Saturday evening through Sunday evening, let's call it from 6:30 p.m. Saturday to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, have been a lot of fun, yet sobering as well.
I haven't posted in a few days as I have been in college basketball-induced stupor, watching my teams win the SEC championship as they were supposed to, and making an improbable run to win the MAC championship.
Being a native Kentuckian, being a UK basketball fan is a birthright much the same way being a Packer fan is to Green Bay. And while I never attended the University of Kentucky, the UK Wildcats have always been my No. 1 rooting interest in all of sports.
As an Ohio University alum, however, I took the greatest amount of satisfaction watching my Bobcats run through the Mid-American Conference tournament by beating three of our biggest rivals, and doing so as the lowest seed ever to win the MAC tourney. (To the right, Armon Basset, our best player, ices the game in overtime with a slam dunk in the closing seconds.)
Consequently, on Selection Sunday, always one of my favorite days in the year, I watched as UK got a 1 seed, which puts them on the fast track to the Final Four and a shot at the school's eighth championship. And I also got to see Ohio get paired against heavily favored Georgetown as a 14 seed to play Thursday in Providence. (The wheels already turning in my mind on how I can get to Providence...I love March Madness, and I love cheering for the underdog, unless that means cheering against UK.)
I was planning on writing exclusively on college basketball, but then came the news this evening about the slayings in Juarez. (An unrelated side note, the AP reporter who wrote this article is someone I went to Ohio University with and worked with at The Post, the university's student-run newspaper. Nice work, Phil!)
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that despite the travel advisories, I wasn't too nervous about driving to Hermosillo. Sunday's news was more upsetting.
In the past, I'd always tell people that while yes, the Mexican border is dangerous, it has been mostly drug cartels targeting each other. Americans largely were not getting harmed. Sunday changed that reality.
While there are many unknowns about what happened at this point, there are several levels of scariness about the news.
For example, what if this was some sort of retaliation for a Mexican getting denied a visa by the consulate office. That is by far the scariest scenario. Less threatening, but still upsetting is that the EFM who was slain was a corrections officer in El Paso, and maybe he was the target.
Lower on my personal threat level is the cases of wrong place, wrong time and that it could have been a case of mistaken identity.
Regardless, thoughts and prayers go out the families of the slain and to those who live along the border. Be careful, be safe, and good luck on making your decision about the temporary withdrawal to some where away from the border.