Longhorns’ Triumph Leaves Us Breathless


Excuse us. We really are gonna write this. Just gotta catch our breaths.

But ever since Saturday, every time we even think about the Longhorns, we need the vapors. Got an appointment Wednesday to get our blood pressure checked.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Where’d we put that paper bag?

Ahhh. Better. Now then. What were we saying?

Oh, yeah. The Longhorns.

Oh my gosh.

One sec … (breathe in, breathe out).

Frankly, we’re kind of speechless, guys.

You know we’re so proud we’re drooling and babbling, right guys? Coach? You know, right? Not just the hundreds of fans who drove to Flagstaff, suffered through the first half, reminded themselves winning isn’t everything at halftime, screamed themselves hoarse in the second half, chewed off the tips of their fingers during the two overtime periods and went stark raving mad with the final unbelievable point. And not just the people who trailed you home in the middle of the night and rode down the closed Beeline behind the honking fire trucks.

But all of us. Even people who have never even been to Payson — but read about your impossible halftime hole and your triumphant comeback.

You see, you’ve taught us something precious.

For above all, this victory revealed character — and heart. By any measure at halftime, Blue Ridge should have won that game.

But you guys wanted it more. You believed, no matter the odds, no matter the evidence, no matter the mutters and the easy shrugs.

So we cheer and cry and jump up and down and buy the room a round, because we so desperately need that lesson — the knowledge that you can come back from 20 points against the best (well, second best) team in the state. Heck if that’s true — then maybe it doesn’t really matter what the stock market does or what some boss says — as long as we’re willing to pay the toll in pain and sweat — and then get up grinning every time they knock us down.

We needed the lesson — and the excuse to cheer.

So we thank you for that — all the boys, and all the coaches who schooled them, and the parents who nurtured them and the friends who lifted them up with their glad cries.

And in the meantime, we’ve learned one other useful lesson for next season.

If you’re gonna go watch a Longhorns game — better bring a paper bag and the vapors.


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