I have never been a huge basketball fan and I certainly have never been more than an awful 'player' of the sport. Born short and with miniscule hands, 'roundball' never appealed to me and I never really got to know it at all, as a kid or adult (Oh God, am I one of those?). I was fairly good at 'football' (aka soccer!) playing on both my high school and college teams. The dance and grace of leggy folk floating through the air in baggy shorts never quite got me intrigued...I have never filled in a bracket; never gotten all that into the Madness. And though the older I get the more I make peace with 'high desert springtime', I will still probably always yearn more for autumn goalposts than spring nets...BUT, today more than any other day however, Albuquerque is a basketball town and RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. The LOBOS play a Round Two game in the biggest dance of the millennium (and maybe the last millennium as well).

IT SNOWED in the Duke City environs this morning. This may be the magic sign we need from the Basketball gods.

After just losing a whole decade to post 911 craziness, this year, this the next decade, has brought a change of direction for me on many levels and one of my most obvious about-faces is my new LOVE FOR THE LOBOS and at least for the momento, all things basketball. Yesterday, I glued a cut-out bracket into a folder and have been busy penciling in the winners. Among them our first round winners, UNM Men and NIT winners, the Lady Lobos. Heck, even Las Cruces and the AGGIES have made a splash in the National Spotlight (lost yesterday). With all the earth-quake-horrible-day-to-day headlines recently, there has been a huge rush of just pure pride and fun-loving when it comes to this year's feeling of success in the big time picture. This has been a welcome change from the usual Top Ten Negative Lists Nuevo Meheeko usually scores well on.

Writers Pat Conroy and Sherman Alexie often write about their personal churches of basketball. I have never qiite gotten on their basketball bus. But last weekend, I totally enjoyed joining over five thousand people at the FREE Selection Day get together at THE PIT. I felt this afternoon gathering qwas a little like an Albuquerque Woodstockian moment..5000+ people having fun and just fun..No fights/car wrecks/nothing...It was a wonderful day to share with other red-shirts. We have collectively needed a lift and thank you LOBOS for providing this big boosting lift for our city and state.

Whatever happens today, this has been a year that has surprisingly brought this non-basketballer into the fray. There is a happy union of folks shopping the aisles of Wal*Mart or Trader Joe's wearing red shirts and talking LOBO SPEAK. All walks of life of our enchanted citizenry seem at least a touch caught up in woof-woof-woofing. Our former Mayor coined a term (made it a bumpersticker, in fact) GOOD FOR YOU, ALBUQUERQUE...Without Albuquerque's support, the UNM LOBOS would not be breathing their current rarified air. And thanks to the Lobos, we too can breathe deep the high altitude deliciousness of being a small part of a national spotlight.

It would've been so typical LOBO to have lost in Round One but WE didn't...WE WON. And today for Round Two, EVERYONE'S A LOBO...WE ARE NEW MEXICO...And LOUIS LOBO is on the Cover of Sports Illustrated.

This just in from NASA Science News...Tonight over Albuquerque, the crescent Moon and the Pleiades star cluster are gathering for a beautiful close encounter. Maybe the skies willl clear by tonight so we can see this...Get the Full Story at NASA.

Here's a listing of all the seedlings still available from the NM State Division of Forestry for your home/farm/commercial property...Order 'em now as they are going fast...Almost FREE SEEDLINGS.

And there's less than 24 hours until the NEW SEASON of Br Ba (Breaking Bad) begins on AMC.

Happy First Day of Spring...GO LOBOS.

[Photography © 2010 Jeff Hartzer]

Views: 51

Comment by Jeff Hartzer on March 20, 2010 at 6:11pm
OUCH...Not enough green chile verde in San Jose?
Not enough altitude at sea level?
Roman Martinez has to replace his bloodied shirt and takes four stitches to stay in a painful game where nothing seemed to fly for the 8th ranked team in the nation.

It was a one-sided affair with U Dub taking the Pac Ten to the Sweet 16; leaving the Lobos to heal the wounds of the final two games from this year's historic run at March Madness. And when the Kansas Jayhawks go down too, you know why it is called March Madness.
Thanks for a great year Lobos...So long, RO. We'll watch for you in the NBA.
Comment by Adelita on March 21, 2010 at 8:38am
It was an awesome season for the Lobos. Win or lose, I'll always be a fan!
Comment by Debra Landau on March 21, 2010 at 12:51pm
Feeling better this afternoon after yesterday's heartbreaking loss. The best dogs won. If the Huskies continue to perform as they did yesterday, they may well go all the way. I'll miss Roman, but it will be nice to welcome the rest of the squad back next season. Apparently, a blanket of snow is a just a colder version of raining on one's parade! Ah, but our fair city was a lovely sight yesterday morning, was it not?


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