I, uh . . . had tickets to the Maryland game, but I couldn't go. There was the matter of an unavoidable family conflict (someone turned 80 and had a party, and trust me, there was going to be no spousal relief from that obligation).
I came to find out that the location of this event would not have a television. This called for desperate measures. So I dig through my stuff and come up with my AM/FM Walkman. This will get me through. Now, I've been married long enough that this is an issue about which my wife and I have a understanding that goes undiscussed. She hates that I do this but knows that it is the only way for me to be remotely sociable at one of these events.
So, in I walk, headphones on. And that is when every male in the joint sells me out. You know, the tsk-tsk looks, and the "hey, honey, at least I'm not in here wearing headphones" kind of deal. But every damn one of them knows what I'm listening to, and every one of them chases me down when they think their wife isn't looking to ask for the score. By the time the second half is halfway over, the pretense has dropped altogether and people 3 tables over are shouting for score updates, followed finally by the 80 year old honoree herself asking for the count. I may be the insane relative, but by the end of that party, I was the well-loved insane relative.
Every real fan knows that in life, as in basketball, there come days when you're put into a crucial situation, and lots of people would rather pass than shoot, but somebody has to step up. Saturday was one of those days. When it comes to the Heels, well, just give me the damn ball.