Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thoughts from An Outsider #3: State Basketball Tournament

"I think you'll find it's the exact same measurements as our gym back in Hickory." ~Hoosiers

Well unlike my two prior Outsider posts, there was a time that I was not an outsider at State Basketball....but 10 years later, I definately am! Here are a few observations from last week's tournament....starting off with my favorite photo I caught of the event! (Which I'm linking up with Show Off Your Shot.)
1. Basketball Mamas are crazy. We always joked growing up about horse show mamas being a little crazy---you know the type, super competitive, Type A, really intense. Those ladies have nothing on the small town mamas of senior basketball players. After we won the game to go to the State Championship (in overtime, I might add), those mamas were screaming and crying and headed for their babies! The announcer asked the fans to stay off the floor, but soon gave up that cause. I'm here to tell you, when Frosty and LD were headed on that court to find their baby boys, there was not going to be any stopping them! I know how stressful it was to watch those kids play for me, so I can't imagine what it's like watching you own kid play. Although after seeing one of the toughest guys I know in tears when his son won that trophy, I can imagine it's pretty dang nerve wracking!
2. High school girls should not be wearing that. I just have to say that if I ever have a daughter, she will not be wearing clothing from Victoria's Secret when she's 15 years old. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Victoria's....in particular my favorite orange sweatpants that I'd live in if I could....but I'm 28. And my parents certainly did not ever buy it for me. Really, people? Really?

3. Everyone loves to remember the good ol' days. Whether you won the State Championship in 1962 like Ski Trip Jerry, played back in 1988, or would have won had so-and-so just made that free throw that one time....everyone has a story. And at the State Tournament, that's prime story sharing time. It's fun actually to listen to generations of people relive their glory days. I also found it really entertaining to listen to the people around my age at halftime of the game on Thursday. I bet you I heard 15 people say, "If Mr. Franklin was still coaching and we had missed that many layups, he would have had us running suicides on a time out!" And they meant it...because he would have. Those really were the good ol' days in my book. It's fun to think that these boys will look back on these as their good ol' days!
4. It's not always on the ref. I'm glad I'm not a ref. No matter what call they make, half of the gym is yelling at them. Now, I'm a yeller. That doesn't surprise anyone. And when there's a crap call, I'm all for letting someone have it. But EVERY call is not a crap call. When your kid bounces the ball off his own foot out of bounds or jacks up some stupid shot from behind his head and it banks off the glass, that's not the ref's fault. I'm just saying.

5. Family is more than blood. On Friday night I headed to the Pit to watch the Corona Lady Cardinals play for the State Championship. In particular, my girl #14 (who is a total superstar in in the 8th grade, mind you!). And I sat with my dear friend Sis, who I would have been watching except for her crappy knees that keep requring surgeries. On Saturday night, I headed back to watch the Logan boys play, in particular #13 in his last game. I'm not related to any of the kiddos I mentioned above. But you know those neighbors and that showing family I talk about all the time? Well these kids are part of that. Which means that in my mind, we're family and I loved getting to watch them play for the Championship!
6. I'm officially old. You know that it's bad when you look at the boys playing ball and think, "what cute kids" and have to check out the refs, coaches and parents section if you're looking for Mr. Right. Sheesh.

7. I love Small Towns. I think that this may be one of those "you just had to be there" things....but instead it's "you just have to live there" because I'm not sure that I can describe what small towns are like. But if I could show you a picture to describe it, I'd show you Thursday night.

Our boys just won in overtime to make it to the State Championship. The stands emptied out and everyone--I mean most of the TOWN--was on that gym floor hugging those boys and hugging each other and laughing and crying and carrying on.

And back home, anyone who was not able to make the trip to Albuquerque was glued to the radio or piled in the restaurant in town watching it on tv.
We might not have a stoplight, or a movie theater, or a chain restaurant. And people will probably never know where we are unless we pull out a map. But you know what, those people are missing out. Because for all the things we might miss out on, if you ask me, we gain so much more in terms of knowing what it means to be a friend, a neighbor and a true community.
8. It's about more than basketball. Don't get me wrong. Upsetting the undefeated #1 seed and taking that trophy back hom to Logan was pretty dang awesome. But it's about more than just the trophy. These boys started playing ball in the third grade. Here's photo proof of that.

You think back to every practice they have had in the last 10 years. Think of every up and back they've run. Every freethrow they have shot. Every play they've learned. It all led up to this moment. But watching these kids made me realize that basketball really is about so much more than basketball. It's about learning to set a goal, and to work for it. About never giving up and pulling together when things get hard. About being part of a team that they'll tell you is like a family and a community full of people who support them all. And while in my mind, learning those lessons is far more important than any trophy....it was sure nice to see the Logan boys learn the lessons and get a trophy to go with them!


Lyndse said...

This is awesome! Love the picture of the boys when they were younger compared to the one of them now...that is a priceless picture!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful words Tiff! I am so proud of all the Longhorns, past and present and future! I'm honored to have been one for a while. P.S. I think #2 is hilarious and is something I should have mentioned in my "trends" blog! Ha

Bunny said...

Made me cry. Again. These kids and writing and reading about them just gives you a total lump in your throat. and yeah, it definitely is not all about basketball!

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