Rivalries, (Near) Triumphs, and Tragedies

by Melissa Brunner

What a wild weekend in the sports world! It's one that took us from the highest highs to the lowest lows. Of course, the highs might depend on who you cheer for!

What better script for an NFC championship than to match up two bitter rivals with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line? Sorry, Bears fans, but this Cheesehead is flying high today! If you need a reason to root for the Packers with me in two weeks, look no further than Riley County's own Jordy Nelson. From college walk on at K-State to a game away from a pro title. Not sitting on the sidelines, either. He was again the team's second-highest receiver Sunday, including a catch that set up a touchdown. "Throw it to Jordy!" has become our mantra when the Pack needs a key play.

Speaking of hometown-kids-done-good, how about Gary Woodland? Who would have thought I'd spend the weekend obsessively checking the PGA leader board on my phone?! I hesitate to label this a near-triumph because even making it to a playoff for his first Tour victory is a huge step forward for his career. I'm sure he'll give his hometown fans many more exciting Sundays in the years -probably months! - ahead.

Putting it all in perspective is what happened to the KU basketball family. Thomas Robinson lost his mother to an apparent heart attack Friday. She was just 37 years old. His 9-year old sister called with the news. Still, he walked onto the court Saturday and played. The resulting loss to Texas likely added to the pain. But then again, maybe not. At the end of the day, it is just a game. We live to play another day, we know we'll get a shot at Texas again. Robinson and his young sister don't know what will happen next. Their mother won't be there to see another game, won't see her little girl make it to college at all. From what we've been told, though, the KU family is rallying around them and the heart of that collective Jayhawk nation will carry them through this time.

Point for debate: During NFC Championship pregame, one analyst asked if the Packers/Bears was the greatest rivalry in all of sports. Living in the heart of KU/K-State country, I'm sure some of you will have something to say about that. What do YOU think is the greatest rivalry in all of sports? Is there just one?

 

 

 

 

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