It's hard to succinctly explain how I feel after Gannon was eliminated from post-season contention with their 53-50 loss at Cal today. I'm not shocked at the road loss because the now 4-8 Knights have won only 33% of their PSAC West games this year. What I am shocked about is how deeply disappointed I am that next week's games are absolutely meaningless. I was really looking forward to scoreboard watching and setting up a potential do-or-die finale against Clarion a week from today. And, heck, if the Knights had won 5 in a row heading in the league playoffs, then why couldn't they make a run with nobody dominating the PSAC this year? Imagine how cool it could have been if this team sneaked into the NCAAs.
Instead, Gannon will be playing out the string for the first time in three seasons. I guess it would be easier to accept if this team wasn't very talented or had been getting routed most of the season. But with the flurry of close league losses this year you can't help but melt your brain thinking "What if?"
I'm writing this post more than two hours after the end of the game, and I still feel as low as I did when the Knights lost in the Elite 8 two years ago. Devastated. Disgusted. Perplexed. At least the situation gave me the chance to explain the meaning of "bummed" to my 5-year-old daughter. Maybe tomorrow we'll talk about the definitions of "dismayed", "crestfallen", and "chagrined."
I'm sure everyone connected with the program -- players, coaches, administrators, and fans -- will wonder all off-season what could have been if ________ (fill in one play from any of Gannon's incredibly disappointing league losses). That's a pretty crummy feeling.