Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Spurs Date

I'm sad that The Spurs didn't win the NBA finals.  No, I'm not a Spurs fan exactly.  If anything, I'm a Lakers fan (I'm ducking) but I wouldn't say I'm an avid basketball fan at all.  I enjoy watching it, sure.  But, I don't really keep track.  And when I lived in Texas in the 90s, I was way more likely to root for the Rockets because my ex-boyfriend liked the Rockets and I liked Charles Barkley.  Who doesn't like Charles Barkley?!

Anyway, I've always had a soft spot for the Spurs because of one afternoon when I was a Freshman in college.  I was working at Showplace 3, a tiny movie theater in a tiny college town.  I was wearing a not so tiny black polyester vest and bow tie with my white button down shirt and black jeans.  It was a slow afternoon, a Wednesday maybe, and I was the only employee in the whole place except for our shy projectionist who hid in the projection booth all the time, only coming out to refill his soda cup.  I called him Gollem but he didn't think it was as funny as I did.

I was reading and taking notes for some boring class when the entire Spurs team casually walked in.  Seriously, all of them.  In San Marcos, Texas.  Easily 20 people, mostly young tall guys in sweats and four or five older dudes wearing Spurs baseball caps.  I didn't know any of their names.  I'd only recently started watching basketball and I just kind-of stood there looking up at them geeking out on how tall they all were.  The man who appeared to be in charge told me they were in San Marcos for training, I guess they were using one of the facilities at the university.  He introduced himself as Gregg Popovich and said his assistant would be paying for everything.

The players had to decide what movie to see.  Their choices were: When A Man Loves A Woman, Threesome and the horror flick Brain Scan.  Most of them went into Threesome, a few chose Brain Scan and two went into When A Man Loves A Woman.  No, I don't remember which two but I do remember that no one made fun of them and that Dennis Rodman decided on Brain Scan.  I remember that because he was nice and he ordered 2 packs of Sour Patch Kids and because it was soon after that that he moved to the Bulls and started dying his hair green and stuff.  I liked to point at him on TV in and tell people, "I sold him Sour Patch Kids!" because I was nineteen or whatever and totally obnoxious.

A lot of them ordered Sour Patch Kids.  One of the coaches joked it was because they were dehydrated and another said it was because they were overgrown kids.  I just figured it was because Sour Patch Kids were AWESOME.  It took me forever to sell all the tickets, scoop all the popcorn, hand out all the candy and tally up the total for the assistant but they were all super polite and patient.  After I got them all ushered into their theaters, I had to restock the candy cabinet and make more popcorn, which was unheard of on a Wednesday.

About half an hour later, when it was all quiet and I was back to my homework with my mouth stuffed full of Junior Mints, David Robinson came out of the Brain Scan theatre and perched on the counter.  I know it was him because he said, "Hey, I'm David Robinson," and shook my hand.

I swallowed my Junior Mints and introduced myself.  I wanted to tell him that my grandmother's maiden name was Robinson so we were practically related but I somehow restrained myself.  He said that Brain Scan was not for him.  "Too crazy," he said. "I don't like that stuff." I told him he could go in either of the other theaters but he just shrugged and stayed sitting on the counter, all tall and cool.  Then he started talking to me.  He asked me where I was from, what my major was.  He talked about basketball.  He was really polite and obviously just killing time.  When the rest of the guys trickled out of their theaters, he gave me a high five and told me he'd see me around.

I'm aware The Spurs team is made up of entirely new players now.  Except for Popovich, no one I met that day is still associated with the team that I know of.  But, I've always believed that the rumors about that team are true.  They are nice.  They are polite.  So I root for them.  I can't help it.  I mean, David Robinson HIGH FIVED ME.  I'm practically required by law to like them for the rest of my life.

Better luck next year, Spurs.  I wish you a trophy filled with all the Sour Patch Kids in all the world.

*photo by secretmenuholic.