Saturday , Nov , 24 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Hard to Watch

I went to the Suns-Kings game last Wednesday, November 21, and it was hard to watch. Not that I’m a Kings fan, but I was doing the husband thing, and it’s hard to watch a sporting event with a non-sports fan. She spent the beginning of the game (you know, during the cool pre-game introduction light show and music) trying to figure out which of the Suns Dancers had been on The Bachelor.

I went to the Suns-Clippers game last night with my brother-in-law. Instead of talking about which Suns dancer was on The Bachelor (or which Suns player appeared on Oprah), he was making jokes about how the “second-string” cheerleaders in the upper level (I sit in the cheap seats) didn’t know how to properly grease the skids to get down on the court.

In a stroke of brilliance, I had taken my wife to a preseason game and wasted the tickets. Yes, “wasted” is the right word. I’ve got to pay full price for those lousy tickets just to get the other forty-one? It’s robbery but I let it happen. 

She likes to go to games. Mind you, she doesn’t like to watch the game. She likes being out, walking amongst the throngs, watching the non-basketball entertainment … but not the basketball. We’re pretty stereotypical this way. She asks all the "wrong" questions and continually yaps through the game. Then, when she sees my brother(s) and I talking during the games on TV, she gets mad because we’re "talking".

Being a “win-win” sort of guy, I took two negatives and made a positive: Take the wife to the preseason game.

She gets to go out and babble on and I’m not watching a game in which I’m particularly interested. She can talk and because I don’t care about the outcome of the game, I won’t bitch at her for not following the rules.

She doesn’t understand the rules of talking while watching a sporting event. Rules such as:

1. Making fun of anyone, anytime, about anything is always allowed (except for Lamar Odom; that’s not cool).

2. A quick paraphrase from some reporter (or, these days, blogger) who is “in the know” is acceptable so long as it relates to the game or the sport.

3. To paraphrase, "Brevity is … wit." Quick quips are the key.

4. Random observations, witty or not so long as they’re random enough, are generally well-received.

The most important part of the etiquette is that unspoken and unwritten rule of just "knowing" when to shut up. Most guys have an innate and indescribable understanding of the rule.

At the Kings game, I was so in need of male contact that I called my brother several times during the game. I was wondering why Artest was out. I called when Hill went to the locker room. Most importantly, I called him during a TV timeout with a little over 5 minute left in the half to tell him the Suns were going to get to 80 by halftime (they had 65 at that point and just made it to 80).

At the Clippers game (although I was interested), I felt no need to call him to find out why Sam Cassell was not playing – even though the guy had 24 points through three periods but didn’t play in the fourth.

If you have any more rules, let me know. I think I might start a list.