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!