If I close my eyes and go back to September 16th 2006, I can still see Mario Urrutia streaking down the field with his arm extended.
There he is fending off Lovon Ponder, like he was the pesky little brother whom he was far too busy to deal with at the moment. I can still see the faces of the people behind me as I stood on my seat and turned around to high five everyone within reach. I can even remember seeing my leg shaking up and down after the extra point was kicked and I finally sat down for the first time that afternoon.
It was my defining moment as a Cardinal fan. It was a moment that I can still recall with photographic clarity, why? I'll tell you why.....
The reason that moment sticks out so much for me,... the reason I can still feel the sun on my face and smell the beer being spilled all around me when a go back to that place,... is because of how much emotion was tied into that moment. I'm not a doctor, nor am I a psychologist, but I do know that the moments in our lives which evoke the most vivid memories are inexplicably tied to extreme happiness or sadness. That moment when she said yes. That moment when you're told someone you love has passed. Those are the moments that are seared into our brains forever.
Mario's streak to glory wasn't nearly as important or meaningful in my life as the moment when she said yes, or the moment when I was told that my father had suddenly passed away. Those things are life changers; but, that moment was a big one in my life as a Cardinal Football Fanatic. It just felt like the culmination of everything that so many people had worked so hard to construct over the years. It felt like the authentication of what I hoped Cardinal Football could become. The ghosts of players past, clad in red and black, were coursing through my veins. Memories of a one win season when I was a senior in high school seemed like a distant and separate existence. Why? How could I have been so emotional over a single play in a football game?Because there I was, bearing witness to the arrival of a moment that I wasn't sure would ever arrive.
There I was bearing witness to something that I had loved dearly, for as long as I could remember, announcing it's arrival to another level of excellence. Sure there have been other moments in my fanhood that were emotional and fantastic, but none of them touch that one. I recently watched my fiance burst into tears at the end of the Florida game, when Fat Ass Wayne hit the second free throw that sealed the win. She might not know it yet but that was her defining moment. It was the moment when this thing that she had come to care about, through a constant bombardment of exposure from me, reached a point of excellence that she had not yet witnessed in her fanhood.
As we all look forward to what the next 12 months of Cardinal Athletics may hold in store for us,... I can't help but think that we are all on the verge of experiencing more of those definitive moments,.... in both Football and Basketball.
This post was literally inspired by CardsFan922's "Best VillenHD Video of 2012" contest (Youtube can be a slippery slope of memories/ emotions if you just keep clicking play). This will be the first in a series of posts designed to single out what the readership here at the Card Chronicle considers to be THE "defining moment" of Cardinal Athletics during their lifetime. Please share, in the comments section below, whichever moment you consider to be "the one" for you. The more moments that are shared, the better the contest will be. It doesn't have to be a game winning shot or even a play from a game that we won. Your moment should be that single play that stands out to you, as the one that evokes the most visceral response from your memory banks.
I will place the contenders into a poll and let the readers of Card Chronicle vote on which one they think was the most definitive/ fundamentally important moment in Cardinal Athletics during their fanhood. The contest will begin shortly after 922's contest ends. Thanks in advance for your help.