Tell Me Have You Seen Her?????

March Madness In Full Effect


Tell Me Have You Seen Her

Shona Sandlin  


   One moment it’s on your side, then…bam! What happened? The indecisiveness of this mystical figure eludes you and chooses the opposing team.  Apparently the grass is greener on the other side.  Will the 80/20 relationship rule apply and it comes back?
    While you’re on the court, you are doing everything in your power to gain it, maintain it, feed it and never let it go. The last part is deemed impossible as you feel the momentum monster slipping through your fingers.  Momentum is the most important key in the game of basketball. Because the tempo of the game is so fast and furious you can track her moves as she ebbs and flows through the game clock. Her influence is so powerful, she determines when a timeout should be called, when a whistle should be blown, when the fans will rise to their feet,  when a player will scream in elation or causing another to pound the ball in frustration. 
    As influential as the Momentum Monster is, you can never determine when her mind will change and she jumps ship. There are signs to her movements if you pay close attention.  When the team that has her in their grasp starts to hit unbelievable shots, or seems to get almost every rebound off the glass, that’s momentum. When you see the defense bail you out with a “bone-head” play or foul with one second left on the shot clock, yes, that’s momentum.  Your squad turns the ball over and they hustle back down the court and picks up a charge call on the other team, oh yes, that’s momentum.
    Then the clock strikes twelve and the ball is over for you. Momentum no longer wants to hang out with your team. Maybe she’s bored with what’s happening, or curious to see what the other coach is planning to do to get her on their side after a timeout.  And just like that, she’s gone.  But your team doesn’t even know she’s gone until the first shot is missed, and the rebound goes to the other team, or the pass is stolen for a fast-break layup. With that pass you can see momentum slipping through your fingers.  By this time you sense that something isn’t right, everything that worked before is backfiring. The basket looked to be as wide as the ocean, but now it’s as narrow as a coffee stirrer. Then you hear it. The piercing sound of the roaring crowd and it’s not in your favor. That’s when you realize that she is definitely gone.  Now what are you going to do to get her back? 
     As a fan of the game, you know when your team has the momentum. You feel it when you are watching and your heart is racing. You are fist pumping and feel like your team has it in the bag. But, you too are miffed when Momentum betrays you for the other side. Your face starts to scowl, you are screaming at the refs and your heart is beating in an uneven rhythm. Either way you can’t take your eyes off the tv, not even to eat your favorite game time entree. But that’s the ride you signed up for. The game of basketball allows the fan to experience this emotional rollercoaster. Especially during the NCAA tournament and NBA playoffs because every game matters. Momentum gives every team a chance. That’s why you see upsets in the first round of play in the tourney. Teams like UCLA and Georgia know her well. Not having momentum makes you over think every move.  This caused the SMU player to be called for goaltending, which sealed the game for UCLA.  The physical prowess of Momentum knocked coach Hunter right off his seat when CJ Hunter hit the game-winning three from downtown.  Watching basketball at this level heightens the intensity of the game. It’s not so much about the score per say, but more about the movement and the capitalization of the momentum opportunities. Can you spot her as she comes and goes?