More Reasons Not to Hate Sports
The ending of last night's Caps game likely wasn't pleasant for too many Caps fans. Another loss to a lesser team, another missed opportunity, another game where the coach questions the effort.
But that's just one out of 82, in the whole grand point-chase thing. To me, the more important part was the whole goalie-gets-booted thing with a minute or so left, the ancient CuJo being stuck in there without any warm-ups, his quick save against the league's most dangerous scorer, the crowd starting to get the idea that maybe this was a good night to show up after all, the scoreless overtime from this 41-year old (while facing 10 shots in five minutes) and then the scoreless shootout, capped by shutting the door on Ovechkin, again. And then bedlam.
And why did I like all that? Because at the end, middle-aged dudes in suits were high-fiving each other in the crowd and middle-aged men in sweaty pads were hugging each other like schoolkids on the bench. I know this wasn't the proper response from a D.C. resident, but I smiled, repeatedly. Trust me, it beats talking about how much house you can afford.
Which is why it immediately reminded me of Susan Lofton, a 40-something Maryland women's basketball fan I met over the weekend, thanks to her hand-painted Terps shoes and her bright red-and-white overalls and her basketball glasses.
"I often wear a basketball head," she noted. Of course she does.
I've written CuJo-knows how many items about sports fans dressed ridiculously, but most focused on a slightly younger demographic. Heck, every time I go to the Comcast Center, I'm taking some sort of photo of some sort of college kid dressed like some sort of lunatic. But they're in college; they have an excuse.
So why, I asked Susan, would a 40-something women's basketball fan be dressed just so?
"When we were kids, we didn't have this," she told me, gesturing around the arena. She told me about how when she was a teenager, her school only had one set of uniforms for female athletes, so she wore the same jersey for softball and basketball and cross-country.
Her friend told me about how she was part of the first girls' team at her school that was allowed to play teams from other schools, and how they had to wear pinnies instead of actual uniforms. They definitely weren't playing on national television and in front of five-figure crowds, in other words.
"We're living our second childhood through them," Susan concluded, pointing down at the athletes running around. Aren't we all.
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