Yesterday I began work before 1 in the morning and just kept at it--can go into all that was done later. But in the early evening I ended up watching the BU-Harvard women's basketball game on NESN. Was going to watch the pregame for championship game of the NBA in-season tournament, but Stephen A. Smith was on.
His sole ability is being massively annoying. There are so many people I think are just the worst of us. That is, if you had to host an alien for a day, and they saw that person doing what they do--like a Stephen A. Smith--you'd be mortified on earth's behalf. Plus, you'd be in the awkward, difficult situation of explaining to the alien that being an idiot-tool can help make an earth resident rich. The alien couldn't wait to leave, I'm sure, or tell his buddies when he got back home to dust off the planet-zapping ray gun because there was nothing here and they could put something better in our place.
The BU-Harvard game was in the Terriers' gym, and I got really into this. That's what I like best about sports: the competition. I like seeing something that has meaning to the participants who are giving it their all. For all of the writing I do about sports, all I know about the games, the histories, that's what it comes back to for me. That's the life aspect.
The announcers were into it too. I'm not sure who they were, but they were better than a lot of so-called "big-time" announcers that I hear. They made some silly claims--"The crowd is going crazy!" for instance--but it never felt like they were bullshitting you. This game had stakes in the context of that gym, those rosters, those journeys to get to that gym, these seasons. It was very cool.
BU was up by 8 at the half. They had these two co-captains who worked very well together. Seemed like they'd been teammates for quite a while--I wondered if that went back before they got to BU.
The Terriers pushed the lead to 16 in the second half, but Harvard was composed. They kept playing. They were upbeat. The players kept communicating and encouraging each other between whistles, and they came back and went up in the game. 16 points in the second half of a women's college basketball game is a decent margin to overcome. There are threes, yes, but it feels like a more organic game, with cuts, screens, give-and-go's, backdoor plays. There are less whistles, too, and fewer fouls.
After that, it went back and forth, before BU ultimately prevailed 80-77. But that was as entertaining a game as any I've seen in the last bit. (I had also watched the end of the Bruins-Coyotes game and all of the BC-Providence men's hockey game, so it was back-to-back-to-back on NESN for me).
I like that--when I'm just doing whatever, and you don't really mean to watch some game, it's just on, then you start getting pulled in by the spirit of competitiveness that's on display and because something means something to people. I think that's rare that anything means anything to anyone now.