Saturday, March 17, 2012

I So Wanted to Brag

I don't have any Lehigh T-shirts anymore. But I so wanted to be wearing one today. Everywhere I went I wanted to say

HEY! I know where Lehigh is! I am one of them!
When the other teams I like win- Badgers, Packers, Marquette, Twins, Brewers, Phillies- well, they are big teams and well-known. But when a small, relatively unknown team like the Mountain Hawks makes national headlines, I want to show my pride and strut my their stuff. This same thing happened last summer when the local Pennsylvania team did so well in the Little League World Series.

Some of it is that it is exciting to be part of something BIG, even vicariously, through some personal connections. But part of it, too, is the attraction of the underdog, the "Cinderella-Team"-effect. We generally like it when the unexpected, the little guy, David, beats Goliath and the Big Guys. Yesterday two teams and their unknown fans had the chance to do that with the two 15th-seeded teams beating number 2 seeds.

It's appeal shows how seldom it truly happens. No one, I am sure, expects Lehigh or Norfolk State to make it to the Final Four. Except their fans, of course. Shouts of "We're # 1" were all over their hometowns last night. Hey- even we didn't really think it would happen yesterday. But it is always the hope that we, each one of us "little guys" can make a difference, do something important or noteworthy when facing The Favorites.

We have to live in that hope, of course. If we didn't believe it, we might never do anything. So, every once in a while, when lightning even strikes twice on the same day, we rejoice.

Tomorrow? Norfolk State meets #7 Florida and Lehigh faces #10 Xavier. Yes, the odds are actually better for both Cinderellas tomorrow than they were yesterday. We actually believe the chances are even more in our favor. But if they lose, we, their fans, will still feel good about ourselves because "our team" made it that far.  I want to make a life-lesson out of this, naturally. Anyone can.... Any team can.... Believe your dreams.... Which is true. But the reality is the BIG things don't happen to most of us. The BIG things we do are the ones that happen in our everyday relationships, actions, and decisions.

And in the end, those may be the most important for in the end they are the foundation of who we are and the world we live in.

Anyway- for today- Go Badgers

For tomorrow- Go Lehigh

Note: It is interesting how the marketing works, as well. Go to the NCAA store and you can get either one of THESE T-shirts.

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