The smile is fabric, but the sadness is real.
Thursday night didn't pan out too well for Stanford. After a rollicking ride to the Sweet 16 that featured wins over New Mexico and Kansas, the 10th-seeded Cardinal lost 82-72 to Dayton, a fellow Cinderella story.
The Flyers led the majority of the contest, wearing down Stanford with wave after wave of bench reinforcements. The Cardinal were overwhelmed by the pace, and it got to the point that even the Stanford tree had to sit down.
Images of the saddest tree in the world were spotted by Nina Mandell of For The Win. The mascot decided to pop a squat on the hardwood next to the cheerleaders—or did it?
Is that an usher staring down the Stanford tree? Did he make it sit down?
Nobody puts Cardinal in the corner! Besides Dayton!
It’s unclear whether the pine tree was sad or whether it had been intimidated into this submissive posture. Were tears flowing underneath that veil of fabric? If a tree weeps on hardwood, does a butterfly sing?
These are questions best left for the philosophers and their abacuses. What we do know is Stanford's magical run was cut short by another magical run.
It’s alright, Cardinal. As James Brown once said, you gotta get up off of that thing and dance until you feel better.
There’s no crying in baseball, and there’s no sitting in March Madness.
Join me on Twitter for more sports news.