As I sit up late at night, finishing up massive amounts of work and writing, I'm finally able to reflect on the day. In the moment, I felt nothing at all. When the game was clinched, I let out a massive string of expletives; mostly out of pure shock. I spent most of the game waiting for the other shoe to drop and the points to pile up for Oregon State. It never did.
It gets tiresome being the whipping boy; to watch the team continue to falter. It wears on the biggest fans and the most enthusiastic writers -- of which I am one. Head coach Paul Wulff said this was a win for the fans as much as it is the team, reflecting on what he'd just witnessed in Corvallis. And he's right. For the fans that stuck with the team, suffered, lived and died with the Cougs over the last few years, it was huge.
One win does not make a program. But a road win against a team that's beaten the snot out of us over the last few years is huge. It doesn't mean it's a monumental turning point, but it's a pretty damn good starting point. It was a win that breathed live back into a fanbase that desperately needed it. And for that, more than anything, I'm happy.
It's funny seeing how people that understand how much this team means to us react after a game like this. As the clock wound to zero, text messages and emails from friends and other writers began pouring in. Pats on the back, congratulations and "it's about damn times" from people that have watched us struggle. We, as writers, and you, as fans, have slogged through another season that seemed to drag slower as it progressed in 2010. Yet in a few short hours, Cougar Nation returned to life.
This game was for all of us, and it started a string of events that made for an excellent day. A convincing, blowout road win by a football team that appeared to flat-line this season? Fantastic. A dominating basketball win to open the season? Cherry on top. What a day.