I basked in your glory with Appalachian State. I was lifted off the ground, in joy, by you and Hampton. I felt your scorn with Harold Arceneaux and Weber State. Over the years you’ve worn every color in every season, even white after Labor Day, and while I may have complained, I always thought you were special. You would make precious few annual visits, and your surprise endings were grand enough to make M. Night Shyamalan green with envy. You are incredible, but you have changed. I used to anticipate the next time you’d call, but now, I need my space.
You have to make decisions that are right for you. I respect that, but I cannot stand by and watch as Shakespeare becomes John Feinstein. Your works were classics, now they’re cliché. You have been slapping your name on more stuff than Golden Palace. You have even started claiming games where the better team wins. Just because a team is ranked higher, either by reputation or apathy of the “experts,” does not mean it is right for you. In fact, it’s below you. You used to work with the best, Ralph Sampson and Virginia, but now you’re working with a sub .500 Big East team? Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’ve cheated yourself and your connotation. You bridged parts of speech like few others, but now you’re condemned to a mandatory modifier. From stunning to unlikely, mild to (the unflattering) not surprising, you’ve robbed yourself of what you once were. When I look at you, I see only a shell of what was once the most feared power in sports.
The sports landscape has grown and you have become a ubiquitous presence on par with Starbucks. I want my old upset back, the one that surprised with me gifts, not this new incarnation that wants to spend every waking moment with me. I appreciate the gifts, but they seem hollow now. The possibility of your presence used to fill venues of all size. Now, you appear at any half-filled field or park with reporters present. I speak for all of us that have loved your work over the years, please reserve yourself for the truly glorious. Let your synonyms work and maybe we can get back together. I want to believe, but right now, it feels ordinary when I’m with you. Good bye, Upset, we’ll always have Lake Placid.