Frustrating night in US Bank Stadium? Yes. Amazing season? Yes, hopefully just the beginning and we can all pitch in

I wondered if it was going to be a frustrating night for Red Raider fans  when I got off the Southwest plane in Austin.

I saw my flight to Lubbock that was supposed to land an hour before tipoff of Texas Tech’s national championship game with Virginia was now going to land around game time.

A few more people who  came off the same plane and were heading to the Lubbock  flight looked up at the board and saw the delay. One young woman’s head dropped.

I hustled off to gate 14 and bit by bit people in Tech gear started congregating and commiserating. I asked a Southwest employee if they had a Concorde they could use for this flight.

When would we land? Could we watch the first half in the bar in Lubbock’s airport and get our bags later? Then the flight was delayed a tad longer because the flight attendants were still coming.

A woman in a sequined Tech shirt was dropping F bombs.

A woman in a sequined Tech shirt was dropping F bombs.

We taxied out to the runway and then waited another five-to-ten minutes. Enough time for me to read an insulting article in the Wall Street Journal about how boring the game would be.

Got that wrong.

If you’re a gambler, hope you took the overs.

Got my bag, listened to the last few minutes of the first half on radio and watched the second half at home while unpacking and doing laundry.

Yes, my life is a thrill-a-minute.

I may have dropped a few bad words at home alone as we faltered in overtime and lost to Virginia.

I assume the woman in the sequined Tech shirt was taking her cussing to the next level.

I guess I was not striving for honor late into Monday evening.

Sorry, I guess I was not striving for honor late into Monday evening.

But this team did and we’ll all get to see a Final Four banner which Texas Tech can bear far and wide.

Picked to finish seventh in the Big 12, Chris Beard’s Texas Tech Red Raiders came back from two big deficits on the biggest stage in college basketball and almost brought home the school’s second national team title.

Virginia was dang good.

And so were we.

Yes, I used we. Working for newspapers all those years, we were not supposed to be cheerleaders, But Lubbock Lights is a place for commentary and opinion. I can be a fan.

This gets used a lot, but if you would have told me months ago our Red Raiders would finish second in the country in the NCAA Tournament, I would have been thrilled.

After last year’s Elite Eight run, I was happy to see us just get back to the Sweet Sixteen. It would help keep the momentum of  what Chris is building. I knew we could go further, I watched us throttle Kansas at United Supermarkets Arena.

Throttle. Kansas. Let that sink in.

Then we throttled Buffalo and Michigan before winning a tight game against Gonzaga and pulling away from Michigan State to make it to the championship game.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders playing for the national championship.

Not Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky or a handful of other “blue blood” programs usually in the hunt for a title.

Texas Tech University from Lubbock, Texas.

We got there with a team like the people of West Texas.

Not only did we get there … but we got there with a team like the people of West Texas. Hard work, grit, determination, teamwork, giving back … the things that carved this great city out of the dusty High Plains.

And we were all proud to see Matt Mooney give glory to God after his great performance against Michigan State and the team kneeling in prayer after that game.

I’m sure Matt, Jarrett, Davide, Norense, Brandone, Tariq and their teammates are hurting about what could have been.

But what they did was take this program even further.

I’m afraid Jarrett … the pride of Tech and Coronado High School … will head off to the NBA.

Chris has some impressive recruits coming in.

He’s going to get a new contract and I hope he becomes the Coach K of Texas Tech.

Chris and the team have stepped up. Now we have to also.

Chris and the team have stepped up.

Now we have to also.

I love this team and last year’s too.

I’m buying season seats for next year and I hope we sell out every game … even the early season ones against weaker opposition. The team deserves the support after making us so proud and bringing our city and university such great recognition.

Or think about it this way … we kinda all need to chip in for Chris’s raise because he’s building something special for all of us to enjoy.