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I love the NBA – but only for Big Guy’s sake

Submitted by on Thursday, 11 June 2009 2 Comments

basketballIt was our equivalent of a prenuptial agreement settling religious differences in raising the children:

I could brainwash any offspring into following the Cincinnati Reds, while Dad was allowed free rein in turning them into Los Angeles Laker fans.

It was an easy deal for me because I don’t give a flip about the NBA, though I once threatened to jump on the Sacramento Kings bandwagon just to tick off Dad.

Dad, however, has occasionally smuggled Dodger paraphernalia into the house, which is a direct violation of the contract.

Should he choose to challenge the agreement in court, though, Dad probably¬† could get it thrown out as illegal torture. Have you tried to follow the Reds since 1990? It’s usually more than even I can stand after June each year.

No where in our agreement did it call for me to handle NBA indoctrination, yet there I sat on the coach with Big Guy Sunday as he watched his/Dad’s beloved Lakers in the finals.

The timing was right for Big Guy: He now has the patience and attention span to follow large chunks of a game. Plus Big Guy knows that his frenemy at school loves the Lakers, too. Yes, a 5-year-old can have a frenemy. It’s the kid he most wants to be like but insists on competing with.

The timing was awful for Dad, who’s still in Army training and can’t watch the games, let alone indoctrinate the next generation.

OK, so I’ll waste a chunk of my Sunday in front of the TV. The laundry can wait. Hey! Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea after all.

“Don’t worry about the Laker game,” I messaged Dad just before tip-off. “Big Guy says he has it under his control.”

Trouble hit¬† later, as the required gratuitous Jack Nicholson shot crossed the TV screen. Big Guy recognized him from a Batman movie he’d deemed too scary and quit watching the night before. “Uh-oh,” I messaged Dad. “Big Guy just figured out the Joker is a Laker fan. He might be wavering. OT game, BTW.”

“I want to watch the game. It’s not fair,” Dad responded.

“You’re right. We’ll turn it off,” I wrote.

“NO! Let him watch the game PLEASE. He’s a Laker fan now. I hope.”

“Yes. And he wants a uniform shirt, too.”

“Get it for him and do it quickly!”

That’s when I quit reading Dad’s messages to Big Guy, who’d already been begging for a uniform shirt because his frenemy has one.

Besides, Big Guy was hooked even without new clothes – clothes that would be like the basketball uniform Boots has been wearing, the one Big Guy once refused to wear. I think his affection might have had something to do with the overtime game lasting a bit past his bedtime, though I’m not positive.

I’m sure, though, that it did have something to do with feeling connected to his Dad across the miles through a bunch of sweaty giants running up and down a basketball court.

“Daddy’s going to be so happy!” Big Guy said. “The Lakers won! Can we tell him? Can we tell him?”

Monday, I ordered the shirts.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • Jen@HappilyEverAfterLand said:

    Aw, that’s so sweet! I have to warn you, though, I have a cousin who was raised as a HUGE Packers fan. Had the jacket, the bedding, the green room, everything. Now that he’s an adult, he could care less about football in general! So tread carefully – give ‘em just enough to keep ‘em interested!

  • MtnMom said:

    I am wondering how many other “cyber aunties” got the urge to go online and order him everything Lakers! And I think it’s just wrong that Dad can’t watch the game. I guess there are other things the Army wants him doing. But what could be more patriotic than letting him watch his favorite American team compete in an American sport?

    I’m glad Big Guy watched the game for Dad and that you watched the game for Big Guy. This cyber auntie tried but fell asleep. That’s how into basketball I am. I apologize to the masses, but, I fell asleep. I’m glad to know that the Lakers won.