Saturday, February 27, 2016


On Saturday, we took our three year old to a college basketball game. The thinking was that between the festive crowd, the loud noises, those cool flame throwers that ignite when somebody hits a three point shot, well, there’d be something for him to find, right?

Right. He loved walking up to the arena. Pointing to the cranes stretched high in the sky, perking up at the sound of heavy construction underway. Something's being built today, he looked to be thinking, his nose in the air and a squint in his eyes. I can smell it.

Technically this wasn’t his first basketball game. There was the Diaper Derby back in his younger months, but that was what, two years ago? Ancient history.

Now, buying tickets, I watched him bouncing around, ready for tip off. I remember going to the games as a kid, how the thrill of getting close to the action would had me hopping around like a Cameron Crazy.

Yeah, that’s not what was happening here. I think the kid just had to pee or something. As soon as I got our tickets and we walked into that dark arena and  it was like a balloon deflated. Some guy handed him one of those foam #1 hand thingies. He gave it a shrug and handed it over to me, his eyes lingering back on the sunny day as we went to find our seats.

The day wasn't a bust. There were some things he liked. He enjoyed the popcorn. He really liked the steps leading down to the court. He watched maybe a possession or two of basketball. Then the going got....difficult.

Here’s the deal. I don’t mind if my kid doesn’t like sports. To be honest, getting older and becoming a dad, I don’t have the same overzealous enthusiasm of my younger years. Besides, he’s three. He has plenty of time to change his mind, if he chooses.

My kid is much more interested in what makes something work or how it was built than watching some guys put a ball in a basket. Oh my God. That sounded just like my wife.

And this from a guy whose weekends used to be marathons of football or basketball games. Playoff time meant that I was not taking calls. What? You broke your leg? Okay, commercial break is over. I’m going to have to call you back.

From the time I could walk I loved going to the gym. The band playing, the pulse of the crowd, the lights and atmosphere. My son today? Wow, look at these fold up seats. You put them down and they swing right back up again. Amazing. I just gotta take a look-see how they do that!

We made it to halftime. And only because the place wasn’t quite half full and there was plenty of roaming room. We did some laps around the gym, checking out those straw dispensers and shouting Naughty! at every, single, napkin or bottle cap on the floor.

On our way out, climbing up from the court, the announcer was going wild. Someone hit a three. I didn’t even turn back, I had a grubby little hand in my own, a wife and kid who wanted to get outside and into the sunshine. And maybe they were on to something. Coming out of the dark gym, it was bright and had warmed up nicely. I took a big breath of fresh air, then my son saw a golf cart and that  became a thing.

We’ll try again at four, or five, or whenever he actually asks to go to a game. But I won’t hold my breath. This is a kid who’d rather cut the grass on the football field than watch the big guys collide, (again, sounding like my wife right there, ugh). But I have a feeling that my son just isn’t a big sports fan. He’d rather go to a Consumer Reports field testing facility.

Do they offer season tickets?

1 comment:

  1. lol you are bold my friend to even attempt to bring your Toddler to such an event that requires sitting still for any amount of time! I don't even eat out anymore because I dread such an idea ...well, unless the "restaurant" has Happy Meals and a Playground.