That´s it, it´s official. Somewhere out there, somebody is out to get me. As I discussed last year right around March Madness, I am a Carolina Basketball fan. A drooling, slobbering, fanatically devoted fan. Don´t overestimate me, now. I am in no way a sophisticated fan. I can´t identify a travel if it hits me between the eyes, and 90% of the gestures made by the referees go right over my head. I never know who fouled whom, and I´m never sure how people know whether you get one foul shot, or one and one, or two. Basically, I just cheer when my team is ahead and bellow when they´re down, and every now and then I memorize a fun fact or smart comment to repeat to whomever I meet, as in, ¨Boy, Ellington´s having a great year, isn´t he? He´s come a long way since last season.¨ I´m not proud, but it´s true, and it´s who I am.
Last night was one of only a few truly critical games in my life as a grossly under-informed UNC Tarheel Fan. See, there´s this smelly awful stinky little team called Duke just about 8 miles down the road from Carolina, and every year we play each other twice, once at home in the Dean Dome, once at Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Maybe you´ve heard of this rivalry? It´s fantastic. These games are nothing short of electrifying. Why, even if you hated sports categorically, you´d have to be half dead not to get a thrill out of a UNC-Duke game. So last night was the first UNC-Duke game of 2009, at Cameron Stadium. While it´s always a pleasure to beat Duke, to do so at Cameron is a particularly luscious pleasure, and last night I thought we stood a pretty good chance of winning.
I looked online. What channel would broadcast the match, I wondered. Why, it´s ESPN! Hooray! We have ESPN on the cable network down here in Nicaragua! All I have to do is find a place with cable TV, and wa-la! I can watch a UNC-Duke game down here in Matagalpa! Oh joy, oh bliss! I trotted over to a local sports bar the day before the game to make sure they´d be willing to show the game for me, and the very nice gentleman bartender told me no problem, they´d be happy to. Oh, huzzah! I´m walking on sunshine!
Yesterday, the day of the game, I organized my life just so, everything in order, all loose ends tied up so that at 8pm I could be sitting in the sports bar, beer in hand, ready to cheer my brave boys on to victory over the hated dookies. I wrapped up my interviews, put away my books. I joined some friends for dinner, but didn´t dawdle afterwards. At 7:45 I strolled over to the sportsbar. By 7:55 I had a good seat right in front of the television and my beer was on its way. And then, at 7:59pm, the power went out in Matagalpa.
Why, God. Why. Don´t you care at all about my happiness? Today I looked online and not only did we win, but we absolutely slaughtered Duke. Vanquished them, left them weeping in small puddles on the court floor. Do you know how often that happens? ALMOST NEVER!!! Sure, we win. This in fact, was our FOURTH consecutive victory over the Blue Devils, and we beat them 101-87!! One hundred and one! The Dookies haven´t given up that many points in nine years, and the last time we had a Duke-UNC game in tripe digits was the 1995 game we won in double overtime, 102-100. (Yes, I just got that off the internet, but I do remember that game.) To have missed this game wasn´t just a bummer, it was primordially insulting. So to whomever it is out there fucking with me, this is your 30 second warning. Show yourself and fight like a man, you lilly-livered, yellow-bellied, floor-licking coward. I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS ANY MORE!!!