On the road with the Aztecs

by Antonio Zaragoza

LAS VEGAS —- This weekend I had the privilege to be on the road with The Daily Aztec sports team to cover the Mountain West Conference Championships. The amount of work required to cover, in detail, the many aspects of the game is incredible. As a university newspaper, we have tried to capture not only the games and the players but also the importance of the connection it has to our student body.

I can wholeheartedly say that this weekend has been a great opportunity for an aspiring journalist to bare witness to greatness in its many forms. Our team won, yes. But this victory in Vegas was about something much more than just winning. For our team, for our university, it was about a re-awakening. It was about an opportunity for discovery, and most importantly, to test our own metal and elevate us to a higher greatness.

Gen. George Patton once said, “America loves a winner, and that’s why it won’t tolerate a loser.” And when it comes to college basketball, winning is everything. Say what you will about Jimmer Fredette and company, but our only two losses to BYU is exactly the type of challenge our team needed to reach its new height. Saturday’s game wasn’t about revenge, it was about redemption. In a place like Las Vegas, where winning is mostly attributed to Lady Luck, it was absolute sheer talent and determination that won the day. BYU is a good team and Fredette is an amazing athlete, but our boys have two rings to his zero. And that my good friends, is in the books.

Vegas is a place where God said, “I’m giving you Las Vegas as a place to sort things out on your own, so leave me out of it.” Only skill or luck wins the “bling” here. This weekend we won big.

SDSU is a more than a place to get a degree. It is a place to achieve and find yourself and your place in life. SDSU gives us each a blank call sheet and says, “OK kid, show me what you’ve got.” And like most things in life, sometimes it’s hard to find the win. Our team helps us do that. Because when they win, we win. All of us, every teacher, student, faculty member, janitor and groundskeeper received a win.

When life conspires to keep you down, and you can’t seem to find your way out of the dark, our team shows us how to make it up and out into the light. They personify the greatness our university offers us. The Aztec machine is on and running with the vengeance of an unstoppable locomotive.

Now as I write this in the backseat of a car racing home from Vegas, I think about the incredible opportunity and responsibility I have to this newspaper, to our university and I get chills thinking about what’s to come and the work we all have ahead of us. And now we all go forward again to find our next win and to achieve even greater heights. The Aztecs came to Vegas, cleaned house and turned off the lights on the way out. These are important times for our school, so mark them and mark them well. Because someday you will look back and say, “I was there. It was the Year of the Aztec and we were champions.”

—Antonio Zaragoza is a journalism senior.

—This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.