Six Tears

Why was I crying? Why was my mother crying next to me? Les Miserables was not even an hour in, during the I Dreamed A Dream song, and I was already hiccupping breaths in efforts to keep control. But six tears unregretfully ran down my cheeks, four on the right and two on the left.

I like Anne Hathaway, but not that much.

So what was it? The violins reaching into a poignant and somehow familiar crescendo? The empathetic feeling of losing a dream? The well-crafted buildup to this one scene, shot from this one camera angle, capturing this one sense of rawness?

Nearly 15 years ago, on my first trip abroad, I sat in the audience with my mother next to me watching Les Miserables on the stage in London. I cried then too, at the exact same moment.

Surprisingly, some things never change. Genuine human emotions endure through lifetimes, through generations, through art, through Anne Hathaway. Some things, perhaps, actually stay the same.

More Sports! *More Jazz Hands*

BCS Championships. I had no allegiances but friends did – Notre Dame all the way – complete with one vintage shirt to commemorate the team’s “BLASTS OFF INTO THE 90s.” Commercials were muted and accompanied by the downloaded Notre Dame fight song and Rudy theme song. A drinking game developed as the camera panned to the Alabama quarterback’s girlfriend. What a “beautiful woman,” the announcer commented. Instead of drinking whenever Notre Dame scored, we started drinking whenever the camera focused on her long hair and make-uped face.

Growlers of craft beer and meatballs and cheese dip and a gratuitous veggie plate. And lots of friends.

Though some of the Notre Dame fans may disagree, it was a perfect night.

More sports. More heart. More memories.

Sports! *Jazz Hands*

Anything Could Happen, Any Given Sunday

“Simmer down,” an equally rowdy table shouted to us across a sea of green and yellow. At the local sports bar in Bend, Oregon, I sat quietly at times, and not so quietly at times, proudly sporting my new purple Kansas State t-shirt.

I was one Wildcat in a flock of Ducks. It was time for a fiesta.

On the first play, with not even 20 seconds having passed in the first quarter, Oregon received the ball with the Duck-like speed and efficiency, running down the field into the inzone. People in the bar stood and cheered and clapped. I sat there with a gaping mouth, in shock, stuck to my seat and holding my cold beer. But, I still felt easy and full of hope.

Because that is part of sports: faith. As an enduring Beaver fan, I am well aware of the concepts of loyalty and trust and love. I understand those sporting emotions much better than the penalty for a personal foul, or what third down conversion means, or that the correct term is endzone, and not inzone.






After that first play in the Fiesta Bowl, the Colts fan next to me found statistics from the 2007 Superbowl. The Bears pulled the same touchdown-on-the-first-play move against the Colts six years ago, but the fan informed me that Indianapolis came back to win the game 29-17. She was providing proof that anything could happen.

In the end, the Ducks won (32-17), but I was proud to be Wildcat that day. The table I was sitting with, comprising of two friends and one stranger, were all clapping for Kansas State by the end of the game.

A football game, a basketball game, a baseball game – sports are proof that anything can happen, that faith can be freeing, that loyalty can be enough. It is a way for us to believe, and see, that possibilities are everywhere.

(See Anything Could Happen, Ellie Goulding)