Harvard Upset Has First Casualty, New Mexico Beat Writer Quits Job Covering Team
Dennis Latta, a University of New Mexico men's basketball beat writer, has seen enough.
It seems that the mammoth upset of Harvard over New Mexico in Thursday night's NCAA tournament matchup was just too much for this beat writer to bear.
I encourage you all to go read it in its entirety, but just know that it reads like a letter from a scorned lover about to split from his significant other.
Alas, Latta seems to have broken up with the New Mexico Lobos program.
Here are a few of intriguing parts:
I really thought that the University of New Mexico finally had a men's basketball team that earned the loyalty of their fans.
I was wrong.
I've been around Lobo basketball for 33 seasons. For 32 of those seasons, I knew that UNM had a team that could fold and lose to anyone at any time. I never got my expectations too high because a collapse was possible anytime they walked out on that floor.
I thought this team was different. I was convinced that this Lobo team was for real. It had experience, a good front line and a good backcourt and good chemistry and was smart.
I was wrong.
If you aren't rolling your eyes by now, let's get to the point where Latta seems to quit a beat that he has covered for decades.
But I won't be wrong again. It was a lot easier to take when expectations were lower. Losing was acceptable because UNM had almost always lost when it really counted. You didn't have visions of greatness, only to have them dashed. After the pitiful performance UNM put up against a team that doesn't even offer scholarships, I've given up. Having all five starters back next season means nothing on a team that can just disappear like that. I'd be back to wondering when it would collapse, have a terrible game and lose to an inferior team again.
No, I've had it. I've been to my last Lobo basketball game after covering the team for much of the last 33 years.
Good-bye Lobo basketball.
For those uninitiated, No. 14 seeded Harvard beat No. 3 New Mexico, 68-62.
From there, the entire Internet seemed to savor every last ounce of schadenfreude. Even former Harvard student Jeremy Lin got into the chuckle fest with this dandy of a tweet.
Of course, such an overreaction on Latta's part was going to lead to a flood of tweets, and here are some of the best.
Us writers have to learn how to separate our emotions from the games we watch. Dennis Latta apparently never did: deadspin.com/a-new-mexico-b…— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 22, 2013
This Dennis Latta thing is so fascinating to me. Albuquerque's most eligible bachelor over age 70 has become an Internet sensation today.— Phillip Lopez (@PhilABQsports) March 22, 2013
If Dennis Latta knew what Twitter is, he'd be so proud right now to know he's the subject of so much chatter.— Geoff Grammer (@GeoffGrammer) March 22, 2013
Former New Mexico beat writer Dennis Latta is a loser for quitting after they lost yesterday.He's a beat writer, not a fan.#DoYourJob— Adam Klug (@Adam_Klug) March 22, 2013
I would like to say that the column, while pointing to this being the end, could very well be just a bad case of melodrama.
Perhaps Latta doesn't intend to actually quit over one loss. At least, we certainly hope that he doesn't.
Many have covered this point before, but it needs repeating. You simply can't let emotion play a part of sportswriting.
I love my Los Angeles teams but fully realize the silliness of actually letting their respective successes and failures determine my happiness in life.
It's all a game, and we are fortunate to make a living writing about it.
This is all just entertainment after all. But it became far too real for Latta, and that's a shame because this is a horrible bookend for such a long career.
Hit me up on Twitter for mere dabs of perspective.
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