I did not, as a rule, attend athletic events when I was in high school. I went to the cross-town rivals football game my sophomore year, but since I got into the game by pretending to be a member of the opposing team’s art club, I’m not sure that counts. (The art club was painting faces at the game as a fundraiser, and my best friend went to that school.)
Since I moved to Meeteetse, though, I try to go to a few games. As a result, as I frequently tell people, I have gone to more sporting events since I moved here than in the entire thirty prior years of my life combined.
Basketball is my favorite sport to attend (a good thing, since it’s one of the few offered here), probably because it moves quickly and I even sometimes have some notion of what’s going on. I hadn’t been to a game yet this year, though, and I heard that tonight’s game would be a good one.
Games are well-attended here–I’ve only seen larger crowds at funerals. People quickly drop attending concerts and plays once their kids have graduated, but many of them still show up for games. Never having been to games elsewhere, I can’t offer much by way of comparison, although I imagine they are a lot the same–people yelling advice to the players and cursing the refs from the sidelines, teenagers clambering over one another and rearranging themselves according to complicated and esoteric teenage pecking order rules, little kids trying to see the action, parents trying to keep track of their little kids, and so on.
During half time I chatted with my neighbor from down the street, who asked if I’d made the cheese soup yet and said to come knock on his door if I needed a bottle of beer for it. He’s also trying to organize a moonlight ski for next month, but sadly I’ll be in Salt Lake City at a library conference.
The superintendent, one of the old school board members, and a couple of other guys are always standing and leaning against the wall with their arms crossed at these events. I told them at the school concert back in December that I was going to buy them all white t-shirts and packs of cigarettes to roll in their sleeves. “It’d send the wrong message about smoking, but it’d be such a great photo op,” I said. And I suppose the 50s image is appropriate for these small town moments and small town games.
We started out strong but lost by 11 points. There are a few more games to go, though–perhaps I’ll even make it to another.