May 24, 2009

The Immovable Force

My buddy, also from Denver, also from Cuse and therefore also Carmelo’s biggest fan in the Staple Center last night, got us pretty darn good seats to a pretty damn good game. Did I say ‘pretty good’, I meant goddamn! Goddamn what a game!

I thought for sure my nervous energy was making it down to the bench. That it was I who was Butterfly Effecting my team’s shots to clank, clank, clank so badly during the warm up.

I tried to fight such nerves, tried to dumb them with alcohol. But alas, the pressure was too great: being down 1-0, having already given what many were saying was our best shot at taking this series. Clank after clunking clank.

Even Melo missed all his warm-ups. I tried not to blame myself, but I couldn’t help it. I knew I shouldn’t have come. I knew I was bad for my team.

The game started much the same way...clank, clank, clank. The fouls started racking up: Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! Even the refs felt my bad energy. The more I complained, the more we complained, the more the refs tweeted. The worse the Nuggets' and our body English became, the lower I sulked in my seat. The more the Lakers “fan” behind us yelled, “Chicken Nugget,” the more hungry I became for fried food.

But then something miraculous happened, perceptive as a switch. Melo decided to play on. But not just play on, but to dominate, regardless of any other force in that very big room. He was done letting their whistles affect him, done with my jitters, or any other jitter in that building. Done being stopped. Unjitterable.

And so there we were, at the end of a miraculous, Herculean effort; a mammoth display of will overcoming nay, of talent overcoming tides, of nervous energy overcome by posture and poise, and of Cuse, being definitively in the house.

The one “fan” who talked trash to us, the really loud visitors wearing yellow and powder blue, actually came up and apologized. So soft. Just like a lot of flappable guys on this town’s basketball team.