I thought I’d be writing about what a downer tonight was at first, but I’ll come to that.

Since I wasn’t on directing duty for church today, Amanda (being sick) decided last night that we’d set the alarm for 7:00, and if she felt like getting up we’d go to the 8:30 service, and if not we’d just go to a later one. The alarm went off and she decided to sleep in, but about half an hour later she decided to get up because, even though she’d finally been sleeping well when the alarm went off, she wasn’t afterwards.

We sat with Ben and Jessica Lambeth, two of our friends from small group, as we usually do (or Amanda usually does anyway, since I’m usually directing). The service was good, and talked about doing things out of obligation versus doing things from the heart. Amanda and I had a discussion about it on the way to IHOP to eat breakfast with Ben and Jessica afterwards. We saw a giant, very bright rainbow stretching all the way across the sky on our way there.

After breakfast we went to Circuit City and picked up some photo paper to make some Christmas cards then headed home for a few minutes before heading back out downtown to meet with the Frazelles, Amanda’s aunt’s family. They were downtown because their younger daughter, Kirsten, was singing at a church, and Amanda’s grandparents, Peggy and Earl were there as well. We met them so we could celebrate Peggy’s birthday. Few places were open yet though, and we ended up going to The Reel Cafe after walking around downtown a little bit. Since Amanda and I had just eaten we just had small salads. Amanda had bought her grandma a sweater for Christmas, but ended up giving it to her then for her birthday.

Peggy and Earl came by our place to check out the tree on their way to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. We mostly sat around after that, working on the Christmas cards and such. Amanda took it easy and was feeling hot for a bit. We caught up on a bit of TV (damn that DVR- I read that people with DVRs tend to watch something like 15% more TV than people without) and at 8:00 I went to the spare room to watch the Duke game so Amanda could lie on the couch and be comfortable while she watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Duke was playing Virginia Tech. Last year, Virginia Tech beat Duke in an upset at home after Duke blew them out at Cameron. Virginia Tech never went away in this game and were up one point at the half. During halftime, Amanda threw up and I called Chris to tell her that Amanda may or may not be in tomorrow. I did what I could to help her, rubbing her back, getting something to pull her hair back, getting water, giving her a cool washcloth. I brought her some pajamas and once she was alright (the game was back on at this point) I took over the big screen in the living room until she asked me to watch in the bedroom so I could be with her, which I obliged.

I did a pretty good job of keeping my noises to a minimum except for when a few three-pointers were nailed, until the last couple minutes of the game when Virginia Tech took Duke’s lead apart and then, with 1.6 seconds left, they took a one-point lead. I was a bit pissed at the thought of #1 Duke losing to an unranked Virginia Tech at Cameron no less! As close as the game was for almost the entire time, I surprised myself by not getting too anxious. It took the refs a few minutes to get the clock set right, and by this time I’d already taken the rubber band thing out of my hair and thrown it at the clock and expressed some of my disgust. Amanda was very understanding.

I was about to turn the TV off and just go off to sulk, but I decided I’d watch anyway. McRoberts in-bounded the ball to Dockery at half court. Dockery dribbled once and took a desperation shot and then HOLY SHIT Dockery made it! With 1.6 seconds left, Duke won by two! I was elated. My knees were weak and my hands were shaking. Duke may struggle to keep their number one spot, but damn if the games aren’t exciting. Amanda, who was pale and weak, even showed some excitement. In one of the replays they showed the Virginia Tech guys, and I couldn’t help but feel bad for them, not enough to even remotely wish that Dockery had missed that shot, mind you, but you can’t help but feel bad for a team like that coming so close to such a big upset on their legendary home court and losing it in less than two seconds. (Unless that team is Carolina.)

While the clock was being sorted out, the announcers were talking about the long odds of Duke pulling it out. They even talked once or twice about it being over, and apparently Yahoo had posted the score of the game as final. One of the announcers said that he didn’t see a Grant Hill or a Christian Laettner out there. Boy did McRoberts and Dockery make him eat his words! It was as much a miracle shot as the championship spot clenching shot they referenced. (It just happened to not be against Kentucky in one of the best basketball games ever of all time!) Like that one, this was a finish I think I’ll remember for a long time to come. I’m sure Sean Dockery will never forget it.