You experienced some severe pain on an April evening 12 months ago. You hurled your phone, you spit out some choice words — you might have even promised to never get emotionally invested in a sports team again.
It’s hard to blame you. The pain was real, and you will never forget the feeling in your stomach. You’ll never look at the number 4.7 the same again. You’ll always guard the inbounder in your weekly pickup game.
But let me remind you for a minute that you weren’t on the court last April when Kris Jenkins’ shot went in. It wasn’t your head that the confetti fell on. Those weren’t your eyes that shed tears on sweat-soaked jerseys in the locker room after the game. Nor were they your feet that stepped inside the Smith Center to practice once again.
But they did.
Yeah, those guys who you are on a first-name basis with. Those guys whose jerseys you wear. Those guys who want nothing more than to bring back a trophy to Chapel Hill.
They could have lain down. This team could have said, “We had our chance, and we’ll never climb the mountain again. It’s not in us. We climbed to the top, took a glance at the prize and were shoved abruptly to the floor.”
But they didn’t.
They laced up their sneakers, tucked away the memories of yesterday and swore to ascend that same mountain — where they could look down from the summit before stretching their hands out to cut down the nets.