The Hype Machine

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I’m going to relay to you guys a little anecdote from my past. Ducks keep it in mind as you talk about this upcoming playoff game.

Believe it or not I was a bit arrogant back in my younger days, but so are a lot of 18 year old boys still in high school. My high school basketball team had just come off a huge win over the Cathedral Prep Ramblers, who were at that time ranked 3rd in the state of Pennsylvania, giving them their first loss of the season on our home court. I remember being in the locker room after that game patting ourselves on the back, trash talking with our chests all puffed out like we were really something special, talking about the state title we were all sure we were bound to bring home come March.

In walks in our assistant coach, he stands there for a couple minutes just listening to us gloat about our stats, our record, and beating a top team in the state. He then said something that has stuck with me every since. He said, “Gentlemen, believe me when I tell you this: What hype builds, hype destroys.” Those simple words were all he said before he turned and walked back out.

We were all quick to dismiss him, as would any hot-headed youngster who had just played the game of his life and came out victorious over a top ranked opponent. But sure enough, come March as I stood at midcourt looking up at the scoreboard seeing we are down 6 with ten seconds to go in a playoff game against a team we had manhandled two times before early in the season, that simple sentence our assistant coach muttered the month prior came ringing back.

That night well over six years ago was the last time I let hype and arrogance get the best of me. Nothing in this world is guaranteed, so Ducks as you talk up this game against the Gray Bats be careful not to let the hype get the best of us. The game is still played in between the chalk, and we need to just relax and play our style of game instead of getting into pissing matches with the opponents. If you don’t think the Gray Bats are giving us the proper respect then so be it. What they think of us does not matter, nor should it. We have one job on Saturday and that is to come out and play as hard as we can and leave everything on the field knowing that there was nothing else we could have done to put us in position to win the game. Come Saturday, win or lose (though I am confident we will prevail), I ask all of us to uphold the traditions of this game and be humble in victory or courteous in defeat.

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