Friday, March 16, 2007

Work Is A Four Letter Word

Getting laid off from your job is usually a pretty sobering event. Especially when your job is that of a bartender/shift manager at burger bar in Brooklyn (we're not exactly talking rocket science here).

On Tuesday of this week, I met with my employer, learned of my transgressions (managerial carelessness), and was told my services wouldn't be needed for this week. Kind of a double secret probation as far as I can tell, since I was scolded for being consistently late to work last month and was told to not mention the reasons for my dismissal to fellow employees. I walked back to my apartment to my waiting girlfriend and felt for the first time what a deadbeat dad might feel like. A strange mixture of self-pity and the sense that I let myself, and possibly others, down. Lucky for me, we don't have any kids.

So in the midst of my preparation for heri-keri, it came to me. I was being laid off during the first week of March Madness. And Xavier was playing BYU on Thursday night, a night I normally work. The stars had aligned.

The game was one of the only two exciting games of the entire day, Duke-VCU of course being the other. For a complete account of the games ebbs and flows, check out the Enquirer's story. BYU played a great game, leading for most of the game's first thirty minutes. XU fought bravely, overtook BYU in the 2nd half, then repelled a late BYU comeback. Drew Lavender was the man down the stretch hitting two huge runners in the lane and sinking the clinching free throws. Josh Duncan, aka "The Gay Rock", also had a huge bucket down the stretch to put X up two.

The result was a huge win for Xavier, mostly because it sets up a second round matchup with the hated Thad Matta, former Muskie and present Buckeye coach (Matta bailed on the team after taking X to its first ever Elite 8 appearance three seasons ago). Also it hopefully annoyed everyone at the Worldwide Leader of Sports who insisted that Xavier had no business being in the tournament over Syracuse (even though they were a nine seed) and fell in line by predicting a BYU win. Seriously, not a single person on that network picked XU to win the game (that I saw at least, and I watched a lot of ESPN this week). Anyway, it was a sweet victory. And I'm sticking to my guns, I've got X beating OSU and moving on to the Elite 8 again: a prediction that has been met with nothing but laughter and condescension all week. Well, Thad and his boys better not be laughing cause from where I'm standing, XU is the most underrated squad in the tourney.

Unemployment is awesome.

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