George always took a week of vacation to watch the opening rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. He loved every second. What could be better than watching basketball for hours and hours? Even teams he did care about, if they were dancing, he watched. All week. Iona, Butler, Little Sisters of the Poor–he didn’t care if they were playing Florida or Louisville. He just wanted to watch every moment.
For that reason and in honor of George, I’ve filled out my brackets. I’m recording all games this week on four different channels PLUS the women’s games. At the end of this week, he’d hope that University of Louisville would go on to the sweet sixteen because, as much as he loved basketball in general, he loved Louisville most. He’d bring up Charley Tyra (in picture on right) or Butch Beard or Wes Unseld or Junior Bridgeman and tell incredible stories of positioning and rebounding.
I heard the same stories every year. I know them well. Thoughts of the rebounding prowess of Tyra always reminds me that spring has arrived.
During these days, I think of George. Ihope he’s dropped his feet over the edge of heaven so he can get a good view in Dallas or wherever any team is playing. Eternal basketball would be part of George’s idea of heaven. And–this makes me smile and cry at the same time–I think of George settling down with his Kindle and his chewing gun and a short rope of red licorice to cheer for his Cardinals. He’s wearing his favorite UofL shirts, easy to find inside the pearly gates. Then the game starts and I can almost hear him shout, “C-A-R-D-S”.