Things are finally starting to fall together in the University's intramural league, although they're not falling together as anyone might have expected. The last week saw its fair share of major upsets--particularly in the men's undergraduate independent league and in the graduate league. This, of course, is because in a league with a five- or six-game regular season within randomly assigned leagues there is no such thing as a favorite. No matter what a team's regular season performance might indicate, and no matter what I tell you in this column, wizened observers will tell you to expect the unexpected. We, much like the old man who owns the ranch in Cormac McCarthy's Cities of the Plain (yes, it's sentimental and possibly the weakest part of the Border Trilogy, but I still feel the need to mention that I've read it) have seen it all. We sit on the porch offering reassurances to those young people--mostly first- and second-years--looking to make sense of the world. So if you'll permit me a digression...
-- The boy walked out onto the porch and heard the door slam shut behind him. He took a long slow breath and held it. He looked down at the corral in which Parham was walking the new sorrel and thought for a second that he had seen a reflection of the rising moon in its eyes even at such a distance. He wondered whether he was feeling something of profound wisdom or utter meaninglessness and decided that he would never know for certain. He looked over at the old man in his parka with his lit cigarette and copy of The Poetics and sat down.
-- Cold day. I haven't seen such a late snowfall in many years.
-- I know it.
-- You know the smartest man I ever met said that the best people know what they win they don't win.
-- You know, I bet that still didn't make that man feel any better.
-- I wouldn't bet it did either.
-- A cloud of red dust began drifting toward the house. The faintest outline of a woman on a horse began to emerge in the fading twilight. The horse galloped sporadically and it looked to be exhausted or malingering.
-- Buenas Noches, the boy called.
-- Buenas Noches.
-- ¿Esta usted perdido?
-- Si, muy perdido.
-- ¿Podemos ayudarse?
I suppose you get the idea. And that has nothing to do with IM basketball (but guess what? We are at this school to read books). So, I said that things were falling together. Allow me to elaborate on that claim.
The women's final was held on Wednesday night. Congratulations are due to Hitchcock-Snell, which, I've pointed out numerous times, is a basketball factory. They defeated Flint 29-21. Ladies, your names will now be added to a wooden plaque in Bartlett that future hoodlums will be privileged to vandalize.
The men's undergraduate independent league saw the top-seeded and undefeated Delta Upsilon lose to Consiglio 37-35. Consiglio then went on to defeat Top 50 and the Immortals in a nose-breaking brawl of a game (Bert Sugar could write columns about that game) to move on to the independent finals. They'll face the freshman football players of the Revolution, who defeated the Durex Trojans 74-56.
Freshman Soccer continued their domination of the undergraduate residence league by defeating Vincent House 50-38. The freshman soccer player's on-court jogo benito was enabled by their off-court victory in IM litigation, where they successfully fended off a challenge to their eligibility for a residence league. The powers that be ruled that while the freshman players are not from the same house, they are all in residence (and that's the real qualification).
I've only seen one result from the men's undergraduate league, but Laimbeer's Revenge, an undefeated team that I, at least, expected to move further in the bracket, was defeated by a team billed only as the mysterious Law 1/Higler/Stabones collective (I assume this means it was one of those three teams).
Equal parts triumph and disappointment? Of course, it's a tournament. Is it playing out contrary to expectations and predictions? I believe my colleague Mr. O'Glasser and I have been strident about not offering predictions. When you're old enough to sit on the front porch watching the world pass by, you can get away with not making predictions.