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The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Sic 'em Bears!

My kids have always suspected I was a bit looney, but my behavior Monday afternoon cinched it for them. I went absolutely nuts when the Baylor University Lady Bears mauled North Carolina and made it into the NCAA Final Four. I screamed, I yelled, I raised my bear paw and sang The Baylor Line with the fans in the crowd in Tempe. I called my daughter, a sophomore at Baylor. I generally made a fool out of myself. Even the dogs were worried about my sanity.

I am not now and have never been a Texan, but I am very proud to be a Baylor alumnus (1977, Journalism), probably more proud now than when I graduated. Not because of a winning basketball team, but because of what the university has become in the years since I graduated. Explaining would be a long story, and this post is about something much simpler. It was absolutely grand watching Baylor's intimidating defense in the low post, and the snappy ball handling around the key. To realize that national championship caliber basketball was being played in the Green and Gold was a transcendent experience. Well, OK, maybe transcendent is pushing it. Worshiping God is transcendent; watching Baylor play was magnificent and uplifting.

I think I see a dynasty in the making in the Baylor women's basketball program. By the time coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson completes five seasons as a head coach, she will be in the top five nationally for her win-loss ratio. Baylor has excellent facilities and a great academic reputation. Having thousands of Baptist missionaries/alumni worldwide scouting for talent doesn't hurt.

Given the recent tragedy regarding the men's basketball program (follow the link above for a summary), this triumph is all the more sweet. A co-worker who follows women's college basketball much closer than I do thinks Baylor's chances are pretty good. "I think that their chances are good," Melinda told me in an IM, "based strictly on the way they seem to adapt to other teams' playing styles."

Baylor plays traditional powerhouse Louisiana State on Sunday. My family will be out of town, so I'll be watching the game alone. (Not technically: Dear Sweet Grandma Mary, in the later stages of Alzheimer's Disease, will be joining me. But every 20 seconds is a new day for her, so I don't think she'll mind my looney behavior much.) If a fan goes berzerk and there's nobody there to share the moment, did the team really win?


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