Busting Out a Little Round Ball

Here's something different: Tony and I went to a Tennessee men's basketball game tonight. They were playing Arkansas, and it was apparently senior night, so we said why not, might be fun.

And it was. Which was kinda surprising, because normally we're not that big into basketball. Hockey? Absolutely. Baseball? Okay. Football? I can even follow that. But basketball? Not something I've ever really gotten into. (On TV, it just seems like a bunch of running back and forth, back and forth. But live? Actually pretty exciting if I do say so myself).

Of course, good tickets help A LOT. Some guy at Tony's work has season tickets on the SECOND ROW right behind the UT bench. He couldn't use them tonight, so we ended up with them instead. ON THE SECOND ROW! How sweet is that?!? We were so close I could have offered Bruce Pearl some of my hot pretzel. (I didn't because he was all busy stomping back and forth and yelling and I didn't want to interrupt his whole coaching mojo thing, but the point is that if Bruce had looked the slightest bit hungry, we soooo could have been pretzel buddies. Next time, Brucey baby, next time).

Also? Second row gets you into TV shots whenever they pan the bench or do a closeup on Pearl. (And knowing this, I very craftily wore my cute new pair of cargo pants which were purchased not two days ago and were just begging for local tv exposure). Not to mention that if you're going to be sitting on the second row with roughly 20,000 people behind you, it's always a good idea to bring the cuteness. Besides, all the pockets meant I could bring my phone/money/PDA/lip balm into the arena without having to drag my purse around and/or be searched for weapons at the gate. (See how smart these cargo pants are? I heart them.)

Being close to the action doesn't actually mean that you'll understand it, however. Every time they blew the whistle, I was asking Tony, "What happened? Why'd they stop? Is there a foul?" (Foul is the only basketball term I know). And he, without ever taking his eyes off the court in that way that men do, would say something like, "The call was an illegal screen in the backcourt by the blah, blah, blah more technical basketball terms here and now the defense has the ball." And I'd be all like, "Yes, but should I clap or boo?"

Another thing? Whenever there was stoppage of play, all these little kids with towels would run out and crawl around cleaning the floor. Every single time. Maybe a dozen of them, all out wiping away on their hands and knees, happy as clams. And I was like, heeeeeeey! They're really onto something here! I'm not sure how they got around the whole child labor law thing, but I'd like to order two please. First they can wipe up my floors, and then, if they're really good, they can maybe even scrub my bathtubs. Like little under-aged scrubby bubbles, complete with their own mini-towels. Sign me up for that.

Somewhere around the second...half? (Period? Regular playing interval?) I noticed something written on the back of the Arkansas shorts. (I know, I know, my first thought was "bootylicious" too, but that wasn't it). I couldn't quite make it out, but Tony said that it probably read "backs". And I was like, "They need it to say back? Can't they just look for the tag? Or the drawstring or something?" (I mean, I know it's Arkansas and everything, but surely they can dress themselves without having to label everything front and back). And he just stared at me for a minute before going, "They're the Arkansas razorbacks...they're called the backs for short". (And then didn't I feel like a maybe I should be the one with labeled clothes). But you know, in my defense, what kind of nickname is the backs? And wouldn't you wonder if you saw it on the back of someone's shorts too? Exactly. Besides, how hard is it to spell out razorbacks? Put forth a little effort, Arkansas.

Of course, in the end we won (although I couldn't tell you by how much since I've already forgotten the score) and I was able to wear my cute pants and watch Bruce Pearl turn purple from all his yelling, and clap and boo (sometimes at the same time) while all the players ran back in forth not 5 feet in front of me. All in all, not a bad evening. This whole basketball thing is growing on me. I might even look forward to doing it again sometime.

I'll even share my pretzel.