Saturday, March 14, 2015

Be true to your skool

If you are a college basketball person, you're well aware that the NCAA's Tournament Week is in its waning days and hours.

Hearts are broken, heroes are made, tickets are punched, dance cards are crushed. These conference tournaments largely determines who goes on to The Dance -- aka, the national college basketball championship. Oh, the humanity.

My date and I are Zags -- as in Gonzaga University. The Bulldogs. They are not strangers to the NCAA tournament. Past teams have gotten there via the West Coast Conference tournament as its champion. And, I believe they've gotten there via a wild card slot maybe once or twice. Being a WCC champion is preferable. And each time it's magical.

This year's championship game was Tuesday -- against my our arch nemesis: Brigham Young University. They handed us a very regrettable loss at home last month. Bermtopia and its many outposts across the world, eg, The Beav, very nearly imploded in grief. But not quite.

An email from my college pal Oms was just the call to action needed. She had spied an alumni game day meet-up on Facebook. It was happening at a sports bar in downtown Portland's Pearl District.

Bona. fide. It was on Facebook.

Did I want to meet up? she asked. Hell yes.

Yep. That's us.
We arrived within 10 minutes of each other -- jauntily bedecked in our 100% cotton GU T-shirts.

No fellow alums.

No worries. We got down to it, eschewing our usual 60-something-ladylike glasses of wine for an IPA and pilsner because THAT's what real Bulldogs do. We succumbed to a hummus plate, however. (I refuse to discuss the "totchas,"  which involved tater tots, melted cheese and salsa. Some things that happen on the road, stay on the road. And on the hips.)

We appropriated a couple comfy sofas in front of a fire place with strategically placed big-screen TVs. The bar keep assured us that all TVs except one (a hold-out to hockey. . . really?) would carry the GU game.

And awaited the alumni meet-up.

About 5 minutes before tip-off, a fresh-faced young man in a GU T-shirt wandered in.

Class of 2014! mechanical engineer! Oms and I, of course, looked like we could be his mother and a doting auntie.

(I should point out here that it would be genetically impossible for either of us to be a mechanical engineer's mother and doting auntie: We were, after all, liberal arts majors.)

Dan, the mechanical engineer, recovered nicely after meeting the mother and doting auntie he never knew he had, ordered a brewski and hummus plate, and offered to scout out the basement bar for more Zags.

Sure enough, the gang was downstairs. In all their 20- to 30-something glory. Nevertheless, they embraced the possibility that a couple of 60-something ladies could pull on their 100-percent-cotton-Bulldog-embellished T-shirts and show up at a sports bar for game day.

We were Zags! We cheered! We booed! There were door prizes! We didn't win! But the Bulldogs did! And kicked BYU's butt!

Best of all, The Kids let us stick around to play Trivial Pursuit after the game.

Oms and I nailed the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club dog show question. And came up with a few countries intersected by the Equator. You're welcome!

In all, Mom's Night the Gonzaga alumni meet-up was a rip-roaring success.

And did I mention, the basement bar was awesome?

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