A recap of a die-hard UConn fan’s big night
We’re all aware of the large quantity of Connecticut students on our campus. While it’s not their fault they’re from Connecticut, it is only fair that they get their due in the sports section. I do love the Huskies. I have for a long time. While I can’t say I wanted them to win the championship from the beginning (damn you Kansas!) once my team got knocked out of my bracket, I was perfectly content to root for Uconn.
Because of the ugliness of Monday’s game, I was forced to find something else to watch to pass the time between turnovers and missed jumpshots. Luckily for me I was sitting next to one of the craziest UConn basketball fans I’ve ever met.
To protect what little dignity he still has, I’ll refer to him by his nickname, “Boom-boom,” or “Boom” for short.
Now before I divulge what last night specifically was like for Boom, I’d like to clarify something. Boom is as far away from a bandwagon fan as you’ll ever find. He’s not one of those guys who hears that the team from the city he’s from is on some mainstream television station that night and lightly suggests the notion of watching them play for a quarter or two before heading out to the bar.
No, Boom treats every game like a holiday and frowns upon, nay, dismisses anyone who tells him to do differently.
Boom was just as amped up to watch UConn play the first game of the preseason tournament as he was for any other game all year, and that’s something I have an unbelievable amount of respect for. Having watched the Celtics’ starting lineups that featured Shammod Williams and Rodney Rodgers and viewed Mark Blount as a “key player,” I respect someone who stays die-hard no matter what.
Last night was no different.
The “night” I suppose started more around four in the afternoon. Boom had finished classes and viewed five hours prior to tip-off as the idea time to crack his first beer. Why not? You’re only in college once and UConn hadn’t won a championship since 2004. Who knew when an opportunity like this would present itself again?
Come game time, Boom was sufficiently inebriated and looking to continue that feeling through the rest of the game.
After forcing the room to remain silent during Leann Rimes’ rendition of the National Anthem (something I thought only happened at live sporting events), it was finally game time.
Along with the opening tip, game time means Boom getting to his assigned seat for watching UConn games (the left side of the big couch) and setting the game to the appropriate volume level (45).
A recent addition to the décor of the UConn viewing area is a tiny fish named Jeremy (after UConn guard/forward Jeremy Lamb.)
Now, like every hardcore fan of anything, there is an anger that appears when things don’t go well with your team.
Boom is no different, meeting every mishap by the Huskies with an angry drink of beer and equally angry slam of the can.
Now for the purpose of keeping the column under 3,000 words, I’ll stop short of mentioning every single occasion that caused Boom to take a drink and just highlight the larger milestones.
Milestone number one occurred thirty seconds into the game when Jeremy Lamb blocked a shot.
The rest of the milestones typically fell somewhere between thirty seconds and one minute apart. It was going to be a long, loud night sitting next to Boom-boom.
Boom spent the majority of the first half (when he wasn’t drinking) screaming about not letting Butler get any open looks from three-point range. Luckily for him Butler was ice cold.
The last-second shot to beat the halftime buzzer nearly killed Boom.
I kid you not.
“No no no no no!” And then he killed his beer.
The second half was even more intense.
“The first half was a warm up!” Boom said trying to convince us all that UConn was going to play even better in the second half.
Early in the second half, Lamb hit his first three-pointer of the game. The entire room shut up and turned to Boom, who was nearly bursting with excitement.
“SILENCE OF THE LAMB!” he shouted with glee.
We think that saying was used in a previous game by a real announcer but if anyone asks, Boom came up with it.
After a few back and forth possessions, Boom decided it was time to stand up to show his support for the team.
With 13:30 remaining, Boom-boom stood up.
With 13:00 remaining Boom-boom sat back down, citing bad luck as his reason. In reality, he was a little too tipsy to make it until the end of the game without sitting.
As the game started to get out of reach for Butler, Boom began getting progressively louder.
In order to document the last few moments of the game for Boom we turned on his roommate’s webcam and kept it focused on him. Needless to say he will get a good laugh out of it at some point.
When the final whistle blew you’d think someone won the lottery. Boom jumped up and down screaming about how UConn is the greatest team in the world.
He took a deep breath and screamed “UConn!” into the webcam and proceeded to pass out the hardest high fives anyone in the room had ever received. This was the face of jubilation.
After a quick run to the bathroom (and a premature departure. Seriously, you don’t want to know), Boom was back and watching the trophy presentation and the cutting down of the nets.
With one final scream out the front door, it was off to the bars for Boom.
I don’t know who had the misfortune of bumping into him that night, but I’m sure they got an ear full about UConn.
Mike Steiner can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org