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Reardon: Rooting for the impossible

This past weekend, I took a trip to South Dakota. Somewhere between Sturgis and Rapid City, I turned on the radio. Country, not right now. Oldies, nope. Commercial, commercial, Talk radio, absolutely not. The scan button soon led me to a football...

This past weekend, I took a trip to South Dakota. Somewhere between Sturgis and Rapid City, I turned on the radio.

Country, not right now. Oldies, nope. Commercial, commercial, Talk radio, absolutely not.

The scan button soon led me to a football game. I had no idea what level it was, what teams were playing or even what the score was, but I kept it on. After a few seconds I figured out that the team with the ball needed a touchdown to win it, but they were still in their own territory and there was less than a minute remaining.

Based on the cheers of "Defense" coming through the broadcast, the home team was winning and looking for a stop. Still not knowing who was playing, I caught myself rooting for the losing team. With just more than seconds left, I learned it was the Hardrockers of South Dakota School of Mines that were fighting for the win.

Third-and-14 on the Trailblazers 35-yard line (I didn't yet know what school they were from), the Hardrockers went for the pass. Even though I had only invested a whopping two minutes of my life to this game, I slumped in my seat when the broadcasters announced an interception, essentially sealing the Trailblazers win.

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After the clock hit zero, I finally learned Dixie State (Utah) earned the 51-47 win over South Dakota School of Mines.

Why did I care?

Since I started covering sports five years ago, I've always rooted for the story.

Well, to be honest, I started covering college lacrosse so basically I was just hoping to write a story that sounded like I knew what I was talking about, which I didn't. But after getting my feet under me, I've always rooted for the story.

As fun as it was to watch players I've come to know over the last year find success in Dickinson State's 59-0 shutout over Presentation College, that's not fun to write about and, on most occasions, not entertaining to watch.

What makes a good story and I suppose a good game, is an obvious turning point, a nail biter to the end, a broken record, or as I was hoping for the Hardrockers, a comeback. There are countless other riveting story lines, of course, but those are the ones I can think of right now.

As a reporter who is constantly looking for what to lead with and what to write about, that's understandable, but I think all sports fans feel this way.

For example, the internet went wild when the Cleveland Browns won their first game since December 2016. All hockey fans appreciated the Las Vegas Knights going to the Stanley Cup Final, capping off an unexpected, incredible season. But they didn't win. Instead, it was Washington, led by Alex Ovechkin, who has spent more than 15 years and half his life with the Capitals before finally hoisting the cup. I guarantee more than the long-suffering Washington sports fans enjoyed seeing that.

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I may be a bit biased on this front, but baseball fans have to appreciate just how spectacular a season the Red Sox have had, breaking the franchise record of 105 wins set in 1912. Even Yankees fans have to see the beauty in that (I'm looking at you coach McCarvel).

Isn't feats like that why we love sports in the first place? Sure, we have our attachments, but the reason we started watching, was to witness something incredible.

Every one of us has a handful of moments in our memory that we will never forget; moments in sports history that still give us chills when we listen back to the radio call, or watch the video.

We live for the last minute touchdown, the buzzer beater, the 3-0 series comeback. We love sports because we root for the story, the thriller, the impossible.

Related Topics: COLLEGE FOOTBALL
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