Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough each had great games on Senior Night. Abromaitis will be back next year, but he will remember forever this moment in time. Hansbrough left the court with a salute to the fans, including his father and famous brother.
I'm admittedly not much of a basketball fan, so my mind immediately jumped to two ND football scenes. One was Brian Smith and his dad before the Utah game. Again, hard-earned, well-earned emotions overcame both. Smith was able to go out as Abromaitis and Hansbrough did, a respected leader playing his best on Senior Day. I couldn't find that picture, but I did find this one, also post-Utah:
The second image was unhappy. David Bruton, after Syracuse in 2008:
I can live with losing a football game. My kids will still love me and Sunday will be better than Saturday. What wrenches is David Bruton. And Sam Young. Sam Young could have gone anywhere. Alone among his top choices was a team that would lose to UConn, Syracuse, and Navy.
If we seem a little hard on the coaches -- OK, if we seem like unreasonable assholes who expect every season to feel like 1946 -- this is why. I believe elite athletes who pick Notre Dame are better people than elite athletes who pick USC. Deserve has everything to do with it. Our guys deserve success and happiness, and their opponents do not.