The GGA Project -- Day #84 "We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do..."

My Dad works for one of those companies that buys season tickets to the home games of local teams and then, ostensibly, distributes them to customers as a way of sweetening deals or gently guiding on-the-fence decision makers in the desired direction.  If you work for or know anybody who works for such a company, you know that these tickets are not always used for the intended purposes, particularly when coveted, hard-to-otherwise-come-by tickets are up for grabs (Dodgers v. Giants anyone?).  So it is I came to be invited on the outing that would be

Today's New Activity: Attending a College Basketball Game

I went to college, sure.  But for some reason I was never interested, or was just too broke or busy to attend the games of my own school's teams.  But I've always enjoyed watching sports, and any time I can come upon free tickets I am happy to use them, especially when teams I like are involved.

Today the folks, the monkey and I went to see Cal vs. Stanford (big rivalry of course) in the last game of the season.  Neither team is very good this year, but according to their records they were pretty evenly matched. And since my Dad's company is one of Cal's sponsors (now that I think about it, maybe the season tickets were a thank you gift...hmmmm, not sure about that), the tickets always include entrance to a pre-game mini-banquet with hors d'oeuvre and an open bar.  Score!

I was rooting for Cal, not only because I've always kinda liked them, but at one point I daydreamed about going there for grad school.  I have friends who are alums of both schools, but definitely the deciding factor is the fact that my lawyer went to Berkeley...the lawyer who is helping me get divorced.  Yeah, so I'm kinda grateful to Cal.

Since this was my first college basketball game (in person anyway), I didn't know what to expect, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the whole experience.  The energy inside the arena was purely electric.  I always forget until I'm in the situation what a life-affirming experience it is to be in a stadium full of fans when the home team is winning.

Cal was on fire today, all over defensive and offensive rebounds, stealing and dunking like nobody's business.  I even got to see an alley-oop.  And you haven't seen a stadium light up until you've seen a visiting team's play result in a stolen pass and alley-oop for the home team.  What a rush!

It was also entertaining to watch the Cal band/pep squad, which had this synchronized "shame shame" finger pointing thing they do whenever any Stanford player committed a foul.  Cute.

The cheer squads were fun to watch too, though Stanford's markedly less so.  They were a bit prissy for my taste, what with the white bows in their hair and white gloves and their blah choreography.  And maybe it's just me but I don't find a tree to be a very compelling mascot, even a dancing one.

I know that a lot of people get annoyed by the worship of youth culture that happens in this country, and I can understand that.  It's really lame that most female actors are out of work once their youthfulness has lapsed, and it's really lame that young people don't revere, respect, and honor the wisdom of the elderly as they should.

But those unfortunate elements aside, I think there is room for the "worship" of youth culture and the respect and admiration of the elderly.  To be in that arena, full of cheering young students (along with plenty of older alums) was to be reminded of all the good that is vibrant and alive in the youth.  I think we *should* look to the youth for inspiration.  I think we should feed off their energy, their hopefulness, their almost total lack of disillusionment and jadedness.  I'm not trying say that college students are naive, and certainly not the smarties that get into Berkeley, but I remember my college years, when I was on top of my academic game and every day studying the subjects I loved, to be a time full of the feeling of near-invincibility.  Nobody could have convinced me back then that I wasn't going to do amazing things and find all the success I ever dreamed of in life.

And it's a shame that I ever came to feel different about anything.  Those fresh young college kids are me and you, without all the years of bullshit that followed.  I, for one, am reclaiming that foothold on hope and dreaming big dreams and being unshakable in my determination to indulge in every last honey-laced droplet of joy this life has to offer.

Who new a Cal basketball game would give birth to such inspiration?


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