It's not my favorite sport, basketball, but it's fun to watch and when you go to school at the very place where the game was invented, it's easy to get drawn in. This in no way explains how, after all these years, I still yell "free shoot!" when a player steps to the line, nor do I understand why the losing team always fouls, on purpose you understand, when they are behind at the end of the game. Why would you hand the other team another point? Jack assures me that this makes sense, I just don't see it.
One night, during my sophomore year in college, I had a dream that I was asked to play for the big team. The uniform of choice included pink high top Tretorns; my just over five foot self suited up and on the bench, and then, when the bell rang to begin, I left to go shopping. Typical, and illustrative of how deep my basketball love really goes. Although far too many nights were spent screaming at the Field House, packed into the student section with no less than 20,000 others whose time might have been better served at a desk in the library, making sense of the Bill of Rights. As much fun as the right to bear arms might be, cheering the home team to almost certain victory always won out, as reflected by my repeated attempts to pass basic algebra.
And just when you thought it could not get any more exciting, when the Jayhawks scored over 100 points Pizza Hut knocked five dollars off the price of pizza. Of no importance at all, whether or not one actually liked Pizza Hut, obviously, as everyone in the delivery area took advantage of the huge basketball driven savings, making the post game wait for bad pizza in excess of two hours. Certainly the reliably mediocre Pizza Shuttle could have been faster and less expensive than the savings on the pre- discounted inflated price, but there was no spirit in that practicality. Five dollars worth the ridiculous wait for greasy mass produced pizza, a fine time to brush up on Constitutional History.
Fair weather fan is a reasonable description, I pay attention now and then, when Jack points out that my alma matter is beating his, or when he forwards the article from ESPN picking my team to win the whole tournament. When they won, in 1988, I was there, at Kemper Arena in my signed Larry Brown sweatshirt. Twenty years later I was at Murphy's, with Jack, pleased as punch and fighting an odd craving for a slice of greasy cheese pizza. There will be no bad pizza this year, and the old Larry Brown sweatshirt is long gone, but the pink Tretorns are in a box somewhere, should I be called upon, next year.