On failure, failing and other meditations on crippling defeat

Okay real talk right now: is this program cursed?

No, no, come back, don’t walk away. Hear me out. LET HIM FINISH! It just feels of late that Matt’s famous refrain, “being a UMass fan is like watching your dog run away forever,” gets truer every day. I must have used the Lucy and Charlie Brown analogy by now, too. Just empty the chamber with that. Fire the musket. Fire the musket. Fire the musket. Every single time this godforsaken program gets our hopes up in any given sport, there’s a hilarious, crushing defeat lurking just around the corner. This past weekend, it was a 15-10 clusterfuck of a “football game” against one of the only MAC teams we should be definitely better than, Kent State, on a frustrating, chilly Homecoming afternoon. Not only did the once vaunted Frohnapfel offense get completely blanked in the second half, but they never really even came close to putting a drive together the entire half. There’s not enough Tree House beer in the world to drown out my sorrows (although, there is in my fridge now, in the weekend’s true saving grace) (also, there’s not enough Tree House beer in the world, period).

Anyway, so yeah, the season is over, barring (or even notwithstanding) a miracle win next week at Gillette against 19th-ranked Toledo. I just hope we get to see Ross Comis get some playing time and maybe create some hope for next year, because the cupboard will be awfully bare without Tajae Sharpe. At least Marquis Young is fun to watch. We’re gonna get stomped by BC again next year and so help me, I will set things on fire. I’m telling you, I’m not one to buy superstition, but what gods did we piss on the burial grounds of, exactly? Is this cosmic retribution for giving Cosby a degree (and if so, why is Temple 6-0)? Words fail me. It’s getting so bad that Matt’s other favorite team, Michigan, is doing UMassy things these days. Does this happen to the other programs on campus? Are there lacrosse and soccer and women’s tennis collapses and/or upsets that we don’t even know about because we don’t care enough? Did the UMass debate team make a grammatical mistake costing them a match with Worcester State? Does our a capella team have a 52-game losing streak to BC? These are serious things I ponder now.

In lighter, happier news, hockey is indeed now 3-0 after beating Sacred Heart in front of a crowd of…never mind, the point is, it’s a win. This team is going to have to earn the fan support back, and hopefully word of mouth about their hot start and exciting young cornerstones (plus having a hated neighbor state school in town next weekend) leads to a bigger crowd next week. After Plevy stole the spotlights on opening night, a slightly larger sample size has shown that Dennis Kravchenko looks determined to prove that Vatrano had very little to do with his success last year as a second fiddle. But let’s get real – there’s at least a 94% chance one of Kravvy, Plevy and Walshy gets hurt between now and the end of the year, right? Are there prop bets in college hockey? I feel like there must be. I don’t believe in sports betting – that’s a rant for a whole ‘nother column – but even I’d have to be tempted. Something must come. UMass is on the verge of its first winning month under Coach Mick if they can even just tie one of the next three games, none of which are against particularly lofty competition, and two of which are in a setting UMass has always inexplicably thrived in (mid-season non-con tourneys in places that make absolutely no sense to host said tourneys, this time Trenton). Oh, by the way, that’s serious – he’s had three .500 months, and that’s the high watermark. We can only hope this latest trend continues: that while a football team that has fallen miserably short of their expectations continues to flounder, the hockey team that came in with none is a shining beacon of light while we wait for the Big Four (or Five) to arrive on Coach Kellogg’s court next year, saving the program and sending us directly to the B1G.

Assorted Notes and Observations

  • Speaking of DK: ran into him at the tailgate with a couple players, Brower, Harris and Milligan from the Travis Ford days. They seem to be in good spirits. Hope they didn’t stay for the second half.
  • Actually, a good percentage of students did seem to stick around at halftime. Maybe it’s better if they don’t?
  • One more note at McGuirk: tried the baked potato, good stuff. The new culinary options are a step in the right direction, but I’m glad BAMF is aware that’s not good enough if we’re to stay in this stadium.
  • Seriously, Tree House is fucking amazing beer, and worth the trip to the middle of nowhere to pick up as much beer as your wallet can handle. Three words of advice: get there early.
  • That Colts fake punt though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s