And then, this year, it did change. I had the chance to joke around with Petey Sims--a really, really sweet kid--at practice. Head coach John Beilein turned out to be incredibly down to earth and accessible, while assistant Jerry Dunn was so thoughtful and open that it made my eyes burn. I had dinner with Kelvin Grady, Ben Cronin, and Zak Novak and saw that they (and an entire team) were mutually supportive, rooting for each other as much as themselves.
I thought, Well, this team will be well coached and fun and will have decent kids playing, the kind of people I want to cheer for.
And then we received this present.
Sure, we earned this. But I also feel blessed. And most of all, I am in love with the idea of two highly educated older guys storming the court, giving into the naivete of youth and the pure pointless passion of a lofted ball hanging in the air and then snapping the strands hung from a metal rim.
This is what the games are all about.