Disappearing Act

I’m not as big a basketball fan as I was back when the Magic first started up. I’ve always been a football guy, but back in the late 80s when the Magic started their NBA life, my beloved Buccaneers were about as awful as you could get, and with a new team right here in my home town, it was easy to get wrapped up in the hoopla.

But then Shaq left and the strike happened and the Bucs started getting good, and the NBA became this pleasant distraction when there wasn’t any NFL news coming out. All the problems I had with the league — the regular season is too long, the playoffs take too long, the stars get all the calls (and no-calls) — just became magnified. I’d pay a little attention towards the end of the season, when things started to matter, and if the Magic were smelling the playoffs, I’d keep an eye on them, but it was nothing like the life-or-death I’d go through when the Bucs missed a field goal to drop to 3-10 on a lost season.

So I have to admit, I’ve gotten a little caught up again with the current playoff run the Magic are on, and I’d like to thank them for choking away that game last night. I don’t need two sources of sports-related stress in my life.

Sure, I was anxiously watching the game, hoping they’d pull it out. And I was disappointed when they blew a 12-point lead, when they couldn’t make free throws, when Jameer Nelson forgot how to play defense with four seconds left. But whereas with a Bucs game I’d still be stewing about it, reading post-mortems and wondering what could have been different, this morning I’m just shrugging and moving on. At my age, I need to limit any significant jump in blood pressure over sports.

I’ve got to save it up for this upcoming Bucs season.


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