As I said on the day after the crazy night, the Gators did just enough to leapfrog (perhaps scramble is a more apt description) over the Wolverines, the reptilian over the mammalian. And a wolverine refers to “a stocky shaggy-coated North American carnivorous mammal” according to onelook.com.
After a roller coaster SEC Championship game marked by alternating series of dumb fumbles and brilliant punting, the Gators finally prevailed over the Razorbacks, and over the human votes too that make up two-thirds of the basis for the BCS decision (the remaining one third being the computer system).
So in one breath, sort of, the Gators have managed to reclaim the crown of SEC football (see the official stamp of victory to the right courtesy of the official website of the Florida Gators) and the opportunity to be the only team who has beaten the Buckeyes in 2006, hence ascending the pinnacle of collegiate football, again. An even more rare distinction in collegiate sports awaits too, back to back champions, though in two sports, the Gators having captured the NCAA Basketball National Championship in 2005.
So started a mad rush to get bowl tickets to the arid country that is Arizona come January 8. This comes exactly on the 10th anniversary of the first ever National Championship for the Gator Nation, back in 1996. I was not able to savor the maiden win then as I had left for home one year earlier upon graduation. But this time, if the Gators win, I would not miss the chance to celebrate the victory, as an alumnus, for the second time. And that’s a promise.
One night earlier, i.e., the night before the crazy one, my D’s school also won a ticket to the State 4A High School football final to be played in Miami on Dec 9. This is the very first that the Panthers have even gone this far, having been beaten several times in the semi-finals back in the 1970s, and so I was told. The pride written all over my D's face says it all.
For the event, the school, HB Plant High, has chartered several buses to ferry students to Miami to support their team, for a fee of course, on the day of the game. It’s a long journey no doubt, close to 300 miles one way, but my D is seriously considering making the trip, provided it’s in the company of her coterie of friends.
Still on sports, but half way around the world from here, the 15th Asian Games opened with fanfare at Doha, Qatar on Dec 1. But my wife told me that the gala opening ceremony was a near washout as rain, to the tune of the average annual total, poured down on that fateful day.
I just checked the official game website, and note that in the medal tally, Malaysian is currently at the joint 11th position (with Indonesia), having garnered a gold, a silver and a bronze. China is a distant first with 69, more than half are in gold.
While Malaysia has never been a sports powerhouse in the context of Asia, she has won her fair share of medals. I would be checking the website periodically for the next ten days or so (the game closes on Dec 15) to see how my country athletes are doing, thanks to the Internet. Surpassing past achievements? Reliving past glory? Further sliding into oblivion? I shall see.