I heart Frank Martin

No title I could come up with seemed correct. I thought about just putting “speechless” but of course, all evidence to the contrary. During the first and even second half of the Kansas State/Xavier basketball game last night, I was thinking that the game might only get a small mention in whatever crappy blog post I put together today but after 2 overtimes and one of the most intense basketball games I’ve ever experienced, it deserves it’s own post.

If you have a moment, read this. I’m not a huge fan of Jason Whitlock, but I am a huge fan of that piece of journalism. He said everything I’m thinking, including: “Kansas State is not a team of destiny. It’s a team of preparation and determination and concentration and resolve. K-State basketball is Frank Martin.” And he’s right. The team acted with poise, resolve and toughness last night. And the result was a victory and a chance to head to the Elite 8. Wow Cats, wow.

As for me, I was a mess last night. Truly. The other Wildcat in my home retreated at half time to our bedroom. He gets too upset when they play poorly so he doesn’t always watch the entire game. Apparently at some point he fell asleep and was awoken to the sound of his wife…screaming. It could have been any number of things ranging from “Hit it Pullen!” to “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” I make no excuses. I’m a pretty horrible human being while watching the Cats. It’s just who I am. I like to think I’m a mini Frank Martin. One minute I’m screaming at Luis Colon because HOW COULD YOU MISS THOSE FREE THROWS, YOU ARE WORTHLESS! or yelling at Chris Merryweather because WHY ARE YOU EVEN ON THE COURT? THAT WAS THE STUPIDEST FOUL IN THE HISTORY OF BASKETBALL! and the next I’m praising Jacob Pullen for being the true leader that he is or shaking my head at Denis Clemente and his amazing quickness and ability to take a game on his shoulders. Then I’m yelling at the ref and considering changing my facebook status to “Hey Ref, does your wife know you’re fucking us?”, which is the most hilarious thing I ever heard yelled from a fan during my college career. Then I’m arguing with the announcers. Don’t even get me started on how announcers know nothing about KSU basketball and therefore, ALWAYS get it wrong. I argue quite passionately with these men who can’t hear me. And then I’m sitting quietly, watching, waiting. A mini Frank Martin for sure. His half-time speech was hilarious. I am 100% convinced that was not real. What I imagine goes on in that locker room involves a lot more cursing. A lot more screaming. And a lot more getting up into people’s faces. The use of the word silly really gave it away. You know he was searching for something more… colorful. But what he said was true. And when the Cats came back out for the second half they were anything but selfish. And that’s what won them the game. That and of course their heart. Frank Martin is a genius. And I’m happy that the nation got to see a little more of him than just the animated character from the sidelines. I love that man.

With 2 minutes left in regulation I shut down. I started to cry. I thought it was over. I thought the magic of this season was over. I was proud of the Cats. But I was very very sad. And then overtime came. And for the next hour I alternated between screaming, crying, and jumping up and down cheering. And of course, checking facebook constantly to see whose status I needed to like or comment on. I was a mess. I wish I could have recorded a few minutes for you. I assume it’s amusing. The Wildcat would disagree.

I can’t wait for the next installment of what can only be described as the Best Basketball Season of My Life. I am so proud of those boys, so full of respect for their Leader and Big 12 Coach of the Year, and so happy that I chose the right school to call my home. Elite 8 baby. My pick to win it all is still going strong. How about yours? EMAW.