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Two Cents

Jeff Lund

By Jeff Lund
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday Jan. 10, 2002

New Year's resolutions. In other words, change. An opportunity to start over again, for a couple of days at least.

Sometimes it is hard to decide. I 'm glad there is no deadline for when your resolution(s) must be turned in because I would have missed it by far. After all, here I am two weeks into the year, and I have yet to come up with something good.

I sorted through many possibilities. One in particular stuck out.

With the new year just a few hours old, I found myself sprinting down the sidelines in Byrd Stadium at the University of Maryland after running an imaginary post route to perfection. I caught the ball without breaking stride and high stepped into the end zone.

The only witness was a friend standing at the top of the bleachers, waiting for his turn to be a jackass.

When it comes to football, that's as good as it will get for me. My career ended before the sun rose on the first day of 2002 at UM. No fame or fortune, just a memory.

The sport of basketball is much more dear to me.

After watching a white-haired coach pace up and down the sidelines from my TV set nearly a hemisphere away in the miniscule town of Klawock, Alaska, it became my dream to suit up and set foot on that court the Wildcats called home. If nothing else, just to go to the school and watch from a seat.

Why? I have no idea. Some things just work out like that.

Everybody has his or her own version or reason for choosing UA. Everyone has his or her own dream. For some, the dream ends in Tucson. For others, Arizona is just a steppingstone to brighter stars.

Some will resolve to put their goals more in focus, by becoming a better student, perfecting their jump shot or even improving their appearance.

But there is a fine line between reality and fantasy. Some things are better kept to yourself, and some can be realistically pursued.

I could resolve to become better at basketball and transfer schools and be the man for my team. But that's just not practical.

I can't tell you how many times while writing this my mind wandered from writing in proper AP style to leading Arizona to another national championship, with myself running the point.

I am a dreamer - maybe that is my flaw.

Unfortunately, myself and everyone else who has shared similar Wildcat dreams over the years will have to settle for a victory on a video game of our choice.

We all have to make our luck in different ways, although, at times, reversing roles is very enticing.

We can change certain things about our lives, and there are things that just are the way they are.

It sucks, but that is the truth. I can dream all I want, but I will only be Jason Gardner when the 2002 NCAA Final Four game comes out for PlayStation, although I would have probably given up my right hand to drape an Arizona Wildcat jersey over my skinny white chest and do layups before the national championship game last season.

So I suppose the new year isn't exactly a time to "start over" because, at this point, some things just need to be let go or confined to sleeping hours. But bettering a current situation is definitely doable.

As for my resolution, I guess I should vow to stay out of stadiums at night when I should not be there. Because in the words of my former sports editor, "That is a good way to get arrested."


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