It was the first really cold night of the year on Butler’s campus, and I wished I had another scarf. The snow was pretty though, falling in great soft and silent clumps. I had time to admire their patterns against the night while I waited to get into Hinkle Fieldhouse for the men’s basketball game against Cleveland State.
My friend and I are basketball watching champs.
We got popcorn and a soft pretzel, then found a spot in the nosebleeds to watch the Bulldogs in Hinkle Fieldhouse. We watched the little kids do those super random games during time-outs. We watched the cheerleaders flip their hair around. We listened to the band, which was, I must say, quite swingin’. We cheered and kept track of how many shots Butler made.
For some reason, we thought we were leaving at half time, since neither of us had gotten dinner. There were an awful lot of people streaming down the ramps for halftime, and there were bunches in the parking lot.
“Look,” I said, nudging my companion in the ribs. “All the families with kids are going home early too.”
Back in the Apartment Village, with dinner on the stove, I tried to find the game on TV. I so rarely watch TV, I had to look up the channel online after failing to see it when flipping through. Turns out it’s on channel 13. Turns out the TV I was using did not have channel 13.
On the ESPN webpage, I found a play by play account of the game. Hmm, if I can’t find the game on TV, I can follow it online to see how it ends…
It was only after I looked at the words a few times that the full meaning sunk in. “2nd Half Play By Play.” Second half. As in, there are only two halves in a game. As in, these weren’t quarters of 20 minutes. As in, I didn’t leave at halftime. I saw the whole game. That was the whole game.
Boy, I felt like an idiot. Also, that means we lost. Although the last 30 seconds or so saw three 3-pointers from Butler, which was terribly exciting. As my friend says, “Butler is a drama queen.”
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(Also, I keep typing “basketballet” because I’m used to writing “ballet.” Faaail.)