The moment that the Shreveport Mavericks ripped out my heart and stomped on it.

Last night. The Albany Patroons were on the cusp of claiming their fourth franchise title.

The game went back and forth between the Patroons and the Mavericks all night. All night.

But in the final seconds, Albany had a two-point lead, 120-118. All they had to do was keep the Mavericks from claiming one more basket. Three seconds was all that was left.

And then, PJ Meyers, with no time left, launched a jumper from the corner, just inside the arc. Tied the game up.

And Shreveport would win the game – and the series – in overtime. The Patroons lost their first home game of the season … and it’s the damn TBL finals game.

Sixty years ago, the San Francisco Giants fans know of this pain. The pain of when Willie McCovey hit a line drive in Game 7 of the playoffs that, had the ball gone a foot higher over Bobby Richardson’s head, the Giants would have won their first West Coast World Series. But no. The line drive went right into Richardson’s glove, series over, Yankees win.

If you don’t believe me, look at these comic strip photos from 1962 and tell me that someone in the Bay Area wasn’t still holding on to that pain.

I hate it. I hate it with a passion.

I hate that the Patroons let this game get so close.

I hate that Isaiah Jackson and Mark Williams were injured and couldn’t play in the game.

I hate that the refs couldn’t call the game down the line, letting Shreveport get away with kicking Luther Page on the ground, then dinging us later in the game for ticky-tack fouls. Fucking refs got their Visine mixed up with their Viagra.

I hate this. I straight up hate this.

I hate this the way I hate Tim Tebow for making the one professional quality touchdown pass of his life to push my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers out of the playoffs.

And now I have an entire off-season to think about this. An entire off-season.

This sucks sea urchins.

Forgive me if I still feel grumpy about this a few months from now.

I mean, yeah, congratulations to the Mavericks, I guess.

Then again, I felt this way in 2018, when the Patroons got pummeled in the finals by the Yakima Sun Kings. And I had to wait until 2019 for the Patroons to come back and exact every delicious bite of revenge over the Sun Kings in the 2019 TBL finals.

So trust me. When the Patroons and the Mavericks return in the postseason, whether it’s in 2023 or beyond…

I will not forget. And neither should any loyal Albany Patroons fan.