How could Virginia lose? I picked them to win!

Published 10:17 am Friday, March 27, 2015

Don’t let the devil-may-care look in my column photo fool you, ladies and gentlemen. I’m a loser.

Woe is me.

And if you rooted for Virginia to win this past weekend against Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament, then you know I feel your pain.

Woe is us.

For those of you who missed my column from the other day, here’s the synopsis: I admitted to being essentially indifferent to all the talk about this sports team or that sports team. To me it’s mostly just blather, especially on the part of the television announcers. But, as I quickly added, my respect goes to the people who play or follow sports events. Whatever floats your boat, as my brother would say.

Yet, after some persuasion on the part of a co-worker last week, I decided to participate in filling out a bracket, in spite of a lack of experience.

Feeling strangely confident in a brief study of teams, their state origins and records, I figured Virginia to triumph over Notre Dame at the end. The Fighting Irish had an early victory on Thursday afternoon, and I felt even more sure they’d face off against the Cavaliers.

But as hundreds and thousands of Virginia fans witnessed on Sunday afternoon, the Spartans triumphed, 60-54. My only consolation is that the Cavaliers lost only by 6 points. To my untrained eye, that’s respectable. But in watching some post-game interviews, it was clear that the players were stunned by the loss.

On Monday morning, I texted: “No more reason to live now that Virginia has lost. Woe.”

But I still went into work anyway. After all, it’s just a game.

Isn’t it?

STEPHEN H. COWLES is the staff writer for The Tidewater News. As of Thursday afternoon, he was still rooting for Notre Dame. Call him at 562-3187 or email at