Saturday, January 9, 2016

Transitioning to basketball

It's now over a week since the Destruction in Dallas, the Cotton Bowl Collapse, the JerryWorld Wreckage, or whatever you want to call it. Anyway, it's enough time for me to thoroughly decompress from the disappointment and move on.

I've emerged from the football cocoon and and slowly making the transition to a basketball frame of mind. Went to the Illinois game and saw the Spartans, still without Denzel Valentine, dominate a sad and depleted Illini team. Despite Illinois' travails, it was the most complete game the Spartans have played without Denzel in the lineup.

The highlight of the game may have come in the final 20 seconds, when a player I'd never seen before--playing without a name on his jersey--finally made it into the game, having spent what seemed like an eternity waiting at the scorer's table just itching for a clock stoppage so he could make his Michigan State basketball debut. The player is Greg Roy, a walk-on transfer from Adrian College. I tend to gravitate towards the guys who occupy the end of the bench, the "human victory cigars" if you will. This is probably because I can more closely identify with these players, since that has often been my role on any sports team I've played on. But it's also fun to see these guys, who work just as hard as the starts on the team--with none of the glory--get a chance to play in a game.

I should also add that we were sitting near two somewhat elderly gentlemen at the game--I overheard one of the guys say that he'd graduated from MSU in 1966--so I decided that I'd be on my best behavior. No jumping up and down, a minimum of fist pumps, and as little cussing as possible (not that I really do much cussing at games anymore. Usually nothing worse than "dammit!). I don't know if the guys would have been offended by my overt demonstrations of emotion, but I didn't want to risk it. As it turned out, the game was never in doubt, so there was little reason for me to act like a spaz. "Good sportsman" goal, therefore, accomplished.