Photo by Casey Gomez

I write this brief Timeout minutes after witnessing the close finish between Tech and Syracuse on Wednesday night, so fair warning: my perceptions are highly colored by the heat of the moment.

For a while, I have wondered what the point of collegiate athletics was (or ought to be) for those of us who do not follow powerhouse programs. After all, look at the last 10 winners of March Madness: North Carolina twice, Duke twice, Connecticut twice, Villanova, Louisville, Kentucky and Kansas. With the exception of maybe Connecticut, that is as blue-blooded a group as you will find. What is left on the table for the rest of us?

Tonight, watching a struggling Tech team knock off the good-but-definitely-not-great Syracuse Orange, I was reminded of what we have at stake: the spoiler effect. The chance to shout “Airball!” at a five-star recruit moving through the stages of athletic grief, realizing he is about to lose a conference game to an engineering
school? Priceless.

So no matter how long this season lasts or what it brings, let us not take the joy of stealing others’ joy for granted.