Monthly Archives: April 2015

NAU basketball finally changed forever

Yes, that really happened.

If you’re an NAU fan, you probably didn’t recognize  your school in the last two weeks, did you? I know I didn’t.

I didn’t recognize that clutch team that continually made play after play when it needed to, clawing back in four straight games to reach the CollegeInsider.com Tournament championship game.

I didn’t recognize the Walkup Skydome, which was filled to the brim over two nights for the most thrilling wins in NAU basketball history  —  a 74-73 overtime draw-dropper against Kent State in the tournament’s quarterfinals, before a 68-61 win over the New Jersey Institute of Technology in the semifinals four nights later.

I learned early on, just don’t bet on sports

Some people in life are “glass half full” people and some are “glass half empty” people. When it comes to my sports teams, I’m usually so negative I don’t even buy the glass.

I have always said I would be a rich man if I could take the Vegas all the negative “gut feelings” I get about my favorite teams. I’m not exactly sure where this pessimism comes from, but I’ve been aware of it at an early age.

Perhaps, it was losing the first bet I ever made that made me take sports losses hard. It was Super Bowl XIV. January 1980. As a six-year-old living in Red Oak, Texas, outside Dallas, I was already a huge Cowboys fan and I constantly wore my oversized Roger Staubach Number 12 jersey for years.

So there was no way I could root for the Steelers to beat the Rams in the Super Bowl — as any self-respecting Cowboys fan shouldn’t. My dad bet me one dollar that the Steelers would win, and I took the Rams. It was the first Super Bowl I remember happening live, and I remember it all down to the “Mean Joe” Greene Coke commercial.

Of course, the Steelers made a late comeback, winning their fourth Super Bowl and becoming the “Team of the 70s” and not the Cowboys. I was so self-aware about how that made me feel, I remember actually analyzing in my head how I was too young to be understanding the long-term implications of the Steelers becoming the team of the decade. I mean, what kid does that? And in the grand scheme of life, who the hell cares anyway?

But either way, I lost my only dollar. It wasn’t a paper bill of course. It was made up of dimes and nickles and pennies I had saved in a Tootsie Roll coin bank. Being a sore loser, of course the tears flowed.

Hoping for comfort from somebody, I quickly realized that when it comes to sports, there ain’t nobody there to help you with that one. You’re on you’re own.

I counted up the money, handed it over to my dad, and, to my amazement, HE TOOK IT!!

NOOOOOOOOO!!!

How could he actually take it? Isn’t this where he teaches the lesson about how it was good that I was going through with my bet, but he can’t actually take a kid’s money? Nope, he had to go ahead and teach me the even better lesson that you DO pay off your bets and debts that you owe.

The other lesson it taught me: Just don’t bet on sports! My gut rarely steers me wrong and I would hate to bet against my teams continually.