After the game ended, I got texts and e-mails from a few people telling me to keep my chin up, that Ole Miss would fight on Tuesday, etc. Some asked if I was still glad I had gone to Omaha. A few State fans mocked the Olemaha hashtag on twitter, assuming we were just feeling terrible about stuff.
If I could have shown them my face ten minutes after the game was over, they'd know that I was still happy to have been there. There never came a point during the weekend where I second-guessed my decision to come to Omaha. It has been wonderful. I've spent time with great friends, met good new people, and had a blast. Today, I'm going to a zoo where I hear there's an area where gorillas bang on the clear ceiling above you (if that exists, I'll definitely take pictures).
An opening round loss doesn't diminish things for me. Sure, I wish Ole miss had won. I don't pretend to be an actual journalist who can't cheer for a team. I wish Ole Miss had won. That would have made the trip even more fun.
But Ole Miss losing 2-1 to UVA didn't diminish anything. This team has fought all season long, proving doubters like myself wrong at every turn. They've earned mountains of respect and support. Mike Bianco has been fantastic this season. They're going to set their sights on coming out of the loser's bracket to send Virginia or TCU home, and who are we to say it won't happen?
I also got a lot of texts about Bianco's decision to pitch to Mike Papi. As you'll see in the Tweet of the Day, there are a lot of people who thought it was a poor choice. I do too, but sometimes you just make decisions based on how you're feeling at the time. Obviously, Mike Bianco felt like the best course of action was to pitch to Papi. It's not as if he didn't know that you could intentionally walk someone.
Regardless, the game was fantastic, and there were clutch performances from a multitude of players on both teams (save for Ole Miss' offense, really).
The team has to be encouraged by the number of fans who made the trip to Omaha. You see red everywhere you look, and the crowd got into the cheers as much as one could expect given the fact that such a large number were just there to watch and didn't really care about who won.
I heard it over and over again yesterday. People kept saying things like, "y'all travel really well." Ole Miss continues to develop its reputation as a fan base that supports its successful programs. There's strong support for the postseason at Ole Miss, and that's a good thing for which to be known.
Tweet of the Day
I probably would have walked Papi there and take my chances with Joe McCarthy again. But hindsight is hindsight. Big win for the #Hoos.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogersPG) June 16, 2014
After a less accurate attempt lead me to ask this group to go back and do it again...
This guy came prepared...
And this girl is being raised right...