Tampa VII: From The Stands
This one was difficult to put into words. I've had nearly the same postgame reaction to every loss the last 40 years. Some worse than others, obviously, but I'm always in the same place. There's always the same feeling in my stomach.
Today I didn't really have any of that. I expected to have some kind of "hey, good for them, they won it for their coach" reaction, but this was way more than that. I talked for about 13 minutes here while I sorted that out. Then, after I finished, I watched the trophy presentation. Then, after playing the school song, the Mississippi State band played a very slow chord progression. I found myself completely moved by the moment. Just something about the music and the players hugging their families - I was all in on what they accomplished today.
Normally I'd think that this is some kind of crutch I'm using. I don't like that my team lost so I'm leaning into "hey, good for them for winning one for Mike Leach." But the way the game played out - a field goal with four seconds left, followed by a bonus touchdown on our lateral play - made me extremely happy for them. It didn't feel like a crutch - it felt like genuine happiness. After my team lost. So weird.
Look, I'm a score guy. I hate bonus touchdowns making the score look worse. This was a scenario set up to make me rant for days - "OF COURSE a 13-10 game is now a 19-10 game where it looks like we were beaten soundly" - but I didn't feel any of that. I was "hey, if we're not going to score on a miracle play, I'm glad the last moment of the Mike Leach era was a crazy touchdown like that."
So here's the From The Stands where I process that out loud. More later, but for now, good for you, MSU fans.