Many of us are no doubt thrilled that the two “Carolina” teams are now going to the “Big Dance.” For those of you who choose to tune out this time each year, that’s basketball-speak for The Final Four. Of course, our very own North Carolina Tar Heels are heading into their 20th Final Four appearance. (My apologies to those who may be apathetic or upset about this development.) Meanwhile, South Carolina has earned its very first spot, which is very exciting, indeed.
Think about it: two Carolinas, each just one win away from what could be, according to the Charlotte Observer, “one of the most extraordinary basketball matchups in the sport’s history.” You can feel the energy in the air, as folks are starting to square off into their respective corners in preparation to cheer on their chosen teams. The drama is even mounting at my own house, with my husband’s excitement about the “other Carolina” team, south of our border.
Although my college days were spent at East Carolina (in large part so I would not have to break my allegiance to the “Big Three” – Duke, NC State, and Carolina), I can often be found cheering on the Tar Heels. And this is in spite of the fact that my Dad went to Duke! Hey, I’ve cheered for Duke, too. And State! My family is peppered with alums from each of those schools.
Of course, I can hear some of you are already saying, “But Lynn, you can’t support all three…and now, four! This is Basketball Country. You must choose a side!” Yup, I’m used to this argument. And I respectfully disagree.
Because in the end, it’s really all about community. We gather together to support our chosen squads and to celebrate the shared experience of being their biggest fans.
I feel a similar sense of community at The Ivey. Our families all represent different teams, and we are cheering each and every one of them on with the same passion and loyalty as the others. There’s a kind of euphoria that comes from watching them win, and from being their “6th man” as they brave the dementia journey with their loved one.
It’s about community. It’s about family.
So when the Boys in Blue face down Oregon this Saturday night, you better believe I’ll be waving my Carolina blue pom-poms. And yup, I’ll be rooting for South Carolina as they take on Gonzaga, too.
I’m cheering for them both…just like I’m cheering for you.
(Got a comment? I love ’em! Email them here and I’ll read and reply.)