Today is normally one of the most exciting times for me as a sports fan. March Madness. Absolutely great time watching games all day long and some people watching too (at a local establishment). These two days of the tournament are perhaps my favorite sports time of the year.

The first day this year has been a bit mixed. Not from the tournament standpoinT but for a completely different reason altogether.

Last month I wrote about my friend Jess’ little cousin, Brandon Bird-Chastain. He’s a big Gonzaga fan. My friend Jess has been keeping me abreast of his health status. Unfortunately, the last few days Brandon’s condition had worsened. This morning, Brandon died. 

It only seems fitting that Gonzaga played today.

And it’s even more fitting that Gonzaga won……in convincing fashion. 

Coach Mark Few informed his players about Brandon’s death before the game. Knowing this, I watched the game against West Virginia in earnest. While many national and regional pundits were talking about the actions on the court of the Bulldogs, I watched them play from the inside. From the heart. 

Make no mistake. I am “not” a Gonzaga fan. My allegiance lies with Arizona. But when you live in Gonzaga’s city, you pay attention. And I have watched enough of their games this year to say that I have never seen them play as “INSPIRED” this year as I did tonight. 

That is it in a nutshell. They were “INSPIRED”. 

They played with drive, determination, physicality, consistency, confidence and any other positive adjective you can think of. That was Gonzaga tonight. 

The media may not see it like that. They’ll analyze the stats and watch the film. Even giving the “keys” to the victory, if you will. Maybe the Gonzaga coaches and players don’t even see it that way. But I do. The Zags played from their heart tonight. And tonight only, or maybe the whole tournament if they keep playing like this, I’ll be a Zags fan. 

Brandon Bird-Chastain inspired me to become one. 

Rest In Peace Brandon. I am “INSPIRED”


If you want to learn more about Brandon, please check out his website:

CadChica Sports


A few tweets from the Twitterverse:


One comment on “ZAG-SPIRED

  1. trent twamley says:

    Brandon,you have inspired a basketball team,a city,and if the zags keep winning possibly the whole nation..thank you…

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