Activity: Watching the underdog team play in Round 1 of March Madness
Setting: Local college pub- first-timers
Characters: Son- underdog alum Husband- would rather be home watching anything else Friendly fans of the opposing team- strangers turned acquaintances Bar regulars- enjoying the game or just there for the fun
When my son was a college junior, his basketball team made it into the Big Dance for the first time in decades. Because the tournament fell during spring break, we, his parents and sister, got to share this exciting event with him. We crossed the street to a neighborhood restaurant and rooted his team on with margaritas and nachos. What a sacrifice! While they didn’t win that year, hey, at least they got to put on their dancing shoes.
Flash forward to the next year: same scenario, same formula for success. But this time, they were victorious in Round One. Convinced that our specific support led to this success, we repeated our charm for Round 2. Again- a win! The team soon became the Cinderella story of the tournament. Our outdoor picnic bench might not have been as fancy as the coliseum seats, but the four of us coached the team through the next two winning rounds. The team lost one game away from the elusive Final Four, but we KNEW the results were thanks to our routine.
The next year, the team, under the management of a new coach, didn’t make it into the bracket.
But this year…They’re baaaaaack. And last night, we figured it was time to start a new viewing ritual. That’s where the college pub comes in. It was one of those spontaneous evenings that can’t be planned. Sharing a table with the other team’s fans and coming out with new neighborhood friends. Savoring new culinary offerings and even better, a variety of new brews. Lamenting the chaos that is our government. Sharing time with my now-graduate, listening to his dreams for his future. Yelling aloud as the tight game went off the rails in the last 5 minutes.
We didn’t win the game, but I certainly got a win for memories made.