Growing up loving sports, and then eventually working in sports, there was never any thought I had of leaving a game early. Especially because I paid to be there throughout and then, I was paid to be there throughout.
Sure, sometimes it’s a sweltering day at the ballpark and the score is 14-0 and I can understand departing soon in a scenario like that. It makes sense.
But, I’ve never been a fan of fans who don’t stay until the final out, final buzzer, the clock hits 0:00, et cetera.
You never know … things could end up like this and you’d miss it:
On Thursday night Mrs. So This is Fatherhood and I took our daughter to a college basketball game. It wasn’t her first sporting event, but it was one of the first that she “got.”
Sports are almost ubiquitous in our house. There is usually some game on TV and she knows the difference between the sports that come on. So, she already has some interest in athletics. (By the way, thank God. What if she didn’t? I don’t think I could stand trying to have a conversation with her about, say, computer programming one day. Kill me.)
On this particular night she was even more excited because we were going to see UC Santa Barbara play, the alma mater of mine and my wife’s. The kiddo was in her pink UCSB sweatshirt, was a hit at the pregame party and was excited to yell “Go Gauchos!” at the game, eat popcorn and clap her hands.
As the Gauchos took a 15-point lead in the second half and our watch hit 9 o’clock, my wife suggested we leave. It was an hour past our daughter’s bedtime, it was Thursday night, and besides, the game was on TV so we could go home and finish watching it.
All in all … not a bad idea. For the record, not one I supported, but still, one I understood.
When there was a media timeout on the floor with under 12 minutes to go we told our daughter we had to leave.
Tears. Lots of them.
She didn’t want to leave. She wanted to keep cheering for the Gauchos. She wanted more popcorn. She wanted “the black team” to keep making baskets and dunking (FYI, the Gauchos’ road uniforms that night were black).
Talk about a #proudfather moment.
We went home, just a few minutes away, and the kid went to bed pretty easily. She was definitely tired.
But in that time our Gauchos had Gau-choked and the double-digit lead was now a one-point deficit. Eventually, it turned into an overtime loss.
In life, I am not superstitious. But playing sports, watching sports, I am. Which is admittedly stupid. I have no control over what happens depending on where I sit, or what I’m wearing.
The good news is that UCSB plays locally again tonight. The kid is amped up all over again. She woke up from her afternoon nap and said “Is it time to go to the basketball game yet?”
Another #proudfather moment.
This time – and hopefully as she grows older, every other time we go to a game – we’ll remain in our seats for the entirety.