December 26, 2012

Missing Games

From late October to mid-April (and sometimes later if I am really really really lucky), I organize my life around the Washington Wizards schedule. That may sound extremely sad, but it's true. That means a few things.

First and big picture-wise, I schedule no vacations from October to April without first understanding how the basketball schedule lays out. That doesn't mean no vacations during this period, just none without understanding how our home schedule works. In really good years, and quite honestly during the beginning of every year when playoff optimism runs high for me, I extend this window to June in case (and don't laugh), we make the NBA Finals. OK, go ahead and laugh. It IS funny, after all.

Second, I reserve certain days for basketball related activities. That means a half day off work on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day for the mostly annual matinee game (except for inauguration years, meaning no MLK Day game this year for me); a whole day off work for the NBA trade deadline; and no plans at night during weeknights in late October for the Meet the Team Party. The NBA trade deadline, which surprisingly, is not one of my company's floating holidays, has only been an annual event once (in 2012); I just got tired of surfing the internet at work during the afternoon for trade rumors and decided I would just go ahead and take the whole day off this past year. The Meet the Team Party is especially important; I once left a regional management meeting in Roanoke early so I could get back to DC for that one year. Thanks to my boss for covering for me on that one.

And third, I check the schedule magnet on my fridge at home before committing to any plans during the season. For some reason, this annoys some people (I can't imagine why!) but my friends are mostly tolerant of my neurosis and somehow manage to accommodate me. Sometimes, I have to take risks and commit to things ahead of knowing the schedule but if that's the biggest risk I have to take in life, then I think I'm OK with that.

Sometimes, despite my best efforts, I miss a game or two. I missed the November 30 thrashing by the Knicks in New York this year to go see Neil Young at the Patriot Center and I'll miss west coast games every year because it's just not worth it to stay up really late to watch the Wizards lose to the Kings/Lakers/Clippers/Warriors/Trailblazers (just pick one) on a school night and have to feel like a zombie the next day at work. If we win, it would be worth it; but let's face it, most times, we don't.

While I'm OK with missing road games once in a while, I hate missing home games. Absolutely hate it! I am a fan and feel it's my duty to show up and cheer on the home five, no matter how bad it gets. Despite my best efforts, I've only once made it to all the home games in a year (in the 19-63 2008-2009 season) so I'm used to missing at least one a year. I still don't like it.

Worth missing a game for? I think so. She's already equipped with her own stuffed G-Wiz!
But sometimes, there are things in life which are more important than basketball. That is not a typo; it's true and I really believe it. And Christmas with my family, and especially my six month old niece, is one of those. Even though she has no idea what's going on and won't remember any of this, I wouldn't miss her first Christmas for anything. Usually I spend Christmas within driving distance of Verizon Center so I can get to home games even though I am away for the holidays. This year, I am not within reasonable driving distance of VC so with the Wizards sitting at 3-22 and riding a seven game losing streak, I am missing tonight's game. I'll have to "watch" the game on the NBA Game Time app on my iPad and hope that the Wizards somehow pull it out against the still hated Cleveland Cavaliers with what I presume will be 11 healthy players, two of whom we signed three days ago. It'll be alright, even if we lose, it's more important to be here right now. Merry Christmas!

Let's go Wizards!

No comments:

Post a Comment