The other day I went out with some friends and had a few drinks. This is not a unique experience for me; as a twenty-two-year-old collegian, I often find myself out on the town testing Omaha’s finest establishments on Saturday nights.
What was interesting about this was the feedback I received the next day. I was told by a friend that I am a much more pleasant “drunk person” to be around in the summer, and her reasoning was that there are no Creighton athletic events occurring. So, in theory, instead of rowdy drinking spurred by a thrilling Creighton soccer victory,* obligatory drinking required by the Creighton basketball drinking game,** or depressed drinking brought on by another devastating loss, I drink socially simply because of the freedom and laid back-ness offered by the slow, hot months.
[*The existence of such a thing is doubtful.]
[**One drink every time Nick Bahe says “triple;” two drinks every time Kaleb Korver adjusts his hair or shorts; finish your beer and bang your head against the wall every time Dana Altman makes a hockey-esque line change; take shots until you forget that we just lost to Iona; etc.]
What does this say about me? Well, besides for pointing out some deeper problems that I probably have, it puts a bit of a spotlight on how difficult it has been to be a Creighton fan these last couple years – what seems like near miss after near miss combined with some uncharacteristically underachieving teams has led to more than our share of disappointing moments and perhaps an instance or two of over-imbibing.
But I also think this says something else about the Creighton fan base and Creighton athletics in general.
First, it’s an undeniable fact that, when it’s broken down to its most basic levels, it has sucked to be a Creighton fan these last, say, three years: no NCAA tournaments for men’s basketball; two straight heart-shattering losses for the women’s basketball team in the MVC Tournament final; four straight walk off/last inning NCAA Tournament losses and counting for the softball team; an MVC Championship loss for the baseball team even after it was presented with more chances than O.J. Simpson; one of the worst snubbings in NCAA Volleyball Tournament history; the men’s soccer team’s first NCAA Tournament miss in 17 years.
Seriously – why would anyone ever be a Creighton fan? It’s been truly painful. No one, if given the choice, should want or choose to be a Creighton fan.
But yet, here we are. You’ve come here to read this, a random fan’s musings among trillions and trillions that can be found on the Interwebz. Why? Because – somehow, inexplicably, for some reason – you’re a Creighton fan. And those are the types of fans that truly deserve the title great fans. It’s easy to be a Duke fan, a North Carolina fan, a UCLA fan. Heck, it’s even easy to be a fan of that bigger school down the Interstate.
It’s not easy to be a Creighton fan. Logic says no one should want to be a Creighton fan. But still Creighton fans show up. They show up enough that they built the Ryan Center and D.J. Sokol Arena, that they moved into the Qwest Center, that they built Morrison Stadium and that they’ll be moving into the sparkling TD Ameritrade Park*.
[*They’ve showed up so much that six of Creighton’s seven first-tier sports will play in facilities that rank in the top five to ten in the country. That’s amazing.]
And you know why we show up? It’s not because we’ve really never won anything. At least I hope not. It’s because sometimes we do win. And when we win, it’s way better than when those other teams win. And guess what? One of these years, in one of these sports, we’re going to do something crazy again, like go back to the College World Series or climb into the top 10 in the men’s basketball polls. And then, one of these years, we’re going to win a national championship, and it won’t be like when Nebraska wins national championships or when UCLA wins national championships. It’ll be better. It will most definitely be better.
About a week ago, I sent a friend this text as I was waiting for my food order at a restaurant: “Let’s go Jays.” He responded, “Did something good happen?”
I thought about it for a minute, considering his question, the beginning of another Creighton Athletic season looming – the women’s soccer team is scheduled to kick things off on Sunday with an exhibition match.
“Not in like 10 years. But only 18 days until we get to try again.”