WVU's men's basketball team beat Notre Dame by double figures today to advance to the Sweet 16.
(For non-sports-nut readers--the NCAA tournament begins with 68 teams, then eight of them play to make up the 64. After one game by each of the 64, there are 32 left. Win one more game and you are part of the Sweet 16--the last 16 teams left in the tournament. Got it?)
What makes it even sweeter is it was Notre Dame they dominated to get there.
People sometimes ask me during college football season, "who are you rooting for today?"
I always answer: "West Virginia and whoever is playing Notre Dame!"
I hate Notre Dame. It's not (I hope) a religious intolerance (I am Anglican and N.D. is Roman Catholic school, after all) but just that Notre Dame has a certain arrogance and swagger in college athletics that offends my Appalachian, 'gosh, I'm just a mountain boy' mindset.
Did you know that at Notre Dame's football stadium you can see over one of the goal post ends of the stadium, a depiction of Jesus on another building with his hands in the 'orants' position--how some priests, Episcopalian and RC hold their arms out from the shoulders and forearms at a 90 % angle while celebrating the Eucharist. Notre Dame faithful call that depiction 'touchdown Jesus'.
Well, I don't think I even need to break that down....
Only problem is WVU will play Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. The Zags, as they are know by basketball nuts, have only lost one game all year.
But hope springs eternal in Mountaineer land. It always does, no matter how may crushing disappointments we endure.
Appalachian 'gosh, I'm just a mountain boy' world view is, ironically, always full of hope and expectation.
Given the state of West Virginia in general (leading the country in per capita drug deaths, one of the 3 poorest states, voted a larger % for Trump than almost any state) that's always surprising--the hope and expectation part of my psyche.
And, it's there.
And "Go Mountaineers!!!"
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