This has been an incredible season for the Golden State Warriors. From their 24-0 start to seeing their head coach sidelined for the first 43 games of the season due to a back injury, the Warriors have made this season exhilarating to watch— but they are still not satisfied.
The Warriors are chasing history this season. The 24-0 start was its own success, yet are other spoils of war in the Warriors’ sight. They are looking to not only become the first team in NBA history to go through a single season without back-to-back losses, but to also best the current NBA highest single season win/loss record held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls at 72-10. Things are now getting tight down the stretch for the defending champs. With the regular season coming to an end next week, the Warriors must win all 4 of their remaining games, including home and away dates with the San Antonio Spurs to make history.
Statistics show they have at least a 56% chance of matching the historic 72-10 mark but only a 14% chance of surpassing it and becoming the only team in history to go 73-9. The pressure’s on, right?
The Spurs are not the only thing standing in their way, of course, but this might seem like their biggest obstacle. Fatigue can lead to turnovers and miscommunication on the court. Lack of sleep due to their schedule (4 games in 6 nights) can hamper their ability to focus. Stress will play a huge role in their performance over the next 7 days and could even hold over into their post-season play. To make things even more difficult, the Warriors have still not secured the overall number 1 seed for the NBA Playoffs. The Spurs are only 3.5 games behind the Warriors in the standings and still have a shot at 70 victories if they win out. The night is dark and full of terrors, you know what I mean?
How can the Warriors manage expectations and still outperform the competition over the next 7 days? They have a resiliency never before seen in the NBA through their ability to, at this point, not lose back-to-back games. They have youth on their side with the average age of their starting 5 being 26.8. They have a coaching staff with a combined 7 NBA Finals victories, including their most recent victory in the 2014-2015 season. They have some of the loudest fans on earth with 120 decibels of raw sound power being unleashed in Oracle Arena. They have their families who not only are NBA veterans themselves (Dell Curry, Mychal Thompson, both with championships of their own) but a support network of wives, mothers, siblings, and children all there to pick them up when they feel overwhelmed.
So what does this have to do with collegiate men and their health and safety? I am really glad you asked.
At this point in every collegian’s spring semester, the pressure is on. Some brothers are on the last sprint toward graduation. Others are on a mad dash to catch up on all the reading they neglected during SPRING BREAK 2016. Some might even be frozen with fear for their fate is left in the hands of the professor they swear has a vendetta against them. Some are in a mad dash to finish strong and secure that 4.0 GPA to make themselves competitive in the summer internship pool. Making the connection?
Some of our brothers are the first in their family to attend college, let alone graduate with a 4-year degree (making history). Others are spread so thin with work, school, and other student organizations their mind has become mentally taxed to its limit (fatigue). Some brothers are active participants in group projects and all-nighters spent in the library with 4 tests or papers due over the course of 6 days (lack of sleep). Some may even feel like they are trapped in pressure cookers trying pass their classes so summer isn’t consumed with retaking courses (Stress carrying over). Luckily for our undergraduates, they do not have the San Antonio Spurs standing in their way.
But the record, fatigue, lack of sleep, and stress are not the only thing our collegians have in common with the Golden State Warriors. They also carry with them the resiliency which is manifested in their ability to study all night, wake up the next day and not only take but ace their last test before the final in organic chemistry. They obviously have youth on their side with most Theta Chi members being between the age of 18-22. Their coaching staff is made up of older members, Greek life advisors, chapter advisory boards, and actively engaged alumni who are there to help design the play and watch them execute. Their own brothers serve as their fan base; although I hope they can keep the decibel level down during study sessions or tests. Their families are full of college veterans and a wide support network who can provide encouragement and knowledge when things become overwhelming.
Staying healthy during this critical moment in the semester is imperative to the success of not only our individual brothers but to our brotherhood as a whole. Utilize your resources and know your limits. Remember how invincible you felt during March Madness before Michigan State was bounced in the first round? If you are lamenting over something similar, it is in this moment you have to pick yourself up and find a way to overcome the odds. It’s time to make the trek towards the end of the semester with composure and determination.
I wholeheartedly believe in our collective brotherhood to make history and outperform others during these vital moments of the semester. It excites me to know the men of Theta Chi Fraternity will live by their maxim this semester and truly honor “Alma Mater First and Theta Chi for Alma Mater…With that being said, The Spurs will prevent the Golden State Warriors from making history and will take them to 7 games in the Western Conference Finals to eventually win the 2016 NBA Championship.
Did I mention I’m a die-hard Spurs fan? I’m even wearing my lucky socks for tonight’s match-up right now.