Imperfect Destination: Perfect Journey

By now the Kentucky men’s basketball one loss season has fallen from the front page of most publications. Many were quick to point out the missed opportunity to go undefeated and hoist the championship trophy up after a perfect season. It would’ve been a spectacular achievement for the young men playing in blue and white to say they went 40-0. It just wasn’t meant to be. Wisconsin was the better team on that night. I’m still scratching my head about how UK’s dominant big man, freshman Carl Anthony Towns, only got three touches down the stretch.

Kentucky was loaded with talent as they were considered to have the number one recruited class in the country. I called them the Happy Meal team since they had so many McDonald’s All-Americans.  Conversely, Wisconsin had none.  By the time the NBA draft comes around, at least five Wildcats will be drafted into the pros. The 6’11” Towns will likely be the number one pick.

The last time I remember a team putting a perfect season on the line was the 2008 New England Patriots. No one expected the Giants to get into the playoffs that year, let alone win the Super Bowl. Remind me to tell you about how I almost died while trying to watch that streak come to an end three months before the championship game. An undefeated season is a once in a lifetime thing for most athletes-especially at the professional level. Most championship teams go defeated, losing a handful or more times before being crowned.

One of the reasons why I love March Madness is how well chronicled the journey to the Final Four is. That’s what’s been lost in all of the post game reporting. It will take a while for those young men to realize how important the ride was. The sacrifices, effort and level of commitment to their team shouldn’t be a footnote to the story.  Life really is about the journey, not the destination.

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