Idaho head coach Robb Akey (AP Photo)
We finished 2009 on a high note with my alma mater, and really the only sports team I follow closely, the University of Idaho Vandals, turning in an almost magical performance in the Humanitarian Bowl down in Boise.
Maybe you saw the thrilling ending to the game, when Idaho drove down the field, scored a touchdown, and then opted for a 2-point conversion as the clock was running out.
Or maybe you were among the group of people I was watching with. Many of them got up and left the Kroc Center lounge when Bowling Green scored their go-ahead touchdown with just 30 seconds left in the game.
They were certain it was all over.
One man muttered as he walked out, “I knew they’d lose this game.”
I looked around at the near empty room and thought, “Am I the only optimist around here?”
I’m always telling my kids things like, “Never give up,” and “Finish what you started.”
So I sat and watched that last half-minute, and witnessed one of the most exciting finishes I’ve seen to a football game in quite some time.
Made even more sweet because I’ve been loyal to my team for, well, for a very long time. It’s been 25 years since I watched my first Vandal game, but it’s been the last decade that tested the patience of most fans.
But I never gave up.
Goonies, or in this case Vandals, never say die.
A good lesson for the kids, who witnessed NONE OF IT because they were having too much fun swimming in the pool. Which is as it should be.
Thank goodness for YouTube, they got to see the highlights. Over and over and over.