In the Chicago Tribune, John Kass has a monthly article to provide the “Moutza of the Month.” In every edition of this article, he describes what a moutza is, and usually mentions the following things:
“Spread your palms wide, and say ‘Nah!‘ (Here!) or ‘Feesa etho!’ (Blow on this!)”
Well, before anyone starts thinking that this post will become R- or X-rated, shelve your fears.
Rather than “Blow on this,” I’ll change the topic to “We blew it!”
We blew it? That’s a common expression to mean that we screwed up on something, and often it implies that there was something which should have been easily finished without significant difficulty.
Whenever I hear “blew it,” I think of blown leads in sports. There are a few games that I have seen significant leads being blown, and wanted to mention them, in approximately chronological order. Interestingly, three of had the same lead being blown.
- Boys basketball: Lincoln Southeast High School vs. Lincoln East High School, January 2004. It was one of the first games after our semester break had ended in my junior year of high school. This was my first LSE/LE hoops game, and it was a doozy.
The Knights of Southeast (i.e. my team) jumped all over East in the first quarter, and led 28-3 at the end of the first 8-minute quarter.
But, then Buhr of East came on fire, willing the Spartans back into the game. By halftime, although the Knights still had a big lead, East had cut their deficit in about half.
The DFA was chanting “One man game!” since Buhr had over half of the East scoring.
Ultimately, Buhr scored a total of 37 points, and the final score was 58-61, to complete the Southeast collapse. (We rebounded to make it to the state tournament, but got bounced by Bellevue West in the semifinal.)
- Football: Northwestern vs. Indiana, October 2009. The Wildcats of Northwestern had just lost to Michigan State in the previous week, and the Hoosiers pounced on NU early and often: leading 21-0 after the first quarter and 28-3 in the second. But the Wildcats clawed all the way back, holding IU scoreless over the rest of the game. This was one of my first “Cardiac Cats” experiences, and what a thriller it was! This was the only time among the Blown Leads list that my team was the beneficiary of the blown lead.
- Football: Atlanta vs. New England (Super Bowl, 2017). Enough said. There’s already enough press about this elsewhere, and since I wouldn’t ordinarily watch much of the NFL, I’ll move on.
- Men’s basketball: Northwestern vs. Michigan State (yesterday). I watched the game and saw the Wildcats quite surprisingly leap to a 43-16 lead over the #2-ranked Spartans, which was the same margin as at halftime that Nebraska trailed over Kansas on a “Big Monday” showdown when I was at Nebraska.
The ‘Cats still led 49-27 at halftime. But then in the second half, they started rushing shots, shooting air balls, and missing shots… they started the second half 1-for-19 from the field.
The Spartans rallied to tie the game at 53, and then took the lead for the first time in the game with fewer than 8 minutes remaining.
The Wildcats kept the margin within single digits as the Spartans surged, but could not make enough shots, and lost 60-65.
What a frustrating game, and it’s the second time in the last 12 years that Michigan State has recorded a record comeback over a Northwestern team… the other time (which wasn’t during my Northwestern years) was in 2006 when Northwestern’s football team blew a 38-3 lead.
Yesterday, just in general, was a bad day of basketball. The aforementioned Northwestern loss, Nebraska women losing at Indiana 75-83, Carthage women losing against Illinois Wesleyan by single digits, and then Carthage men surrendering a 32-4 run to end the first half and ending the game against IWU with a 29-point blowout loss.
Lincoln: 14 days
פסח: מ’ יום (Passover: 40 days)