I've been a loud, vocal critic of OSU's current head basketball coach.
I'm still convinced he is not the answer if Cowboys Hoops is trying to return to tournament greatness.
But I'm 100% behind him winning games. Can't pound on him for the losses if credit is not given for the wins.
And yesterday, he gets a huge A+.
We watch sports for a variety of reasons. Yesterday, this was the reason we watched:
If you aren't into this, I can't help you.
It's a common theme in psychological circles that the energy generated by emotions needs to be released. Holding things in rarely results in good things.
Sports is a shining example of that.
We obsess on it because it brings us together. Sometimes not in good ways, but it brings us together none the less.
It's not about the upsets, or beating the big boys. It's about the pent up stress and anxiety we all feel attempting to will our team to a win in a moment where we have absolutely no control. Remember the Bedlam OT win in GIA from 2013?
Imagine the way the energy would have been sucked out of that legend of a building had the students stayed in their seats today? GIA was made for this.
And Travis Ford was the main architect.
Let me repeat...I like Travis Ford. He understands basketball tradition, and he respects OSU's version of that, even though he hails from a place with arguably a much grander tradition. He's taken many an action to try and generate buzz. You don't do that unless you give a crap about the school and it's players.
And while I think his ceiling is limited as the coach of the Cowboys, I would be more than happy to be wrong.
Therefore, I root for him. Being a critic doesn't mean I want him to fail. It means I want him to improve and succeed. If he figures "it" out, and OSU once again scales the mountain of college basketball, I'm all for Travis Ford being at the helm.
But showing us that performance yesterday sets a bar. We saw what the team, and Ford, are capable of, so I'm hoping the boys have something left in the tank for their trip to Baylor on Monday. A win would be gargantuan on so many levels, not to mention it would be their third consecutive win over a ranked team, two of those on the road. We can only hope.
For today, though, I revel in the unbridled passion that was released in GIA on Saturday, the joy of the players, the fans, and the coach, and hope it happens again when the release of emotion is called for.
And I root for Travis Ford to win.