Friday, November 12, 2004

A Little Solitude Among 18,000 People

My frantic last minute attempts to get one of the many rabid Spurs fans I know to join me at tonight's game with little notice failed. Not for lack of trying, but people do tend to make plans for Friday night by 5pm or so. Many even work well past that hour, so I knew it was going to be a long shot anyway. I was running errands as I tried to call folks, and didn't have a complete phone list, but I made a valiant effort.

It was no big deal. I've come to know the sweet woman and her college age daughter who have the seats next to the one's I am occasionally gifted by a colleague. We hadn't seen each other since last season, probably early last season, and they've both been on weight watchers and doing very well. We shared dieting tips in between screaming at the refs and cheering on the amazing play of Manu Ginobilli.

Even if I had watched the game on TV (which I was planning to do before the surprise call offering me tickets) I would have paid attention to little else so it's not like I missed having company. I didn't want the ticket to go to waste, and actually it didn't.

It was Shaquille O'Neal's only appearance in San Antonio this season since he's left the Lakers and plays in the Eastern Conference now. The game was a sellout. I got to the arena late - having to park somewhere near Laredo - and quickly looked for someone to give the extra ticket to. I ended up being approached by a young man with a foreign accent who was looking to buy a single seat. I ended up simply giving the ticket to him. I couldn't sell a seat I was given and I'm a little paranoid about scalping laws...I could see myself being hauled away in handcuffs, which would have made good blog fodder, but I didn't want to risk it. The kid was very grateful for the freebie and obviously had the time of his life. He had me take pictures of him as close to the court as we could get before security shooed us back.

The friend who gave me the tickets called immediately after the game to apologize for the late notice. He gets the tickets for free as part of a compensation package - he's the Spurs arena announcer - so it was no big deal to him. We had a good talk while I sat in parking lot 744b waiting to get out, and he mentioned he was almost home. He gets good parking too...of course he also arrives early.

I have to admit it was sort of fun flying solo, being a little selfish and responsible for no one but myself for one night. I could focus on the game with an intensity I've not been able to give to any sporting event in a while. This may, of course, be due to the Dallas Cowboys ruining the game of football.

In any case, I'm home now. Amy and her mom are asleep. I'll be in that posture soon.

Tomorrow is the first Saturday in more than a month where I really don't have anything I "have" to do besides get Amy's mom to the airport late in the afternoon; her visit was way too short. She did Amy a lot of good and me as well.

I did notice an email came in tonight saying the "Habitat House" landscaping team fell apart and if "anyone wanted to volunteer Saturday " they'd be welcome, but I'm going to pass. The house will get landscaped without me.

I don't think that's really selfishness as much as self preservation. Ditching Amy and her mom on Friday night at the last minute to sit close to a basketball court was one thing. If I bailed on them again first thing Saturday morning - no matter the cause - I think I'd be courting disaster....even Manu couldn't help me out of that one.