes. Questionable foul calling at times; we all saw it, but not an excuse.
Mack the knife sliced deeply, never missing a beat, taking advantage of his hot hand and taking the shot ignoring his open team mates. It paid off. Howard was always present and even when not in the game, the Bulldogs maintained the lead, set the pace and others (Zach Hahn, Shawn Vanzant) stepped up to make big plays
In the game of musical chairs, there was only one chair left open, unfortunately the music stopped and VCU was left sitting on the floor wondering what happened…unfortunately, the stars weren’t aligned last night and “It was like it wasn’t suppose to happen or something” and it didn’t for VCU. If you had to give up a chair, at least it was to another Cinderella.
In a world of daily uncertainty and uproar, of Libyas, natural disasters followed by radiation fall out, political fighting, airlines failing (tower sleepers, planes falling apart) it was nice to escape for a while to something positive and uplifting; to inspiring stories of hard work, persistence, believing and certainty for awhile? A group of players led by their rock star coach united to thrill us all. Thank you, VCU. When people can’t wait to tune in to watch you put on a show, when the buzz all week was can they keep it going, you did not disappoint us even in loss. For a short while, we all lived vicariously through the VCU Rams as they reminded us of that life lesson that all things are possible with determination and hard work. (and of course what we all need.. a little luck!). Now they can rest knowing that while not in the finals they did achieve the impossible and gained a lot of respect not to mention a gaggle of fans along the way.
Put your Louboutin’s (a strappy sandal, perhaps) away until next year…but don’t bury them too far in the back of the closet…you will be dancing again soon. You showed us all you deserve to be here and boy, do you dance with style.