By Adam Lucas
I apologize to everyone for being a non-functioning person today.
No texts are being returned. No calls will be answered. Emails sit in the “Unread” folder.
I have not turned on the television. Conversations are short and to the point. I need complete silence.
I do not need to explain why. If you aren’t sure what the above three paragraphs mean, this is the wrong story for you. Most likely, I am the wrong person for you. I’m sure you are delightful and you probably have your priorities in much better order than me but Carolina and Duke are playing basketball tonight in the Final Four and common sense is not what we need right now, OK?
Outside my window are revelers and bands and horns blowing and people cheering. Perhaps New Orleans is the perfect setting for college basketball Armageddon because nothing is weird here. There were men on hoverboards last night on Bourbon Street charging money to snap photos with the living white albino pythons they had around their necks and that seems a lot more normal to me than the fact that Christian Laettner had a room at the Carolina team hotel this weekend.
It is true. I have never respected Christian Laettner more—well, let’s be honest, I have never respected Christian Laettner—than when he walked to the front desk on Friday night and said, “I have to switch hotels.”
Kansas and Villanova are here, two of the preeminent programs in modern college basketball, and Bill Self and Jay Wright could walk down Bourbon Street right now and no one would give them a glance.
I don’t care if you’re in line somewhere on Franklin Street or standing outside the Smith Center or readying for the team sendoff at the Sheraton on Canal Street (4:45 Central, by the way), you will understand this: our family had an in-depth discussion of the seating arrangement for tonight, which included a complete review of 2017 photos to ensure we were recreating the same mojo.
The Zapruder film has been given less thorough evaluation than these photos. Caleb needs his blue shoes and Mando has his hair just right and we will sit in the correct seats.
It has seemingly been noon in New Orleans for the past three hours. I can only assume time moves equally slowly for other similarly important events, such as treaty signings or moon landings.
I need to know this: did Neil Armstrong also understand the importance of go where you go, do what you do?
I sincerely regret in advance all the bad words I am about to say tonight, some in a combination which have previously never been used in the English language. Right now, in the light of day, I fully understand that the game officials are not actually paid employees of Duke University, that a resting heart rate in the triple digits is not normal for watching a basketball game, and that “Everytime We Touch” is not actually the devil’s music.
Well, let me give some more thought to that last one.
However, I would like to say without apology that Duke played the Soviet Union in a basketball exhibition in the fall of 1991 and I vividly remember my father and I stating, “You can do it, comrades!” when asked for which side we might be cheering.
Earlier that year, we had come perilously close to a Carolina-Duke game for the national championship at the 1991 Final Four in Indianapolis. Tonight, it’s going to happen in the national semifinals, and as a blanket statement covering everything that happens between now and approximately midnight Eastern time, I would like to say: I apologize.