I had an epiphany the other day.
“You know,” I told Wes. “I don’t know anything about most sports… but I know a thing or two about basketball.”
I went on to explain to him why exactly this is. I don’t have any brothers, and my dad is more into drag racing than sports, honestly. So my only frame of reference growing up was, because I grew up in Texas, Friday night football. But I was in the marching band, y’all, and half of the time I wasn’t even aware that there was a game going on anywhere in the vicinity. (Honestly.)
I did, however, have a sister who played basketball. For, like, forty years in junior high and high school. (It felt like forty years.) And because I wasn’t old enough to be left at home alone for the majority of those games, I went to ALL of them. Home games, out of town games, tournaments, and even some of the BOYS’ games. I was an unwilling spectator, but I was a consistent spectator. I was also fairly certain that those were valuable hours of my life that I would never ever get back and that they would amount to nothing in the grand scheme of God’s plan for my life.
And then, I married Wes. And if you’ve spent any time around him (especially recently), you know that he doesn’t give two rips about most sports, but he’s a huge Spurs fan.
When I figured this out, I was glad that I had some basketball knowledge. I knew about fouls, about charging, about traveling, about double-dribbling! Practically a basketball expert, y’all. So I’ve been able to keep up with the games, secretly smug all these years that I’m “in the know,” you know. It was like God was preparing me for this role — Wes’s Spurs-watching buddy — all those years ago!
I told him about it during the NBA finals this year. I went on and on about how much I knew and what a blessing in disguise it was that I had watched all of those games when I was younger and how awesome it was that I could understand everything those commentators were blabbing on and on about and —
“Okay,” he said, “if you’re such an expert, answer a question for me.”
“Shoot.” (I’m so punny, y’all.)
Hmm. “It’s where some really tall dude knocks the ball out of the basket. Goal-tending.”
“As it’s going up or down?”
“He knocks it out of the way when it’s going up or down?”
I blinked at him. “Umm… down?”
“Is that not right?”
“You’re the expert. You tell me.”
I frowned at this, of course, because he was taking a perfectly good spiritual discussion about how God had made us one flesh as it pertained to basketball long before I even knew him and all and totally making it all about basketball! Of all things!
“You know, Wes,” I said, in my best superior voice, “I was actually in downtown San Antonio on the night they won the championship in 1999. And to be quite honest with you, I didn’t have any idea why the city was going completely crazy or that San Antonio even had a basketball team. I didn’t even know people played basketball that late in the spring! That’s how much I didn’t know before we met. And now look at me! I know so much more than I did, and –“
“Still don’t know what goal-tending is, do you?”
And thus ended a perfectly good spiritual conversation. Way to go, Wes. You may have just lost your Spurs-watching buddy. You’ll have to somehow survive next season without my witty commentary and my observations, which always included my opinions on what players were hot and what players were not, my calculations detailing just how much older you are than the majority of the players, and my speculation on why Tim Duncan has taken up with that woman who’s always flaunting her really tight t-shirts on camera. I know! You’re going to miss all of that! You really are!
Sad day for you, Wes. Sad, sad day. Should’ve just agreed with me that it was God’s provision for you that I went to all those games back in Alvarado.
(And I still don’t know what goal-tending is. But, whatever, you know.)