I had probably snorted when my mom, during my college search, suggested I might enjoy going to a school with a solid sports program– why on earth would I care about going to a football game? I was only going to talk about Serious Things with Serious People when I was at school, with the occasional break for a drinking binge. I suppose you could say it started around the beginning of my freshman year, though technically I only went to one football game during that first season. Springtime brought the first season in which I was truly conscious that college basketball was A Thing– the jock I was dating was, of course, into basketball, and I was bound to pick up at least a thing or two during the endless hours of tournament play that I ended up watching.
As the years progressed, though, it wasn’t just proximity to whatever dude I was seeing that made me a college sports fan. I had grown up really only caring about baseball, and the revelation that there were other sports worth my time was a big one. A lot of it had to do with the fact that the players were, in some small way, associated with me: they went to the same classes, ate in the same dining halls, and visited the same establishment for an 11:30 cookie ice cream sandwich fix. The collective identity of attending the same university was an officially big deal, and I found myself screaming along with the crowd as the Bruins improbably marched down the field to score a touchdown against USC (our sworn rival and, um, repeat national champion during my college years), and holding my breath as I watched our basketball team improve under a new coach (suck it, Steve Lavin).
In what I can only describe as an instance of impeccable timing, I happened to be a senior the year my team made it all the way to the national championship. I watched them beat Gonzaga, reducing Adam Morrison and his mustache to tears (“You cry, Adam Morrison!” I shouted gleefully to my mom on the phone as I listened to the Westwood apartments erupt in joyful shouts), and I knew that LSU and Big Baby were no match for the 2006 Bruins…and then, Florida. I don’t need to tell you what happened, do I? Google it. It was bad. There was crying. Because, at the end of the day, I may be a college basketball fan, but I’m still a girl.
To lift your spirits after a crushing lost, or just as a fun “crack your shit up” moment, watch this.