Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hawaii 5-0

Yesterday was such a wonderful day in so many ways.

I woke up, ran eight solid miles in 48 degree darkness (9:38/mile pace) and then headed to the Vanderbilt campus for 13 hours of fun. Yes, 13 hours - from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Six signs in tow, Will and I headed to ESPN's College Gameday at 8. It seemed like every fan had a sign in the surreal setting. Some of my favorites included "You people are blocking the library," "Hey Kirk - The SEC drew straws and it's Vanderbilt's turn to beat Ohio State in a bowl," and "Which is worse - Auburn's offense or the economy?" We like the Buckeyes, but that was funny.

Will and I set up our tailgate, relaxed for awhile and then threw the football before friends cycled through to eat or just say hello. Dori stopped by, predicting a 10-3 Auburn win. I gave her a Corso-like "not so fast, my friend" and predicted 16-13 Vanderbilt. Will said 21-10 Auburn. After our friend, John, who drove down from Cincinnati with two of his boys, arrived, we went to the Star Walk to cheer the players into the stadium.

The game started poorly for VU. Auburn did whatever they wanted in the first quarter, missing an important extra point on the way to a 13-0 lead. The 12,000 Auburn fans were acting like a blowout was imminent; maybe you're right, I thought, but I've seen a lot of resilience from this group. I've noticed some of Vandy's players call each other family, not teammates ... just like in the movie, "Miracle on Ice," the Hollywood version of the 1980 U.S. Hockey Team's improbable run to a gold medal.

Vanderbilt dominated the rest of the game, winning 14-13. Our fans were euphoric througout, sensing not just accomplishment but the exorcism of many demons that had visited Vanderbilt Stadium over the years. No one had a better take than this reporter with a very well written account.

To put it mildly, we've been celebrating Vandy's 5-0 start since last night. My friend Al, John and his boys, and Will and I came home and watched most of a replay of the game. We watched the Gameday broadcast this morning, and voila, there was Will holding up the "Revenge of the Nerds!" sign Kathryn made. Wanna see an eight-year-old smile? That pretty much will do it every time.

As good as all this was, the best part was reaching a one-year milestone. Yesterday a year ago, Dori checked into VUMC for her bone marrow transplant. Dori and I just looked at each several times yesterday with warm, thankful smiles - like we've been given the tremendous gift we have. Oct. 10 is her one-year "birthday" accepting Hans' marrow.

At today's cross country, Will and Kathryn turned in PRs. Will ran a 7:08 mile, even though he stopped to help a kid retrieve a shoe, while Kathryn ran a 7:46. Dori was most proud Will helped someone he didn't know.


PJ said...

Sounds like a perfect day. I agree: This year's so much better than last.

Ronni Gordon said...

Dori looks great!
Congratulations on the anniversary!!!!!!!

Ann said...

Happy birthday, Dori!