The last couple of posts, on this very blog, started up a conversation at my homestead with my friendly and roomie, Morgh-anne (SHOUT OUT), about life-changing days. Because this is the internets and I am the sole proprietor of this very blog, I can start a series of posts on days that have changed my life and because you are bored at work you will read it (I'm starting to really love how that works).
April 4, 1994.
I will never forget this day.
I will never forget rushing up the drive-way of my house from school on that Monday afternoon. It was sunny. It was the first year I ever remember paying attention to the NCAA Tournament because one of Russellville's very own, Corliss Williamson, was the golden boy of college basketball that year.
I'll spare the details about the length of my hair (short as hell, like a mushroom and not at all attractive) and what I was wearing, but I will tell you we ate pizza. We ate pizza and we called the Hogs. We ate pizza, we called the Hogs and we prayed.
I think this was honestly the first time I ever consciously prayed for something and knew what I was praying for and why I was praying for it (And please, please remember I was 11. Now, I only pray for the Razorback football team, I skip basketball all together).
I remember the second-half of the game being very much back-and-forth. A struggle, if you will. My father instructed my Brosef (SHOUT OUT) and I to sit on the floor and send the Razorbacks "good vibes" while they shot free-throws. At one point my Brosef was undoubtedly convinced that Clint McDaniel was making free-throws because he was sitting in the floor of our living room humming and chanting, while sitting Indian-style. And you know what? We were all so elated about Clint making those free-throws that no one had the heart to tell him that he had nothing to do with it. For the only time that I can remember growing up my family threw reality out the window.
Arkansas hit a three-pointer with 50 seconds left on the clock and that shot ultimately sealed their fate. They were the NCAA National Champions and my family was in Hog Heaven.
That day changed my life for a number of reasons. First off, I truly believed Jesus cared about that basketball game and that he answered my prayers. I wanted to pray to him forever after that. It seems like he stopped listening to my prayers about basketball games though sometime when I started suiting up for the Russellville High School Lady Cyclones. Surely, if he was listening we would've won more than 12 games in my last two seasons. Oopsies, J-Man. Second, it brought my family together like only a basketball game could. The memories of watching that game with my parents and my Brosef are some of the sweetest I have from my childhood. And last, it gave me something to believe in. Watching Corliss Williamson, a kid who grew up not too far from me, do something so awesome convinced me I could do the same. From that day on, up until the day Jesus stopped answering my basketball prayers, I too was convinced I was going to win a national championship.
Oh, to be a Razorback fan and hold on to things that happened in 1994 and will absolutely never happen again while I am still kicking it breathing style... Cheers.