NightWatch Notes: On Disappointment and Hope


It’s part of life, and it’s still very tough to handle. Yet, disappointment has a bit of a silver lining around it.

After all, would you ever get disappointed if you didn’t have expectations? Without hope, there would be no let-downs.

So, while we here at the Lantern have consistently preached patience, optimism, and a process-over-results approach to looking at the 1st quarter of the NightWatch season, it’s hard not to feel disappointed after last Saturday night.Maybe we were buying our own hype here. Maybe we drank a little too much of the Kool-Aid. Maybe this team isn’t too far from last year’s, which dropped all but 2 games.

But, I’m not buying it. Not here. Not now. Not today. Not this team.While some might see the 1-4 record and discount Nashville as “who we thought they were,” I’m going to argue that this team could have won all 5 games.

I’ve witnessed the leadership of a Craig Stewart and a Ryan Balch, seen the talent of a Tom Radcliffe and a Blake Waldron, observed the tenacity and relentlessness of a Tyler Conger and a Dan Chazin, and been awestruck by the explosiveness of a Javier Ortiz, a Ray Davenport, and an Adam Paicely. This team, like Coach Balch said last week, exhibits greatness in terms of leadership. This team, as I’ve witnessed in watching all 253 minutes Nashville has played this year, sports enough talent to play with any team in the league. This team has the right amalgamation of personalities to mesh together and play well, that much I can tell you.

Of course, some of you won’t ever believe me unless the NightWatch show it. And that’s fair.

After Saturday’s heartbreaking loss to Charlotte, Nashville sits in the cellar of the AUDL South. The national recognition for the South has gone to last year’s top 3 teams (Raleigh, Jacksonville, and Atlanta), the undefeated newcomer from Texas (Dallas), and Charlotte, the team that has vastly improved from a season ago and that nobody wants to play. 

Nashville could have—and still can—be that team this year. 

In fact, I expect them to be given the improvements that continue to show in spite of mounting losses.

The question remains: can the NightWatch put all that talent, leadership, and passion together and execute in time to salvage the season?

If not this will be a disappointing season in the Music City.

But where would we be as a society without hope? 

To quote the famous Adrien Saporiti mural, “I Believe in Nashville.”