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The Bird’s Nest: 2010 started great

 Every year, I look back at the year in sports….not from a big story perspective, but from a personal one.

Like you, I have my favorite teams.  They are, Ragin’ Cajuns anything, the New Orleans Saints, Connecticut men’s and women’s basketball and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I don’t have a second favorite college football or baseball team,  I used to be a Lakers fan, but my personal interest in the NBA has waned.  I want the Hornets to do well, but mostly I just want the Celtics to lose. 

I don’t care about hockey.

It’s been a mixed bag for me this year.  Thanks to the Saints, I can’t say it’s been a bad year.  Ditto Geno, Robe and Stef.  But other than that, not a lot of fun.

In January I enjoyed Alabama’s win over Texas.  I don’t root for either team much, but I root for Texas less.  I don’t look upon Nick Saban as Nick Satan as some around these parts do.  I was okay with that.  My son in law is a big ‘Bama fan.  I lived vicariously through him.

Then I let him into my house for the Super Bowl and found out he’s a Niners fan.  Almost expunged him from the family right then and there.  Saints fever went through my family.  One brother, a Cowboys fan forever, got Saints fever.  Sent him some swag.  He’d wear a Cowboys cap with a Saints tee shirt.  He’s a cop, so he got away with it.  He’s got a Texas twang in his voice…almost makes “Who Dat” six syllables long.   Another brother asked for Who Dat gear as well.  Shipped him a sweatshirt and a who dat towel.  We lost him to cancer in April.  Made sports pretty insignificant.  But he got to see the Saints win the Super Bowl.  And that was a good thing.

I lost a good friend as well.  No, he didn’t pass away.  But I had the fortune of working with former Cajun Basketball Coach Robert Lee for 14 years.  We both understand how the business works.  But Robert is a good man.  He’s at ULM now.  I won’t be rooting for them.  But from disappointment comes opportunity.  I’m getting to know Bob Marlin.  I like him a lot.  He’s going to win here.  As Howard Schnellenberger once said “the only variable is time.”

College basketball wasn’t good to me this year.  The Cajuns won only 13 games.  My Huskies weren’t very good, at least not by Huskies’ standards.  And then, of all teams, Duke wins the freaking national championship.  Duke.  Butler would have been a great story.  Hell, anything would have been a great story.  But not Duke.  Not for me.

Thank God for Geno and the ladies.

Baseball season started.  The Cajuns started 14-14, 4-8 in Sun Belt play.  Then it all came together and the Cajuns won 23 of their last 27 and tied for the league title.  Got a bid to the NCAA tournament.  Watched a star in the making in Zach Osborne.  Got to know his mom, grandparents and aunt and uncle.  Good folks, all.  He’s got a shot to make it.  Stuck it to Rice.  That isn’t easy.

Saw a Cajun make it to the bigs.  Jonathan Lucroy is one of the classiest kids to ever wear a Cajuns uniform.  Now he’s going to be one of the classiest guys to wear a Brewers uniform.  Saw Jon after the season.  Asked if he had fun.  He said, “yeah, even though I sucked.”  Jon is his biggest critic.  He’ll do well.  Jon got married.  Had a baby girl.  Living (where else) but Lafayette.  I’m tellin’ ya, ’ a Ragin Cajun is like the Hotel California.  You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.

Softball was in a regional again.  Won it in Baton Rouge again.  That was fun.  SuperRegionals, not so much.  Ashley’s back.   That’s a good thing.  Donna’s gone.  That sucks.

Summer wasn’t terrible.  Dodgers looked like they’d stay in it, but didn’t.  National League FINALLY won the damn All Star Game.  Home field advantage for the good guys in the World Series.  Except the spawn of Satan made it to the series.  The Giants….THE FREAKING GIANTS! 

You cannot be a Dodgers fan and have anything but hate for the Giants.  I think Bruce Bochy is a great manager.  But he’s the manager of the Giants.  Can’t root for Bruce.

Texas made the World Series.  My brother the cop is a Rangers fan.  Sent me a tee shirt for my birthday.  Wish it said “World Champions” instead of “American League Champions.”  But he got the size right.  His wife must have picked it out.

Duke and the Giants in the same season.  Somebody shoot me now.

This fall hasn’t been great.  Saints are back on track but I have a sinking feeling that the losses to two bad teams are gonna bite em before it’s over.  Cajuns football had the most incredible bad luck with injuries that I’ve ever seen.  And, that ended any hope of a decent season and ended Rickey Bustle’s tenure as head coach.  I hate that part of this business.  Rickey is a class act, a great human being and I’ll never forget his work in bringing this program from the brink of extinction to a point where six wins in a season were deemed not good enough.  Like basketball I look forward to the future.  Doesn’t mean I have to like what happened, although I understand.

Now we get ready for the bowl season.  I’m rooting for Oregon.  Quack Attack.  I like it.

Now, if I can just get over the Giants and Duke in the same year, I’ll be okay.

Babes

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