Sunday, March 22, 2009


It's  an AHA moment around here--All Hoops All the time!  We've had the HD TV on all day every day since Thursday morning, and have seen (participated in vicariously) over 40 games now.  I realize this isn't standard behavior for most people of my gender, but for me, it's a simple, real pleasure.  I've watched games when no one else is even my house. There's always an ongoing conversation about where certain universities are:Sienna in upstate New York--I correctly guessed that one.  Xavier--which is in Ohio, though Beve thought Louisiana, then discovered there's also an Xavier of New Orleans, so felt vindicated.  Cleveland State?  Oddly, it's in Cleveland.  Hopefully even non-interested women could guess that.  And the mascots--sometimes the announcers simply call a team by its nickname.  The Zips, for example.  What the heck is a Zip (Akron's mascot)? Apparently it refers to the zippered overshoes made by Goodrich in the first part of the 20th century (thanks, Wikipedia!).  I remember those boots, I think my father, maybe even my brother had some. But as a mascot? Pretty lame.  Of course, there are also bumblebees (Georgia Tech, not in the tournament, but my least favorite mascot of all time), UC Santa Cruz's slug, Stanford's Cardinal that is actually a tree with a face.  And the Buckeye, also a tree, but one source tells me it's also slang for testicle--but I wouldn't tell The Ohio State University that (which reminds me, why is the definite article needed for this university?  Somewhat arrogant, if you ask me. But then my father got his PhD from Michigan, so I'm predisposed to dislike The Ohio State University).

Anyway, these are the things I amuse myself with while watching the games.  Editorializing about the commentators also takes a lot of time.  A couple of nights ago, the play-by-play man of one game apparently had to go to the restroom, or maybe had a coughing attack so the color-guy tried to call the action for a few minutes.  It was pathetic, let me tell you.  He'd better not quit his day job.  We're big fans around here, though, of Jay Bilas and Dick Enburg.  Bilas is the quintessential teacher, like Joe Morgan for baseball.  I've learned more about the specific sport from these men than from anyone else.  In fact, I think Joe Morgan single-handedly gave me a love of baseball.

The thing is, I'm a spectator.  I have the luxury of rooting and dishing and editorializing about every game I watch.  There's no sweat involved, no pain of injury (except maybe for bedsores from sitting on my rear four days straight), no exhaustion from all those days in the gym working on my shot.  Sometimes when I watch these games, I'm struck with the urge to laugh, thinking of how odd it actually is that so much time, energy, money is expended about this game, which involves putting a rubber ball through a small nettted cylinder.  Seriously?  If aliens from other planets landed on earth and happened upon one of our sports, I think they'd be incredulous by how ridiculous the behavior seems.  Think about golf--using a club to hit a tiny ball into a shallow hole.  American football, where the ball isn't even round and grown, overweight men, wearing strange costumes, try to pound each other into the ground, just so this 'ball' can cross an invisible 'plane.' (or is it plain?)

I love sports, but they really do seem silly when taken apart.  But then I wonder how much of what we do, God looks down on and shakes His head.  All of our interest, and controversy over the things of this world, even the elements of human worship--maybe to Him, He watches fondly, because He loves us, but also knows we're missing the point. Maybe we expend a whole lot of energy on things that don't really make any eternal difference.  Worship music, for instance.  Does it matter to Him what that music is? Or is the more--most--important thing THAT we worship.  Loud, soft, with instruments, without, the point is to make a joyful noise to Him.  To make everything we do about Him and not ourselves.  Then I'm convicted because I can spend all this time paying attention to sports, and barely spend any time at all worshipping Him, proclaiming His Eminence in my life. Oh Lord, to be All His All the time, spending my life in worship. Let this AHA be my 'one shining moment,' Lord ( the song played at the end of the tournament, full of great hoop moments from the many games).  When I come to the end of my life, let the tape that plays forYou, be all overflowing with worship.

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