I have thought a bit about sports, the teams I follow, and the disappointment that has flowed from this allegiance over the last several months. I have started, and ultimately abandoned, posts that set out (in a manner so as to instill maximum boredom and disinterest) analysis of this or that problem that besets one of these teams (which are manifest). But all of this is tiresome. It is utterly uninteresting. And when I found myself screaming at another Georgetown basketball fan yesterday -- who knows much more about basketball than I -- about a perceived defensive lapse from Nikita during what seemed like a seminal play, I came to recognize that I have become a bore.
The women's basketball game between Duke and Maryland tonight helped put things back in perspective. I am a fan. Nothing more, nothing less. It helps when the team I am cheering for wins (or destroys the Blue Devils, such as Coach Frese's kids did tonight), but the pleasure derived from watching success is built by experiencing the inevitable frustration of failure.
And, regardless of the results of a game or a season, I have the privilege of watching Kristi Tolliver and Marissa Coleman play basketball. Tomorrow night, I'll walk from my office to the Verizon Center and watch Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, Jason Clark, Greg Monroe, Henry Sims, Julian Vaughn, DaJuan Summers, and Jesse Sapp play that same game tomorrow. The Hoyas may not make the NCAA tournament, but they are a pleasure to watch.
Over 16,000 fans were at Comcast tonight to watch the Duke-Maryland match. It is an incredible spectacle to behold -- families racuously and joyously taking in a game. Not living and dying on outcomes... just watching... just taking in the moment, the event ...
The attendance for the game marked the fourth-largest crowd for an ACC women's basketball game. The OS says that the top ten largest crowds for ACC games have all been at Maryland. There are probably lots of reasons for this, but I choose to focus on one: however twits might deride the quality of women's basketball, you will be hard-pressed to find a more unambiguously positive environment to watch a sporting event. And stripped of all the machismo bs, there is no other choice but to have fun.