It’s Monday, none of us are thrilled to be at work, and I think a nice pick-me-up story is in order.
Luckily, I read this one Sunday and couldn’t stop smiling. In the New York Times wedding section arrived the story of Michael Morton, who for 25 years sat rotting in prison for the murder of his wife. Problem is, he didn’t do it, as DNA evidence finally proved in 2011, and Morton was released.
Soon after, while telling his story to his hometown church, Morton met Cynthia Chessman, who was moved by his lack of bitterness. They went out for coffee soon after, and, well, click here for the rest.
You never know where love will find you.
**Another incredible weekend of college basketball, highlighted for me, of course, by that absolutely ass-kicking Duke handed to North Carolina in the Dean Dome Saturday night. I haven’t seen Duke play as well on offense as they did in the first five minutes, since, well, ever. It was 14-0 after less than three minutes and the game was never really close after that.
Seth Curry couldn’t miss, Mason Plumlee dominated the second half, and Carolina couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat.
I called my fellow diehard hoops fan friend Tony late in the first half to paraphrase Shannon Sharpe’s great old quote when the Broncos stomped the Patriots.
“Somebody call the National Guard, because Duke is killing the Tar Heels.”
Truly, it was a fantastic display by the Blue Devils, and I see no reason why they won’t be a No. 1 seed when the Big Dance starts.
Couple other thoughts from a wild March weekend of hoops:
— That Indiana-Michigan game Sunday was fantastic. Intense, back and forth, filled with great plays by both teams and a massive comeback from IU in the final minute; down five, they came back and won by a point. Cody Zeller is one hell of a player, but Michigan, you gotta make those free throws.
— My favorite thing this time of year is seeing how excited the little schools get when they win their conference tournament and advance to the NCAAs. The joy and thrill on their faces is such a nice antidote to so much of the slime that envelops college sports. Look how excited the kids from Creighton got after they won Sunday.
— My Delaware Blue Hens got robbed by the refs in the final seconds of the CAA semifinals Sunday, not that anyone besides me cares. UD had a great shot to get into the Tournament this year, but alas, we’ll have to rely on our awesome women’s team led by Elena DelleDonne to carry the torch now.
**Mariano Rivera. It’s a beautiful, lyrical name, isn’t it? Rolls off the tongue perfectly, and for nearly 20 years, it’s been the last name Yankees fans like myself have had to pay attention to when a game was in the 9th inning and the Bombers had the lead.
“Mariano’s in. Game over.”
That’s how it’s pretty much been for the past 17 seasons, until last year, when the greatest relief pitcher of all time got hurt, and what was to be his final season was aborted pretty much before it began.
Now, though, Rivera’s healthy again and has officially announced his retirement come the end of the 2013 year. He’s had an amazing, amazing career, and amazing isn’t even a strong enough word.
The stat on the photo above is just one of the staggering numbers that make Rivera’s career so fabulous; he’s been one Yankee who seems impossible for non-Yankees fans to hate.
He has exuded class and dignity and a sense of humor throughout his career (when his blown saves in 2004 playoffs helped the Red Sox win the World Series, Sox fans cheered him on Opening Day ’05 at Fenway. Rivera just laughed and laughed).
He will be missed, and I for one will try to catch as many 9th innings of Yankee wins as I can this year. We won’t likely ever again see a closer as great as he is, and I’m glad we get one more year to enjoy him.