Friday, March 4, 2016

You tell them we're coming...and we're bringing Okay with us


It's just after 7 a.m.

Light is slowly filtering through the blinds of our hotel room—a hotel room that Hayden booked 400 miles away from the stadium—and I've already been down to have breakfast, which was crap.

I woke up excited.

My roommates, Hayden and Nathan, are still snoring softly in the bed behind me, which they are sharing because I told them I'm a cuddler.

I woke up excited because the Okay Mustangs made school history yesterday.

Yesterday wasn't a great day for our state or our nation. You see, schools took yet another budget cut. A budget cut that will mean the end for some. There's some small school in Oklahoma that will have to close its doors thanks to the idiocy we're seeing at the state level.

Hundreds of thousands of people were taken off Medicaid, something I don't quite understand, but expect to soon.

Last night during the presidential debate, politics were eschewed for penis measuring, which, I suppose, is really the basis of all politics anyway.

Yesterday wasn't a great day for our state or our nation.

But it was a great day to be a Mustang.

I wish I had a cool action shot to post here, a picture worth more than a thousand words, showing the hustle and effort our boys put forth into bringing home the first Okay State Playoff win in school history. I wish I had a picture of Darius shooting three pointers from the parking lot, or Paul Taylor checking into the game and in the first five seconds driving in for a layup. I wish I had a shot of Caleb or Austin shooting jump shots with the confidence that Donald Trump has in his hair, but I don't. I was busy in the stands updating my Facebook every three seconds for the folks back home.

I'm told the boys' bus ride back to the hotel yesterday was silent. They weren't celebrating their win. They realized that although they made school history, all they really won was the chance to fight another day.

Today. This day.

Most probably haven't even woken up yet. They probably haven't gone downstairs to gorge themselves on homemade omelettes and all-you-can-eat bacon (I'm looking at you, Hayden). Some of them might be up though, thinking about the game, doing the mental preparation that is oh so important in this game, yet so often overlooked.

Our opponent opposite the bracket found themselves in a close one yesterday. Everyone talked about how they hoped there would be an upset, and I joined in that conversation. But truthfully, I don't want an upset. I want 1 vs. 2 out there tomorrow. I don't want to see David and Goliath, because we all know how that goes, and sometimes Goliath wins anyway. I want to see Goliath vs. Goliath.

But they aren't there yet. They have to win today.

And you know what? Even if they don't, even if they lose today, one day they'll look back and say, "Remember that time we won a game at state? That hasn't been done since, has it? Remember how many points I scored? Remember how proud the town was?"

You're damn right I'm proud. This town, this Okay town, is my life. I will empty all I am into it until it shines or until I die, and I'm even prouder to say that I don't stand alone in that objective.

So go fight today, boys. Go win the chance to take on that other Goliath. You'll hear us in the stands, and if you don't, feel free to come over and remind us that we're not Okay.

We're freaking great.