"By approaching our daily lives remaining focused to do everything with the wisdom of our experiences and the energy of our youth, we can continue to seize our opportunities and achieve beyond what we can ever imagine."
December 26, 2015. Most people will remember this day as having been during the holiday. Others maybe as the day after Christmas. And maybe even more specifically, as the day they saw the long anticipated Stars Wars sequel. I however will never remember that day for any of those things. Instead, I will remember it as the day a streak came to an end and as one of the best sporting memories I will ever have. The cherry on top? I got to spend it all with my father.
Duke 44 - Indiana 41. For the first time in 54 years, Duke football won a bowl game - the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Hell may have officially frozen over for a day, we're still waiting on confirmation. For anyone that knows me personally, you probably know how big of a deal this was for me.
Ordinarily I would have thought that winning a bowl game would have been the event that marked Duke footballs rise from the ashes to finally be considered a somewhat legitimate football program. Oddly though, I am left with a completely unanticipated emotion. Disappointment. Disappointment in the season as a whole. Duke started the season 6-1, and then proceeded to tank after a heartbreaking and controversial finish against Miami, dropping 4 of its last 5 games of the season. They finished the regular season at 7-5 and limped into Pinstripe Bowl. How far has this program come over the last several years for me and many other Duke football fans to be able to sit here after a winning season that culminated in a bowl victory and still feel disappointed? I think it says a tremendous amount about the rise of the program and that the benchmark of relevance was hit before this past season even began.
Something that surprises even myself to say, the expectation has shifted from whether or not we'll be bowl eligible to which bowl game we'll be competing in (that is pretty amazing). And, for the first time in my life I'm able to refer to a Blue Devils football team as a team of Champions. The heartbreak of the previous 3 bowl games will never truly go away, but this feels pretty good at the moment.
Hear that Bama? We're coming for you. Roll Devils.