Saturday, March 19, 2011

March Madness

The year was 1997.  The five other girls I lived with along with my roommate’s boyfriend and his roommates were all crowded in the living room, eyes glued on the 13” TV screen.  It was the final game of the season for the Utah Jazz.  I knew virtually nothing about what I was watching but I could feel the electricity surging through the room and out into the apartment complex.  The last several minutes of the game were intense and screamworthy even for a basketball dunce like myself.  Karl Malone and John Stockton lived up to every bit of the hype. 

I found my heart racing while I sat closer to the edge of my seat.  Pleasewinpleasewinpleasewinpleasewin!  And win they did!  The apartment exploded into cheers.  Cory grabbed Mel picking her up and kissing her.  Trevor and Tyler, the TNT twins, yelled as loud as they could.  The rest of us laughed and cheered and jumped up and down.  Cory flung the door open to run out into the parking lot.  Several other students had done the same.  We all ran around screaming in excitement for a huge win. 

Don’t ask me about the stats of that year or how the game was won.  It was the only game I sat down and watched for any length of time.  I don’t know if that game was the last game Karl Malone and John Stockton played together.  I’m assuming it was the end of March Madness for that year.  I don’t know.  I am not a basketball fan but I remember that night.  I remember how fun it was to cheer for a winning team.  Cheering for a winning team is how I became a BYU football fan.  Their 2001 season was a great one and an even better season to learn to love football!  I’ve been hooked ever since. 

My mom had a boyfriend who took her to all the U of U games.  She hated football but really loved basketball.  They even went to several WAC games in Las Vegas.  She doesn’t understand our obsession with BYU football but she has no problem paying attention to a basketball game if Heath has one on. 

I don’t know why I decided to sit down and watch basketball with Heath this year.  Maybe it was because he can’t seem to shut up about Jimmer Fredette.  Every day he would tell me how this obscure person tweeted about Jimmer.  I watched part of something about Jimmer and how at the age of three he played basketball against his older brother.  Jimmer would get mad if his brother or his dad would try to go easy on him.  He would hold his hands up in the air and tell his brother to do that and try to block him. 

I could be anywhere in the house and hear Heath cheering.  Then he would run to me to breathlessly tell me how Jimmer had scored 50 points already and it wasn’t even halftime yet.  Maybe I was intrigued by all the hype.  I watched parts of games and could see that Jimmer wasn’t carrying the team.  All the boys were good players but if Jimmer got the ball he was scoring.  One day I decided to just start asking questions.  That’s how I learned to fall in love with football.  Maybe I would fall in love with basketball too.  At least it would increase my appreciation for the sport while decreasing a lot of my confusion.  Heath patiently explained things to me.  I think I’m understanding a little more now.  I’ve watched a few games with him. 

He showed me this video yesterday.  Cool video!  I loved the video of Jimmer as a child because I know that story.  I watched it!  I especially loved the video of him practicing.  How awesome must that kid be to dribble two basketballs, alternating the dribbles, as he walks backwards! 

Last night Heath asked what movie we should watch and I said Hoosiers.  He couldn’t believe I was choosing a basketball movie.  As much as it pains me to admit, I think I may have the March Madness fever! 

4 thoughts:

Ray Colon said...

Hi Tristan,

I see that you posted this just as BYU was tipping off. Good luck to them this evening.

I'm watching the end of the Temple game. My daughter goes there. I called her and see wasn't even watching it. The game is headed to double overtime!

I hadn't seen this video before. It's a good highlight reel. He's a talented player.

Welcome to the madness. I've not watched as many games as I normally would. Maybe I can catch up tonight and tomorrow.

Ray

Becca Jane said...

We're watching Jimmer right NOW!! I hope they beat Gonzaga. We love March Madness! Being a fan is just plain fun sometimes...a simple joy in life!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Hi Ray,

I can see why they call it "madness." It's crazy awesome when your team is winning and crazy frustrating when your team is losing and anything can happen. Luckily for BYU, they won by 22 points. I don't know if you watched the game or not.

We didn't watch the Temple v. San Diego State game but we saw that San Diego won. I bet that was a really intense game especially to go into double overtime!

Enjoy the madness until your eyes bleed! Isn't that what you said you do? You take off work and watch until your eyes bleed! Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Tristan

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Becca, I love what you said about being a fan. It is a simple joy in life. I know it's a fun tradition for your family. It was pretty cool to see Gavin's first speech where he talked about our Westover tradition of being BYU fans. That's how Heath grew up and that's how our kids are growing up. It's fun.