I was home on that fateful night in April, 1989.
My teenage daughter had given up on trying to stay awake to watch the championship game, broadcast “Live” from Seattle; so armed with my Pirate gear, a huge bowl of popcorn and a bottle of wine, I perched alone, in front of the tv, waiting for the big game!
We had decided (sadly) that we could only send the distaff half of the family cross-country to the once-in-a-lifetime game. The Pirates of Seton Hall had clawed their way through the regionals into the finals, and tonight they were matched against a rallying Michigan team in the NCAA Championship Game.
To say that this was an exciting game (even for those of us back home), would be an understatement; a game that would culminate in a nail-biting, blink-of-an-eye overtime, the first ‘Final’ in 26 years to reach overtime.
With a one point lead, and only three seconds left on the OT clock, SHU’s Gerald Greene was called on a “questionable [I have another word for it] hand-check foul” against Michigan’s Rumeal Robinson. The Superdome erupted with cheers, matched only by cries of outrage.
Flushed with anger and frustration, I screamed helplessly at the official, through my TV screen, knowing that somewhere, amid the throng in Seattle, my husband and son were echoing my outrage:
“That wasn’t a foul! No! Boo! Boo! Boooooooooo!”
Unbelievably, outrageously, Robinson, a 64% shooter from the line, knocked down both shots, handing the Wolverines a one-point victory!
I was suddenly and dramatically silenced. I stood and stared, aghast, as a shiver ran up my spine. I saw the agony of defeat on the faces of our Cinderella team. I was speechless – as if in a trance, until I realized that the phone was ringing. Mom was calling to ‘chat’.
“No, Mom…I’m not OK…Seton Hall just lost the NCAA Championship!”
She paused, and in true ‘Mom’ fashion, quipped:
“Don’t be upset, Honey…it’s only a game”.