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Op-Ed: We are stuck in 2008

While the country as a whole may be in a complete downward spiral at the moment, one thing is undeniable: sports are back.

This year’s NCAA tournament has been electric. The entire country simultaneously jumped off the couch and live-tweeted its excitement when the University of Maryland, Baltimore County upset Virginia in the first round last Friday night, becoming the first ever 16-seed to defeat a 1-seed.

“If you play this game and you step into the arena, this stuff can happen,” UMBC head coach Tony Bennett told USA Today. “And maybe those who haven’t been in the arena or in the competition, maybe they don’t understand that.”

Jairus Lyles shot the lights out for the Retrievers in a throwback to Steph Curry’s high-energy performance for Davidson a decade ago as the Wildcats danced their way to the Elite 8. Never mind the fact that both Davidson and the UMBC each lost to a team of Wildcats to end their dreams.

As Al Michaels would say, “It’s irrelevant. It doesn’t matter.”

Nobody cares about March Madness after the Cinderellas get eliminated. It’s alright when the Villanovas, Dukes, and North Carolinas of the world win the national championship and everyone has their few hours of fun, but the real excitement comes in the first two rounds.

Speaking of excitement in the first two rounds: Tiger’s back.

Tiger Woods is back after a multitude of surgeries over the past few years, and he was a few missed shots away from seriously contending at Bay Hill last weekend.

With just a few weeks until the Masters, the Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook has Tiger as the favorite for Augusta at 8-1 odds. All signs points to the return of the 14-time major winner in Georgia.

“I miss playing there,” Woods told new sources on Sunday. “I’ve had a lot of success there, too, so really looking forward to getting up there and doing a bit of work and getting a feel for the golf course and basically a feel for playing that style of golf again.”

If he wins, or even comes remotely close, it will probably be the biggest sports story of the year. After all Tiger is arguably the best golfer of all time, and he hasn’t won a major in a decade.

The events of the last month have led me to conclude that the only reasonable assumption is that we are living in 2008. Let’s take a look at some interesting similarities.

The Celtics won the finals in 2008 thanks to the addition of a star player from a team in the midwest. Sound familiar?

Next up, in Russia, a little guy named Vladimir Putin assumed the throne — I mean prime ministership— after his hand-picked successor handily won the presidential election and appointed him shortly thereafter. Need I say more?

Sorry to get a bit dark, but you know what happened Feb. 14, 2008. You guessed it, a school shooting at Northern Illinois University.

“Since Virginia Tech, people have had time to think about how to respond to these things, so it’s fresh on everybody’s mind,” said Jonathan Berg, a professor at Northern Illinois, at the time. “And they’re trying to do everything they’ve been talking about for the last few months.”

Guess what happened 10 years later. I guess it takes awhile to solve the problems that routinely kill kids. Thanks for your work, lawmakers!

You know what else happened in 2008? We elected a new president. By we I mean the country because I was ten, but you get the point. Those were the days.

The point of this is that nothing is happening at the moment. We haven’t had a sporting event on campus in a month and we are seriously bored. Also, we have some problems in this country that we need to deal with a decade later.


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