|Maybe the best part of this picture is Donna & Mike's faces|
It started March 12, 2009. It ended March 13, 2009. It spawned Marathon Men t-shirts, a website, and brought the rivalry of Syracuse and Connecticut to a new level. The 2009 Big East Tournament quarterfinal between Syracuse and UConn was a six overtime epic battle that will forever be etched into the memories of all who experienced it: whether in person, on TV, or on twitter.
March 2009 was around the time twitter was taking off. I finally bowed to the pressure on March 11, 2009, of course not knowing that my decision to register @jbren would so greatly enhance my 6OT experience. My first tweet was so i just joined twitter. i wonder if i'll actually use this thing. I can't remember how many people I started following, or who, or even who was following me. But I had my twitter all ready to use the next night.
March 12, a coworker was turning 50, so we went out that night for drinks. I was in Simon's in Horseheads, where there are no TVs. Luckily, the 7pm game ran late, so the SU-UConn game wouldn't start till approx 9:45pm. I ducked out of the celebration to head across the street to Hanover's Grille -- I knew they had TVs. I got a prime seat at the bar, ordered a drink, and got through the first half. UConn had a 37-34 lead at the half, and I decided I wanted to watch the rest of the game back at my apartment, so I left. In retrospect, great call.
Once home, I poured myself a drink. I'm sure it was either Jameson or Vanilla Vodka. For whatever reason, I didn't tweet at all during regulation. I think I was still trying to get the hang of it. I didn't have an app for my phone (a Blackberry Storm at the time) so I was literally using the mobile twitter website. The score was tied with mere seconds left in regulation, and Syracuse was to inbound the ball.
holy shit eric
That was my first tweet of the game. We all thought he had hit a three at the buzzer. He jumped on the media table and punched his chest as if to say he was king of the world. And then, that amazing midcourt floor camera from ESPN had caught the shot -- with the basket and clock -- from the perfect angle to show that the ball was still sitting on Eric's fingertips when time reached 0.0. So onto overtime we go.
this is what BET is all about!
I must've tweeted that at the end of the first overtime. I had gotten at least one more drink in since the first. I was thoroughly enjoying the game at this point.
do i have enough alcohol for this?
A tweet probably around the end of the second overtime. Things were happening fast and furious, and I was worried that I'd run dry before the game ended.
great guts shown if that means anything
That may have been a comment I picked up on from Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, or Bill Raftery. Or it may have been some nonsense gibberish fueled by booze. Or maybe both.
this may be the best game ive ever seen
Easy to say this around the end of three overtimes. Plus some booze. You can tell I didn't much appreciate punctuation at that point.
5 overtimes? i want money or something
Well, the good news is this tweet actually mentions an event, so I can place this at the end of four OTs. If my memory serves me correctly, I think I had made a bet with myself that this game would go five overtimes. I won that bet, but I don't know if I ever paid myself.
6 is my lucky number. don't even know what to say at this point.
Obviously at this point, the game was tied at the end of five overtimes, and so onto the sixth we go. It is true that six is and always has been my lucky number, so I guess I felt pretty good about Syracuse's chances at this point.
And that would actually be my final tweet of the game, and of the night. By the time Syracuse had outlasted Connecticut 127-117, I think I was so exhausted that I didn't want to deal with that weird "SurePress" touchscreen on my Storm. I do remember at some point during one of the overtime periods, I decided to stand up. Right there. In my apartment living room. By myself. I think it was early -- may have even been at the end of regulation when Eric almost got that shot off in time.
Going to bed after that game was interesting. On the one hand, it's late, and I had been drinking, so you'd think falling asleep would be easy. But on the other hand, that was like 3+ hours of adrenaline pumping through my veins. Suffice to say, I didn't get much sleep that night.
But I still had to get up and go to work in the morning. Luckily when I had found out Syracuse would have the late Thursday game, I had blocked off my Friday morning as "KEEP OPEN FOR DESK TIME," because I didn't already have any court appearances scheduled. And it's a good thing I didn't have anything going on that morning. I was worthless. I was tired, and quite frankly, I was still shaking from the night before -- the adrenaline I think was still pumping through me.
Syracuse won the next night in the semifinals. A found a few tweets from that one:
anyone else having a hard time getting excited over this game?
OT? we've played this game before.
shut up jay bilas
But at any rate, 6OT is something I'll never forget. It was one of those experiences that, as a Syracuse fan, you remember exactly where you were and how things went down. You can close your eyes and immediately bring yourself back. You can maybe even smell the same smells. As we are now about to watch our beloved team embark on a new conference tournament, the ACC Tournament, we can only hope that someday that will provide us with another great memory.