Tuesday, March 21, 2006

humbled by the hoopmasters

I have worked in Bradley Publications for over seven years, producing newsletteres, catalogs, development pieces, president's reports etc. I felt humbled on Sunday afternoon as I watched a group of tall college kids finish off their second upset of the NCAA tournament. That evening, my in-laws came over for dinner. After I finished eating, I looked at the clock and grabbed my coat. They all looked at me rather surprised. "Take care," I said. "I gotta run." They were surprised to learn that I, who could never be called a sports fanatic, was heading to the airport to greet the team as it stepped off the plane. They looked at me with quizzical expressions.

I explained that I had realized this afternoon that these often ineloquent, but incredibly talented young men had done more to advance Bradley University in one week than I could do in a hundred years of hard work. I had also attended the send-off party for the team a few days earlier, and I decided then that these seemed like really sweet guys. They truly appreciated people coming out to wish them luck, they gave high fives and hugs to little kids, they signed whatever we asked them to sign and just seemed to appreciate the attention.

So Bradley is now in the Sweet Sixteen. The phones are ringing off the hooks. We're all over ESPN and the upcoming Sports Illustrated cover. Reporters and film crews are on campus. Prospective students are getting more interested. Suddenly, the country is curious about this little school with a big heart in Peoria, the town with a funny name that few people can find on a map.

So, I'll keep cranking out printed pages, but I have a new perspective on my work.

Follow Bradley's wonderful players at www.bubraves.com.

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