… A Kick in the Teeth Awesome
The Tulane volleyball team is having a great season, won the conference regular season and tournament titles, and now is in the NCAA Tournament as the No. 16 national seed.
That’s awesome. What’s also awesome is that, they got a good draw with two matchups they should be expected to win. While they got sent on the road, they are at playing the first and second rounds in Dayton, Ohio. Which would be incredibly awesome… if I was still working with them.
So while I’m happy and excited, I’m also slightly miserable. Not only are they having their best season ever, but I’ve been reduced to a fan, instead of being part of it. And now this trip, their first NCAA appearance, in a place where I worked for six years and know so many people…and I’ll be working basketball games in New Orleans.
I’m slightly bitter.
Not just because it would be fun to go, but because I have such an emotional investment in this team. I lobbied all last year to anyone who’d listen that we should have been in last year’s field. And this March, coach gave me more influence on the program than most SIDs will ever have in their lifetime, when she asked me to help her schedule with RPI in mind. I didn’t make the schedule, but after our long conversations about how many matches against what types of teams, she still included me. She asked “I’m thinking of scheduling Team Z, is that good for us?” and she listened to my recommendations (Sorry I was so wrong about Maryland!).
So, while it may be egotistical as hell for me to take credit for our season, I still have the emotional investment in knowing that that conversation met its goal:
We’re the number nine RPI team in the country.
Again, while I’m thumping my chest, I realize that: I didn’t win a single match. Or play a single minute. But I never was going to anyway, and I never will for any other team I work for. It’s still the most influence I could possibly have on a team’s season in my current profession.
It’s tough to balance this feeling of being left out with the level of excitement for the program. The more bitter/depressed I feel about not being part of it, the more I think ‘oh, come on, be happy for the team’ and I truly am. And then I get really excited for the team (We can so win that region and go to the Sweet 16!!!!), which makes me all the more depressed and bitter. Especially since I won’t be going to that, either.
I’m going to Penn State, I’ve decided. I don’t have a conflict with basketball, so the only reason for me not to go is financial. And Coach will take me.