Thursday, March 20, 2008

Arizona vs. West Virginia

Big game tonight. My Arizona Wildcats take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. This is an amazing coincidence, considering I voted West Virginia my favorite team of the dat in a previous blog. That was long before the NCAA basketball tournament was announced. I think the selection committee is reading my blog. While I won't be rooting for WV tonight, I am still a fan of former football players "Dingle" and "Berry".

What do I know about West Virginia? It is pretty in the fall. The year my sister Jen got married (1999?), I almost died in West Virginia. I was driving from Raleigh, North Carolina to Kansas City, Missouri, for her wedding. I was also in the process of moving to Louisville, Kentucky. I had packed all my belongings into my car. I drove through West Virginia in an ice storm. One stretch of I-64 near Charleston was especially dangerous. I saw several semi-trailers were in ditches. I stopped for gas and a truck driver yelled to me, "what the hell are you doing out in this weather." I responded by saying, "my sister is getting married". It was stupid. I should have pulled over.

After filling up with gas, I started back on I-64. I was accelerating on a bridge, going down hill, when the rear-end of my car started "coming around". For anyone who has slipped on ice in a car before, you know the phenomenon. Basically, the 'rear-end' of the car has more momentum than the front end. As you are driving, you can feel the car not going the direction you are pointing the steering wheel. My heart was in my throat... as it was a good 150 foot drop off the side of the bridge. Like my high school driving instructor, H.D. Henderson, instructed me, I took my foot off the gas and "steered into" the slide. That means I pointed the steering wheel at the direction I was sliding (off the side of the bridge!) at about 45 MPH. The car quickly lurched back on track and I turned the wheel back towards the road. I had control of my car, but not of my beating heart.

Needless to say, since I almost died in West Virginia, I see it as only fair that the West Virginia Mountaineers would forfeit tonight's game. How about it, guys?

Damn. That is the last time I drive through an ice storm in YOUR state trying to get to my sisters wedding!!! Take that!

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