Wednesday, August 12, 2009


There's one more thing.

Background: On the way up to Chicago Friday morning we listened to the Vanderbilt baseball team get beat in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Louisville. It was pretty clear the season was over.

But all that time we were at dinner at the Twisted Spoke, and floating the Chicago River, and watching a Cubs game, and drinking in Wrigleyville, and grilling out riverside at the townhouse, Vandy was slowly making its way back through the loser's bracket. When we left Chicago on Sunday morning they were still in it, facing yet another elimination game. If they won, they would play the host team that night.

You can't drive from Chicago to Nashville without going through Louisville. As we crossed the Ohio (the first of "them Rebel Rivers") into Kentucky, Jonathan White hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 8th inning to clinch it and force the second game at 6:00 pm. It would mean getting home at 1:30 in the morning after a long hard Spring Trip weekend, but...

Rob: "If we hadn't done this, we would have regretted it for the rest of our lives."

"One has to look high and low for the positive in the University of Louisville’s 8-4 loss to Vanderbilt Sunday night. Jim Patterson was at Jim Patterson Field, agonizing with fellow U of L fans about lethargic hitting and inadequate fielding in a drawn-out affair that consumed three hours and 15 minutes. An eerily quiet game, the silence interrupted only by a tiny but rowdy group of Vanderbilt fans (they don’t travel well) with their S-E-C chants and stomping on the metal bleachers."

We didn't stay for the championship game the next day and Vandy lost that one 5-3. But the Spring Trip really was over by then, so somehow that seemed right too.

"Fishing was where he channeled his passion - catfishing, rather, for it's a restrictive branch of the sport. He'd been on the river since before dawn that morning and was quitting now, fishless. But because a calendar he went by and his own theory about the stage of the river - falling a little, still turbid - had both favored bad luck, he was satisfied."

Goodbye to a River, p. 211.

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