I watched the Duke Blue Devil/UNC Tar Heel college basketball game the other night. As a Duke alum, I’m pretty sure I signed something upon graduation saying that they could take away my diploma if I didn’t watch this game. Which is fair enough, because I would never not watch it on purpose.
Due to the magic of DVRs and season passes, I don’t ever watch anything when it is actually on, and I have no idea what channel most things are aired on or what number goes with what channel. I know we get ESPN, for example, but I could not tell you what channel ESPN is. My DVR knows, and that’s all I need to know. I’m spoiled out of my mind, and don’t ever watch commercials.
So, when my family made an emergency Wal-Mart run at 8:00 pm to replace a leaking coffee maker, I was unconcerned that we would be back in time for the 9 o’clock tip off. The DVR would catch it, and I could fast forward through commercials and the blahblah of half time, and watch everything in relatively real time with no problem. We got home at 9:30, I cued up the game, and settled in to watch in the rocker recliner.
Which is another ‘used to’ that I don’t do. I used to be unable to sit during exciting ball games, much less recline leisurely. I would pace around the room, or even drop to my knees in front of the television, certain that the great waves of sincere caring would affect the trajectory of the ball. I still believe I can care enough to affect an orange piece of rubber several hundred miles away from me that got flung a half hour before I’m actually seeing it, but now I believe I can do it while sitting. I also throw my hands into the air when the mood strikes. In this way the players know I am on their side.
The La-Z-Boy, however, may be another story. I felt like I had the wrong momentum Reclined with my feet up (the only way I can exist without falling over after 10:00 pm) all the up and down excitement of an exciting game was first a full body 90 degree tilt instead of a mere up and down on the Y axis. It was like doing crunches. I’m supposed to be watching sports. Not working up a sweat.
This was quite a game. It went into overtime. Having learned the DVR lesson years ago, I always set it to record for extra time in a sporting event. You don’t want to invest two emotional hours in a game to not see the last few moments which determine the winner.
Let me first say this: I am too old for overtime. It was after 11:00 pm on a work night and my heart was pumping. I had to get up to be at an 8:30 meeting. I was tired from the day and exhausted from the game. I get how the players manage it – they are teenagers, for the most part, and in hella good shape. The coaches? Not a clue. I guess they aren’t soft and squishy and nine to fivey like us desk jockeys. I’m also guessing they can go home and sleep until late morning.
Anyway, overtime was just as exciting as the game itself. Several lead changes, steals, dunks, foul troubles, rebounds, and with 54 seconds left, you still had no idea who was going to win. Of course, I was not to find out easily. With 54 seconds left, the extra time I had allowed for on the DVR ended, and in a sudden blink I was watching a re-run of Full House on Nickelodeon.
I went into panic mode. I hit “guide” on the remote and scrolled through the thousand or so channels we have trying to find ESPN. I couldn’t find it or the category of sports channels. It was like they blinked out of existence and all turned into local news and horrible re-runs and cooking shows. I went back to where the game was recorded, and looked at the number of the channel. I punched in the numbers of the channel and got…the local news. Not even the sports.
Eventually, I read the play by play on Twitter found a highlight reel online which showed me what I missed. But it wasn’t the same. The emotional roller coaster exhausted me. The whole next day I was out of whack because I stayed up past my bedtime doing something exciting.
There was a period in my life – most notably when I was at Duke and at the actual games live screaming my head of and jumping around for hours at a time like a lunatic – when I said things like, “Let’s not go until 11 – nothing gets started until then” and had the deep sincere belief that anything more than three hours was a full night’s sleep.
Not now. Nope. Less than 7 hours and I’m useless. I turn into a pumpkin somewhere around 9:45 most evenings. I’m too old for overtime. I guess if I want to keep my college degree, I’m going to have to move to the west coast so the late games start at 6:00.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Told You…” is set to be released in the Fall of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.