Saturday, April 25, 2009
M- It's fuckin frigid at forty-one friggin degrees. The sleepy service attendant at the local coffee shop had the gall to ask if my extra-large coffee was a "decaf right?" No. Fuck no. I will fucking kill you if it is decaf. Jesus Christ, kid. Iowa's huge flag is whipping across the perfectly green fields, fluffy and wet, and windy and rainy... perfect. The clouds are ominous looking, but not half as scary as the Terrible Torrential Thunderstorms of last night as the wind howled and souls screamed. Game one is against UNI the 15th seed and the Hodags are... yawning as the first game is 8am.
Hh- The day begins at 5:45 in the morning. I get up to shower at Klane's and when I get out someone is playing the jukebox hits at a gay bar. It's Raining Men, YMCA, Like A Virgin, etc. I have no idea who chose this for the morning of regionals, but I contemplate murder for a moment. Two giant pans of freshly baked cinnamon rolls greet us in the kitchen and I'm placated.
Outside - drab, a gray frown drawn across the sky. Everything is wet. It looks miserable. Regionals wouldn't have it any other way. On tap today: UNI, then winner of Eau Claire/GoP, then likely Luther. If we win those three games, we qualify for nationals. I don't recall ever having seen a softer route to natties, but with 20 spots and 4 bids in the Central, it was bound to become easier. (Though, on the other hand, in the NW Stanford, Oregon, Western Washington, UW, and Cal are all fighting for two spots.)
We drop the players off and drive for coffee, then return to the fields musking in all-out Kill Mode.
M- The game begins in utter earnest as the universe line takes the field for 3 straight breaks in a row. Crumbly is unstoppable, layout snatching 2 scores. Master Masler gets a nasty layout D, as well as ripping several beautiful deep shots. Manny takes his girl O2 and breaks her to Simmons for the 4-0 start. Cullen is rampaging faces, twice hucking to Patsy for ruthless mini-hop skies 5-0. As the lines loosen so does the concentration as it tightens to 6-1. The good woman throws UNI's first goal. Foster is enraged about losing the shutout and explodes on a kid for half 8-1. Gaynor pwns out of half to make it 9-1 before a n00b line drops it 5 straight times. Meanwhile, GOP and Eau Claire are fighting for their tournament lives, locked in heated game, 11-10 EC. One of the parents showed up to see the Hodags lackadaisically throwing around and chatting. "Has this game started yet?" "Oh yeah, it's just halftime." The Feldmen were seen cheering enthusiastically for Lil' Hollywood as the winds increased and the air chilled.
Hh- Game One done with. A surprisingly feisty UNI gave the Hodags some fits at times. On the sideline, music plays. On the field the defensive O looks anything but harmonious. Although it's cool, it's also dry, and the sun has peeked out a couple of times from behind the curtain of clouds. While a bit chilly on the sidelines, those running worked up enough heat that it wasn't uncomfortable. A bit of a cross-wind keeps the throws honest and rewards the inside-out with stable distance. Altogether not too unpleasant yet, I keep my head in the game by jamming to beats from the jukebox. It's the kind of weekend where you squeeze every drop of enjoyment from those moments when it's not shitty out.