Friday I arrived hours late to a party. I went to the gym after work and made the mistake of tuning on ESPN. Bill Plaschke had plenty of lovely things to say about my Celtics. So lovely, I furiously worked out until finally, a show later when Wilbon said one sentence full of hope about the Celts, I realized I was about to pass out.
It reminded me of the insanity which occurred after Ortiz didn’t hit in the first two games of the season. It was, after, only the first game of the playoffs, and already we were being counted out. It reminded me of watching ESPN a few years back. You know, 2008. Anyone in LA remember the outcome of that series?
Sunday gave us hope again. Yesterday, I woke up and literally jumped out of bed, knowing I was going to my first finals game ever. For reading, I had my student read the Sports page, I couldn’t help myself.
Walking into the Garden was everything I thought it would be. After a very serious conversation with my father, about which beer brought the Celtics the most luck, we finally lined up for a pair of Sam summers. The man in line behind us seemed a bit of a celebrity. A few young men asked for a photograph with him. I turned to look at this man. He looked familiar, in one of those, you know you don’t like him, but your can’t remember why sort of ways. That’s when I noticed his media pass.
Los Angeles Times. It was the man who almost caused me an asthma attack. I will admit he seemed nice. He bought my father and I a drink being amused he had such an effect on my health routine, and also (this is when I briefly forgave him) telling me the job of teaching is incredibly important.
My father and I sat down happily in our seats, with our free 10-dollar beers. BEAT LA echoed through the Garden. Fifteen minutes in our smiles vanished. The game of basketball was out and officiating was in.
Was it the refs who lost the Celts the game? Probably not. Did the refs make a comeback less of a reality? Possibly. Did Bill Plaschke put a voodoo curse on our beers to prevent Ray Allen from hitting his shots? Absolutely.
Today I went to the gym, and politely asked the man working there to put on NESN. He looked at me funny as I cheered for Wakefield in a 2-hour replay. But there was something glorious of knowing exactly what was going to happen. And I dared not chance it with ESPN.