The San Diego State men’s basketball team held a three-point lead heading into halftime on Wednesday night in Wyoming. Not great, but what we’d seen early on looked pretty encouraging. The Aztecs had survived a barrage of early 3s and were dominating the glass. If things kept going like they were going, it was easy to see how this could turn into a blowout in the second half.
And … well … it did turn into a blowout. I was technically not wrong, folks!
SDSU followed its epic Gonzaga win and opened Mountain West Conference play by slipping on fresh road apple and falling face-first into a cow patty. Or as they call it in Laramie, Wyo., “enjoying the local nightlife.”
SDSU lost 82-69 to the Cowboys, thanks to some insanely-hot shooting by the new top-vote getter on our Most Despised Player list (more on him later). Another culprit was the 7,200-foot elevation that made the Aztecs look like they were playing defense and rebounding while wearing a diving bell at the bottom of the sea.
Say, see if you can spot where things started to go wrong. Look closely now, it’s subtle.
San Diego State football has given its fans so much these past seven seasons; things that we never dared imagine a decade ago. Seven bowl appearances. Four wins vs. Pac-12 teams, including three in a row. Appearances in the rankings and the expectation that the Aztecs should be nationally respectable every single year.
Saturday, San Diego State football decided to give some stuff away. The Armed Forces Bowl. A potential Top-25 ranking. A storybook ending to Rashaad Penny’s incredible Aztecs career.
IT WAS NOT PARTICULARLY ENJOYABLE.
Straight blew it smh , all we had to do was give Penny the damn ball . The man averaged damn near 30 Yards per carry .
Army beat the Aztecs 42-35, the final score owing to some final play silliness. But really it was a two-point conversion capping off a 5-minute drive that gave the Black Knights the 1-point winning margin. It was a methodical, excruciating, seemingly inevitable go-ahead TD march.
The court storming was denied, with extreme prejudice.
As the final tenth of a second ticked off in the San Diego State men’s basketball team’s 72-70 upset of No. 12 Gonzaga on Thursday night at Viejas, a couple dozen scruffy students made a run at a handful of Elite Security’s finest. The wave was repulsed, with one particularly rambunctious student getting hauled away into the tunnel by the enraged off-brand Pinkertons.
It was honestly kind of a shame. If ever there was a game that deserved a court storming — a sweet release of two and a half years of unrealized expectations and general malaise — this was it.
The Aztecs didn’t beat just any ranked opponent. This was Mark Few’s mid-major blue blood, a reloaded squad that returned two key starters off a team that was 7 points shy of the National Damn Championship just a few months ago. This is easily SDSU’s most significant regular season win since Kansas at Phog Allen in 2014. And unlike that time, I don’t think any of us really saw it coming.
One of the most disturbing things the #metoo movement has uncovered in the past several weeks — besides all those disgusting creepers, that is — is the way we’re often prone to selective outrage based on our tribal affiliations. Scroll through Politics Twitter (note: do not scroll through Politics Twitter) and you’ll see people doing the mental gymnastics necessary to develop seemingly conflicting takes depending on the party of the accused — all in the name of their side “winning.”
Sports fandom is equally fertile ground for this kind of tortured thinking. We wrap up our identities in the exploits of people we think we know, but don’t really know, leading otherwise reasonable people to excuse and openly cheer for deeply flawed people accused of all manner of terrible misdeeds.