(In a backstreet bar in Nashville, an effusive soul bursts into a dark, smoky room. Purple and sadness fill the air.)
Hey guys! Hey, what’s wrong? Why so morose?
Oh, yeah. I get it. Losing isn’t fun. Losing to the SEC’s Northwestern is even worse. But let’s look on the bright side!
We all have that nightmare. The one where you show up to a date and can’t do anything but speak gibberish and have to fart the whole time.* Or where you go to law school and the books are written in a foreign language.** Or your elite basketball team loses to the 2013 version of TCU’s basketball team. Or showering in gym class for the first time.
*I may be revealing a bit too much about myself here.
**This is one is actually true, but what they don’t tell you is that they teach you the language.
For K-State, this was that game. Let’s count down the things Miss Cleo couldn’t have predicted.
· Jesse Ertz, previously connecting on 70 percent of his passes, went 10-28 on the day.
· The wide receivers, previously impressively sure-handed, had a worse case of the dropsies than an acute edema patient.
· Kendall Adams scored after recovering a Kyle Shurmur fumble, but
the SEC replay officials screwed K-State the officials ruled Shurmur down on questionable evidence.
· DJ Reed’s punt-return touchdown was negated by a needless penalty.
Vandy’s defense was impressive, maybe the best defense we will see this year. No really, maybe! And yet, even against that defense, with our offense having its worst game since the Moonshine Incident in Morgantown last year, and a little bit of bad luck from the officiating crew and a lack of discipline that may even cause Bill Snyder to raise his voice, K-State still had a chance to tie late.
So, what if Dominique Heath hadn’t dropped a pass that would have given K-State first and goal at the five-yard line with a minute to play and a timeout? That’s as close to a sure thing as possible with K-State’s
Cro-Magnon goalline formation.
Now, what if the officials had
not conspired to screw K-State ruled the evidence insufficient to overturn Shurmur’s fumble that led to Adams’ score?
And what if Brogan Berry hadn’t rudely bumped into a Vandy defender’s backside on Reed’s punt return for a touchdown?
Or what if K-State’s wide receivers hadn’t dropped five other passes that would’ve gained yardage and softened up Vandy’s aggressive pursuit of K-State’s run game?
And hey, maybe if a career 40-45 field goal kicker had hit a 42-yard kick?
OK, fine, the “what if” game is a waste of time. Perfection is unattainable, and the opponent made mistakes on plays it would like to have back, too, blah blah blah. But tonight, Vandy found the favor of the gods in both balance and magnitude of mistakes. K-State’s luck and execution tonight were the envy of Charlie Brown, and they still could have tied the game and had a chance in overtime.
And don’t sell Vandy short! Have those words ever been said unironically before? But seriously, look at the rest of the SEC East! It’s the late-aughts Big 12 North. They could actually win it! Nobody can score points so they all think they’re good at defense. Except Vandy actually is pretty good on defense! So what if they couldn’t score at last call the night that Magic Mike opened? That just means they fit right in!
Look, it’s going to be OK. K-State’s defense is better than we thought, or at least they can slap people around inside a phone booth. And when they get back to Manhattan, Snyder will call Dana Dimel to his office and kindly suggest he remove his anterior from his posterior. He’s a wizard, and he’ll be back in Kansas, after all! We didn’t lose a conference game, guys! And those terrible dreams I mentioned are dreams for a reason! They rarely happen!
(Through the dark and haze, a surly figure has had enough and rises from his seat.)
Wait, are you… (thump)
(To be continued)