Friday Night Writes – On The Verge of Destiny

Is This the Beginning of a Rutgers destined for greatness?

So much success. Only 3 months after the Rutgers Football team completed the most amazing, unexpected season in school history, the Women’s Basketball team is on the verge of exceeding even their lofty achievements.

The similarities between these two programs are uncanny. Nobody expected much from either team. Both teams had to start the season dealing with the loss of their leaders. Just as the football team had to start the season without 3-season starting quarterback Ryan Hart, the women had to go without WNBA Top Pick Cappie Poindexter.

Now, just as an unproven football team came within a score of competing in their first BCS contest, a basketball team with no seniors has made it to the Final Four.

Both teams provided fans with the two greatest upset wins in school history, and both of those wins come after devastating losses to those same opponents in their previous contests.

The football team’s amazing November win over Louisville came less than a year after their 56-5 loss to Louisville in 2005. The basketball team’s win over Duke earlier this week came after a December 4th 85-45 loss to that same squad.

The comparisons are almost spooky. Maybe Ray Rice and his girlfriend, star point guard Matee Ajavon have set up this crazy juxtaposition.

Is this the start of something new at Rutgers? The last time any Rutgers team won a National Championship my 83 year old father was a teenager. Is this the year when Rutgers starts down a new path?

Is this the start of a winning destiny? Not at all. After all, all the hard work and toil means nothing if you count destiny.

- Manny Collins wasn’t destined to pick off two North Carolina passes. He put himself in the right place to make the plays.

- Freshman Epiphanny Price wasn’t destined to make the final go-ahead coast-to-coast field goal against Duke. That was her skill and training.

- Jason McCourty wasn’t destined to knock down Matt Grothe’s last-second 2-point conversion attempt in the win over South Florida. He made one hell of a play.

- Ajavon wasn’t destined to put away 20 points against Duke and another 20 against Arizona State. That’s just what a team leader does.

- The Louisville defense wasn’t destined to punt the ball away on seven of their last eight possessions. The Rutgers defense played their best game ever.

These teams weren’t destined for victory. Led by energetic and enthusiastic coaches, the athletes dedicated themselves to hard work and took those victories for themselves.

Just as the ladies had to come far to recover from a mediocre start to their season, the Football team is just starting their spring workouts, and with plenty of hard work and preparation, we may be in for quite a season from them.

What about us, the fans? Are we destined to cheer on a National Champion? Maybe. Maybe not. At least the ride is great along the way!

Go Rutgers!

The Rutgers women next travel to Cleveland to take on LSU as the Final Four begins. That game will be at 7:00 PM on ESPN.

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