An Open Letter to the Iowa Women’s Basketball Team: Why We Love You
The photo above and the one below seem to be the perfect way to begin this letter. A letter of admiration. A letter of thanks.
Dear Iowa Women's Basketball Team:
Sometimes you don't win the game, but you win the day. I believe that's what you did on Sunday. I'm not surprised because this is a team full of winners, on and off the court.
I know Sunday's game wasn't the way you wanted this magical season to end, but just look at what you've done:
- You inspired fans to fill Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the regular-season finale and two NCAA tournament home games.
- When you went to Seattle, for the Round of 16, Iowa fans flocked there too. Two more victories followed.
- This weekend, thousands upon thousands of Iowa fans made the 12-hour trek to Dallas, Texas for the Final Four. Those red carpet photographs (at the top) are simply incredible.
Gigantic television audiences followed you too. *The Final Four game versus South Carolina had the largest audience for any college basketball game on ESPN since 2008. Needless to say, there were fewer options then. You won the hearts of the nation.
While all of that is great, there's more. It was clear game after game how much this team cares about each other.
When we watched this team play, we smiled. Just like all of you did. Your joy for the game made it more joyous for us.
And your coach. There aren't enough special words to describe how we feel about Lisa Bluder, who was emotional after yesterday's championship game.
In her postgame press conference, Bluder said, "I'm just so proud of my team. I'm so proud of the women they are. I'm so proud of what they stand for... They know they're role models. They relish in it. And not just for young kids either. This team has brightened the lives of so many people of all ages."
That couldn't have been more perfectly said. You can watch the full press conference below.
31 wins and a National Championship Game. What a season. Thank you for allowing us to join you on this magical ride.
Best of luck to McKenna Warnock and Monika Czinano, who won't be returning next season. We're going to miss you.