Tuesday, March 01, 2011

First Game with my son…


I haven’t been doing the “father thing” for all that long.

7 years now, but I suspect that there are some stereotypically meaningful father-son bonding moments.

One of them is the first time you attend a professional sporting event together.

I took Paco to see the Wizards play the Kings at the Verizon center and it made me feel so young.

I saw how EVERYTHING was a novelty to him. All of the “show” aspects of the game which I’ve seen hundreds of times by now were fresh to him and I just soaked it up.

The music, the t-shirt tosses, the bathrooms, the concession stands, taking the Metro there…you name it.

I had purchased pretty cheap tickets (relatively speaking), figuring that he wouldn’t care.

Since I knew we would be high up, I brought some binoculars for him.001

We weren’t in our seats for more than 10 minutes when a representative from the Wizards comes over and asks “are you here with your son for the first time?” (I guess he had seen me check-in on Foursquare.)

When I said “yes,” he pulled out two tickets for the $200 courtside seats with access to the free buffet/snacks/drinks.

Jokinen went to town on orange juice, ice cream, and popcorn and I just relished this small moment in our lives together.

Everything was an adventure, particularly when he said “I have to go to the bathroom NOW!!” and he didn’t necessarily understand that arena restrooms sometimes have lines…it was dramatic.

I was prepared to leave at halftime, but he insisted on staying, despite the fact that he was obviously quite tired.

The game, for two lousy teams, was actually pretty good and pretty dramatic. High-scoring as well. Nick Young had 43 points in an impressive shooting performance.

With 40 seconds left, the Wizards were up by 6 or 7 points. I asked if he wanted to leave “No.”

Then, the Kings managed to stage a comeback so that, with 3 seconds left, the game was actually tied, the Wizards had called timeout to get a last second shot for the win.

That’s when he turns to me and says, “I want to go now.”

“Now?!” I asked. “The most exciting moment of the whole game? No way, we have to stay.”

The game went into overtime and we left with about 2 minutes to go in that. It looked like the Wiz were going to win (they did), but we had had enough.

The poor guy fell asleep on the subway and I had to carry him up the escalator (he got his 2nd-8th?-wind because he loves using the farecard machine).

I asked the guys behind us to take a picture of the two of us with the court behind us.

His smile made it all worthwhile.

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