Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Legend of The Hoff

I tried out a few different names for this blog post:
- "I Am Legend"
- "OH MY GOD! YES! YES! HOW?!!?!! YES!!"
- "Turn The Lights Hoff When You Leave"
- "The Miracle Worker"
- "The Events of 3-14-08"

Last night, the Gophers of my Alma mater, The University of Minnesota, were playing #20 Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers had already lost twice to Indiana this season, and really had no realistic chance of winning the third time around.

However, the upstart Gophers came out strong - and even built a 16 point lead at one point. Still, any true Minnesota sports fan knows that disappointment is lurking around every corner - so you mentally tell yourself, 'they'll blow it'. We've become a generation of sports pessimists. We expect Gary Anderson to miss field goals in the NFC Championship Game. We expect our best players to choke in big games and then be traded away in the off season.

And true to form, Indiana took a 1 point lead over the Gophers with 1.5 seconds left; on a preposterous series of events that doesn't ever happen outside of Hollywood movies or 2nd graders playing make-believe on the playground.

With all hope ripped from our chests, the only chance the Gophers had was to make a full-court pass, hope to catch it, and a prayer...all this mind you with only 1.5 seconds on the clock. Enter Blake Hoffarber...

Hoffarber caught a long pass with 1.5 seconds left Friday night, spun away from a defender and hit a 14-foot left-handed shot at the buzzer to upset No. 20 Indiana 59-58 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

I was so unbelievably shocked, I jumped about 5 feet out of my recliner, let out a war cry, and jumped around my apartment looking for someone to hug. In the process I spilled a beer, nearly sprained an ankle when I stepped on a shoe, and probably led my neighbors to believe there was a murder in progress.

As they say at the end of the Maltese Falcon, "The stuff dreams are made of."

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