Nick’s Notes: The Perfect Pairing

I hate the word “clutch.” It’s an unclear descriptor. It’s a lazy way of saying, “this particular person did the right thing at a critical moment.” This weekend, two of my best friends did the right thing at a critical moment, they got married.

Marshall native Angela Tate married my college roommate Andy Aebly at Holy Redeemer Church on Saturday. The couple met in 2009 when Andy attended St. John’s University and Angela was at the College of St. Benedict.

Andy has an unwavering and calming confidence. Whether on the mound or on the altar, he doesn’t get fazed easily. He demonstrated that on April 7, 2010 when he pitched a complete game victory on the road for SJU against the number one ranked St. Thomas University.

On Friday night, he and I sat in the wedding suite at the Ramada Inn and sipped 12-year-old Macallan scotch from paper cups and talked about those things best friends talk about the night before one of them gets married.

I don’t know what how elite athletes get themselves psyched for the big game, but I’m sure it’s similar to how Andy was that night.

I asked the questions that Hollywood has made us think Best Men are supposed to ask, like, “Are you sure you want to go through this?” Though, there was never a doubt in my mind on his answer.

I knew he’d been preparing for his wedding for years. It was much like how he approached being a three-sport athlete at Edgewood High School in Madison, Wisconsin, taking the mound for the Johnnies, or playing in our apartment wiffle ball games on the Flynntown lawn at SJU. He was prepared, ready to work, and you could count on him coming through when it mattered.

You can count on Andy being a great teammate. He’s not the most vocal guy, but he puts you at ease. I saw it numerous times this past week when he calmed his future teammate down after hiccups on minute wedding details appeared.

Many of you might know Angela from her time on the high school swim team or in marching band here in Marshall. She is a delight and a ray of sunshine. Most importantly, she’s made Andy smile more.

Good teams have individual players that do great things, but great teams make each other better.

That’s why I didn’t worry when Andy first sent me picture of the engagement ring. I didn’t worry when she said yes. I didn’t worry when I saw the beautiful bride walking down the aisle.

You don’t worry about great teams.