I was born on the year of the Play. You know, "the most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heart-rending, exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football." Being born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and with two generations of Cal alumni in my family, the first thing I learned about football was the lateral pass.
Twenty nine years later, I find myself in New Jersey, leaving the West Coast behind and coming to Jersey to start a new chapter in my life. I came east to start a new career by going to law school at Rutgers-Newark. I remember at orientation one of my classmates, asking my if I would be homesick for California. My reply was simple; I can video chat my parents, my fiancee is here, I'm two stops away from New York City (I used to live two stops away from San Francisco) and there's D-I football. In other words, I think I can feel at home here. He told me, "it's Rutgers, they'll find a way to break your heart." How prescient.
It is truly fitting that I am here at Rutgers. While the academics may not be as elite as Berkeley, football wise, the Scarlet Knights and the Golden Bears are much alike. A flagship state university where athletics have been de-emphasized throughout much of its history. A coach who in recent years turned a football laughingstock into a respectable program. A program that has been on the verge of "the next level" but failing to reach it.
This season, I was more than pleasantly surprised RU football. Cal had been struggling as of late and staying up late to watch West Coast games just doesn't really work out well in practice. It was nice to hang my hat on this program and feel the energy of this magical season, even in Newark. From the hot start to the Big Ten invite, this was truly a magical season. But alas, nothing can be perfect, and the regular season had to end on such a bittersweet note.
Tonight, was painful. An outright Big East Championship and a BCS bid was there for the taking, but Louisville, with a gimp QB with one hand won the Big East Exit Bowl.
I may be new to this community, but trust me, I feel your pain. If this was a Cal blog and we were discussing a Cal result, we'd shrug our shoulders and say these are the times that turn young men into Old Blues. This feeling has dogged me my entire life as a college football fan. It totally and completely sucks. While tonight's game was entertaining and good, moral victories are not enough.
Despite everything, I am proud to be a part of the Rutgers community.
Well, there's still a bowl game to be played and there will always be next year.