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Happy action graduation time

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
May 1, 2000
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Graduation looms around the corner, and this sports personality is making his last stand in an Arizona Daily Wildcat uniform.

Loyalty played a big factor in my three-year stint as a Wildcatter. Never once did I consider entering the professional world early - like a fellow colleague of mine that shall remain nameless.

Why stay loyal when the money is out there to be made?

Easy and simple, the pride that is displayed in this hole that we call home in the basement of the soon to be demolished Memorial Student Union.

As I have realized in my four years at this university, loyalty not only plays a factor in my life, but in the life of a normal UA student and fan.

When the Class of 2000 first stepped foot on this campus, we had dreams celebrating in the streets. Dancing, singing, putting one another on our shoulders, walking on the wires above Fourth Avenue, flipping over police cars, while getting doused with pepper spray and tear gas.

Our dream came true just eight months into our tenure as college students.

It was a night to remember. Witnessing Miles Simon nail free throws, Mike Bibby drain threes, Michael Dickerson fly through the air to the cup and throw it down with the thunder, Bennett Davison massage Lute Olson's cream-like hair, Jason Terry sit on top of the rim and of course, hearing Billy Packer's now famous words, 'Simon says championship.'

For those of you who watched it from your home while laying your clothes out for the next day of high school, you certainly missed something special.

Don't worry, though, you are well on your way to understanding what a night like that is all about.

Fast forward nearly three years to March 9, 2000. Arizona, Stanford, the Pacific 10 Conference crown on the line along with the No. 1 seed in the West Region of the NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats displayed heart, guts, determination and all the stamina needed to hold off the then-No. 1 Cardinal.

Sitting on press row, it was history in the making.

I'm not talking about the game - like that was ever in question - I'm talking about your enthusiasm, your heart, your guts, your determination and your speed getting onto Lute Olson Court.

Storming the court like so many other students have done to our beloved Wildcats was the second greatest sight I have seen in my career in Tucson.

You all displayed passion and showed it with so many colors. You proved what it is to be a Wildcat fan.

You fans made me proud that night, you showed that you can celebrate with the best of them. You also showed that you have the gall to block out what the security guards say and run onto the court in a frenzy.

The legacy needs to continue, and next year should be your chance to uphold it.

There are still some Cat fans lingering from that magical night in 1997 to guide your path, but now it's your turn. They are your team, representing your school, in your arena, with your logo on the uniform, and no one can take that away from you.

So, when the Wildcats bring home a second National title next season, welcome the champs back in a similar fashion to how we did back in 1997.

Celebrate, go nuts and party the night away. But most of all, enjoy it, you'll never get that night back, so make the best of it and rip this town a new one.

I'm out from Memorial Student Union Room 4.

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