Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fan Girl (First Half)

You might be obsessed with basketball if:

You almost broke up with your high school/sorta-on-and-off-in-college boyfriend over a bet (for bragging rights, not money) riding on the outcome of the 1988 NBA Eastern Conference finals.  (You said you liked the Pistons' chances to beat the Celtics.  He basically patted you on the head, in front of his friends, and told you that you were cute.  The Pistons went on to play the Lakers in the NBA finals, losing 4 games to 3.  He had the audacity to suggest that you got lucky.  You got angry, and RIGHT THEN, ON THE DAY OF THE 1988 FINALS, made a bet with him that the Pistons would not only make it to the finals in 1989, but that they would win.  Which they did.  He used the word "lucky" again.  You predicted that the Pistons would go back to back.  WHICH THEY DID.  He stopped talking to you about basketball after that.)

While your friends were fantasizing about marrying a Van Halen, or a member of Duran Duran, you imagined yourself being married to Bill Laimbeer (who, okay, was already married to someone else, but, remember, this was happening in your imagination), sitting courtside and attending Republican fundraisers.  The fact that you lived in Texas and had never actually been to Detroit did not strike you as a particular obstacle.  (Why was a girl in Texas cheering for Detroit?  Um, because BILL LAIMBEER, ISAIAH THOMAS, DENNIS RODMAN, JOHN SALLEY, MARK AGUIRRE, JOE DUMARS, ADRIAN DANTLEY, RICK MAHORN AND DO I NEED TO GO ON?  LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE.)

You count among the happiest days of your life (in chronological order):  Game 7 of the 1994 NBA finals (Rockets over Knicks, four games to three); Valentine's Day 1995 (first official Valentine's Day with your spouse AND the day that Portland traded Clyde Drexler to the Rockets); Game 4 of the 1995 NBA finals (Rockets over Magic in a shut-out; CLYDE CAME HOME AND GOT HIS RING!); the day you got engaged; that magical day in August 1996 when Charles Barkley got traded to Houston (even though it meant losing four players, including Sam Cassell and Robert Horry); your wedding two months later; and blah, blah, the day you first held your firstborn, blah, blah.

You count among the worst days of your life (1) the day that Phi Slama Jama lost a heartbreaker to the Wolfpack in the 1983 NCAA finals (DAMN YOU, LORENZO CHARLES!), (2) the day that Clyde the Glide had to pack up and move to Oregon because Houston used their first pick on Ralph Sampson (okay, you later admitted that it was the right choice, but at the time, a stab in the heart) and (3) EVERY TIME THE ROCKETS PLAYED THE SUNS, because, dang it, you wanted to like Charles Barkley so badly, BUT HE WAS THE ENEMY. 

You consider the gift of an autographed basketball from your husband a better and far more romantic gift than jewelry, candy and flowers.

You named your first "married-couple-child-substitute pet" Barkley - specifically, Charles Wade Barkley McGlinchey.  The name ended up suiting him, as he matured into a round mound (of rebound and otherwise) and has never been much of a role model.  A year later, on the first anniversary of his "gotcha" day, you turned on morning TV and learned that YOU HAD ADOPTED YOUR BARKLEY ON THE REAL BARKLEY'S ACTUAL BIRTHDAY.  (Karma, baby.)

You have broken more than one TV remote flinging it in the direction of a set when a game was not breaking your way.  (You have never broken a TV before, because even at your worst you know to aim the remote off to the side.  Otherwise, you have a broken heart and a broken TV, which is the definition of insult added to injury.)

You once left your office for lunch, upon discovering that the Knicks were staying at a hotel immediately adjacent to your building, and went "trolling for John Starks."  (What were you going to do when you found him?  Undetermined.  But you were on record as detesting John Starks.)

You become a stark raving lunatic every March.  (More on that later.)

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