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Faith renewed

February 3, 2009

On Saturday night in the LCG's living room, I was basking in the recent throttling of the Florida Gators by my beloved Vols. As I was finally getting hope in a disappointing season for UT, a special break from the highlights came on ESPN. That break was to let me know Andrew Bynum had injured his knee. That disheartening news was followed yesterday with more bad news came as they announced he would miss 8-12 weeks. So later in the day I decided to post on the breaking situation, I tried to play coy and act unattached or unmoved by the story. But in reality, I saw another Laker season being thrown to the wayside. When I heard the injury news I realized I was no longer the typical optimistic fan, but more of the annoying fan who moans and drones about the bad luck of his team. I had become a fanatical-pessimist. So at 7:30 p.m. est when I tuned in to the Laker-Knicks game I was anything but the typical barrel of fun I see myself as; instead I was about as upbeat as a Thomas Hardy novel. I was so dejected that I wrote a poem, something I hadn't done since 8th grade English class with Mrs. Willis.
The colorless thoughts engulfing me
the thoughts of another banner quickly drifting from my senses
the thought of another manhandling on the parquet floors
the thoughts had me sinking in despair
the thoughts had me sinking in my chair
Yet I could do nothing
but hope and cheer from afar
Shameful I know, but what was I to do? Join the others on message boards and talk trash because the future of the organization was out for a couple of months. I was embarrassed. How could I be woeful about a basketball team, when there is a lot more going on in the world that holds actual importance. With the economy, the war('s), families struggling to pay their bills, cities struggling to survive the harsh winter, and the all-around despair of the Motor City. How, with all that, could I possibly be down about a GAME? I was, and there is no excuse other than I have an irrational love for sports and it will not leave me. Despite the real world issues and the negativity those issues bring, I will always have an irrational love for American sport. I could say sorry, but what would be the point. This irrational obsession is what makes me, me. But I digress.

Once I saw that forum blue and gold take the court at MSG, I couldn't help but smile. Kobe quickly vanquished any negative thoughts still lingering, and the fanatical-pessimist swiftly vanished thanks to the show he was putting on for the New York crowd. Scoring 13 of the teams first 16, teeming with Gasol to score 30 and the teams 31 first quarter points. The two ended up combining for 92 of the Lakers 126 points (with 31 for Pau and 61 for Kobe), in the win over the home-town Knickerbockers.

This was not a team that will fall to the wayside, not with two four and one six taking the court. This is not a team to be worrisome for; not tonight, not with Kobe taking center-stage, not with Phil pulling the strings. This is a team that has more reason to come and play every night. This is a team that needs to prove day-in and day-out, they are still a force. It is a night like last night, that reminds us all of his greatness. It is a night like last night that Laker fans realize how much they take that greatness for granted. It is a night like last night where faith is renewed.

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