I have this feeling in my stomach, my heart and my brain that feels far too distant but at the same time all too familiar. It’s that feeling of pure excitement that builds and builds before shooting waves of electricity up the long of your back and into the hairs on your head before ultimately jolting through your arms and seemingly out of your body. Goosebumps. Shivers. Happiness.
I’m sure many of you have experienced something similar before (Where my other 90’s Bulls fans at?). I’m sure many of you are experiencing something similar now. It’s that flutter that you get when you’re watching something that’s not only special, but transcendent. Something that is so out of this world, it’s hard to fully comprehend.
How can this be? How is this happening? How is this person doing THAT?
It’s something you cannot miss, no matter the circumstances because you only get so few opportunities to fully engage and enjoy in their brilliance.
There have been plenty of think pieces that have tried to explain the pull, the gravity, of Caitlin Clark. How important she is to women’s basketball. How important she is to basketball, PERIOD. How important she is to women’s athletics. How important she is to athletics, PERIOD.
They are all correct and somehow don’t do her enough justice. This cannot be understated. She’s changing the game globally and nationally. She’s changing EVERYTHING in Iowa City and the ramifications of having her on campus while doing the unthinkable is going to absolutely shape the University of Iowa in such a positive way for decades to come, it’s kind of mind blowing to think about.
She is a brand unto herself at this stage in her collegiate career. Her style of play is so welcoming and inspiring and intense that you can’t keep your eyes off of her. And that goes for everyone in the crowd and at home watching on their televisions.
Especially for those at home watching on their televisions.
Do you want to know the last time I sat down on my floor, crisscross-applesauce, mouth agape as I watched someone do literally anything they wanted with a basketball?
The 1998 Finals.
But last night, I couldn’t help it. It just felt right. I wanted to be as close as I could to my television to soak up every second of Clark’s performance. I was screaming “BANG” with every shot. I was yelling at those poor Hokie defenders that you “CANNOT LET HER GO RIGHT”. I bellowed “And-1” every time she drove to the rack. And you better believe that I wanted to punch the offensive-foul-happy-official through my TV (although I do credit him for seemingly waking up THE BEAST right before half).
But that’s my point - she’s a magnet. She’s a force. She’s always on time and it feels like she can literally do anything she wants whenever she wants and nobody is going to stop her. Thank the heavens above that Lisa Bluder and her coaching staff gave her the keys and said “have fun kid”.
Hell, you give that girl enough time and she can probably run for office and win in a landslide. Because that’s what she does. That’s the type of gravitas she posses and she wears it around like its nothing more than a cape.
I’m sure there is a burden to all of this hysteria. I’m sure there are times she wishes she could just go hoop like she used to and not have to deal with commentators wanting to take a selfie with her after a game. But her ability to shake off those thoughts and go out there week in and week out and dap up kids pregame that are rocking her jersey is so unique. She’s not only an absolute solar system on the court, she’s one of the best ambassadors I’ve ever seen.
And she’s a hell of a teammate on top of it.
Everything she portrays on that court is something I hope rubs off on the next generation of athletes and then eventually rubs off on my daughters.
That’s the true Clarkenomics for me. It’s not the money she’s bringing in or how she puts butts in seats (although, it is 100% part of it and 100% important). But it’s everything she’s creating inside of the hearts and minds of the next generation coming up.
Did you see the signs some of the little girls had in Charlotte last night? I’m the next Caitlin Clark? Are you serious?
Do you feel that jolt of electricity pulsing through your body reading that too?
What a special, special time.
What a special, special player.
What a special, special human.
One last thought...I’m not sure if anyone has a connect with Gatorade, but they need to remake the classic “Anything you can do, I can do better” commercial but instead of the GOAT and Mia Hamm, they need to do it with Steph Curry and Caitlin Clark.
IT WOULD BE GOLD AND YOU’RE WELCOME.