Tuesday, March 18, 2008

22...Thank You

It's 1 o' clock in the morning and it's over. It's a little depressing, a little sad, and a lot deflating. Yeah, it had to end sometime. But as each tip-off came I was praying tonight wasn't the night this incredibly improbable streak was going to end.

I think the boys just ran out of gas, ran out of emotions, and crashed into a wall that they couldn't break through. I don't think I've ever been more proud of a group of athletes representing our city. The Rockets overcame so much along the way of this streak and kept that collective heart beating harder, faster, stronger and proved themselves to be better, no matter the competition. And then the Celtics came to town and matched them emotionally, overmatched them in talent and walked away with the victory. They got the bounces the Rockets had been getting, they got the plays the Rockets had been making, they got the win the Rockets had been collecting. And so it goes.

The biggest reason I didn't want this streak to end was because I was absolutely amazed and excited about how everyone else was getting excited. People who couldn't name more than Tracy and Yao two weeks ago were asking me where they could get Mike Harris jerseys. People were nominating every single Rocket-related person for an award. People were texting me after games to ask who's next and could I get tickets (for the last time, no). Strangers in elevators were asking each other if the Rockets played that night. Guys who've watched one game this season used Get Out of Jail Free cards to watch the Lakers' game with the fellas.

C'mon Houston, don't lose this feeling. This team may have lost tonight, it may lose tomorrow, but if this streak has shown us anything it's that anything, ANYTHING can happen and wouldn't it be great if it happened here again. It's a helluva lot more fun and thrilling to BELIEVE than it is to doubt. Don't give up on this team. Don't give up on this season. Don't give up because of one loss, or two, or three.

Believe and maybe before all is said and done this season the boys will make you feel like you felt after that Novak game winner, after Landry power flushed another one home, after Battier hit the floor again, after Deke gave someone the finger, after Rafer nailed a 3 despite you screaming 'NO!!!' when it left his hands, after Scola took a charge from a 300 pound beast and then got up and carefully tucked his hair behind his ears, after Chuck Hayes shot a crazy-looking free throw that somehow went in, after Luther bombed a 3, after Tracy gave that look and rained in jumper after jumper, after that Kings win, after that Hornets blowout, after that Lakers win. Those feelings, those are the feelings that only sports and the athletes representing your city can bestow.

Why not here?

Why not now?

After all this is Houston,

Where Clutch City Happens

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