Just Another Day at the Office, Part I

March 21, 2008

For most people, March Madness is a time to witness madness – a chance to fill out multiple sets of brackets, ultimately to wind up cheering for multiple teams to win the same game so that you wind up with at least one respectable finish either among your co-workers, friends, or significant other. But thanks to my seasonal employment at the Star Tribune, I’ve gone from witnessing the madness to partaking in it.


No, I’m not talking about the zenith of the college hoops season. I’m talking about high school section basketball.


I know that most of you don’t really care about high school sports, and honestly I’ve got nothing personally invested in them either – especially hundreds of miles from where I attended high school. It’s more the outlying stuff that has turned into a comedy of errors.


First, there was the trip to Delano for a pair of girls section final games. Delano High School is a 26-mile drive for me one way, so that in itself turned this from work day to adventure. Less than a half mile into my trip, a wolf ran out in front of my car without as much as noticing a speeding Bonneville headed its way. I immediately called my girlfriend, brother and sister, because although I assumed there must be wolves in Minnesota based on the NBA team’s nickname, I had never seen one. The three of them seemed much less interested than me.


The first game was uneventful, unless you are a huge fan of blowouts and one team committing two dozen unforced turnovers. For the second game, which featured a city team against a far suburban team, I found myself seated a row in front of a heavyset pale gentleman with a goatee in a grey sweatsuit, grey Twins ballcap, and hair striving to match both. The gentleman, whose daughter played for the city team, fancied himself a coach. The incessant yelling was fine, but every time something didn’t go the way he wanted, he stomped on the bench in front of him – sending reverberations up my spinal column and aggravating an already sore lower back. Not to mention, I was trying to work here! Later, as the fouls mounted up against his favorite squad, he began muttering about how the all-white/female officiating crew was racist. Fortunately, I remembered I could walk, so I got up and sat somewhere else in the second half. The ride home featured no wildlife.


Part II will be up soon…


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