The experience, and sports fans have all had it, is such a disappointment. You’ve just seen, for example, an incredible come-from-behind Celtics win with a buzzer-beating game-winning shot to sweeten the victory, and all you want before work the next morning is someone to celebrate with at the coffee station at Cumby’s. So there’s a guy stirring his cream in, wearing a camo jacket — okay, regular guy — and you go, “Did you see that shot by Marcus Smart last night?”
“Uh, I don’t really follow sports.”
The wind leaves your sails. Don’t follow sports? Did you lose track of reality at some point? Can you not pay attention? Do you feel no spirit for your home town, state or country? In the words of the great Jon Stewart, “Whaaa!?”
So you go to your job in a state of spiritual Deflategate and trudge through your day, wondering where everybody went. Minutes turn to hours, lunch leads to quitting time, and because they’re always there when you’re gazing down into the abyss, the ones who pull you back from the edge (and kick your butt for being a schmuck), you have a couple brothers-in-arms on the line in a matter of seconds.
Together, underground warriors in the pitched battle to keep good sense in society, you form a plan that’s less expensive, closer, and easier to find tickets for than a live Boston game: Let’s go see college hoops, or even better, check out the Red Claws.
To those to whom that all sounds familiar, read just a few more words, and not only see live basketball, but share the stands with hundreds of kindred souls who shudder and shiver at non-sports-fans, just like you do.
This week, the Claws play the Lakeland Magic at the Portland Expo (239 Park Ave.) on New Year’s Eve Day, December 31, at 1 p.m. Expect to spend at least $16 for halfway decent seats, and budget for concessions of course. The G-League can be quite a thrill. But as you know, it’s really the love of the game that starts that fire in your heart again. The human instinct to compete and conquer. It’s a great thing.