Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jabari Parker Thrills Them All!

Who knew?  I have grown accustomed to really disliking, if not despising, the Duke Blue Devils.  Ever since UConn lost to them more 20 years ago in the Elite 8 on a little runner, Duke has been on my bad list.  I have spent less time, though, on the hate ever since UConn took Duke Down in the Final Four on the way to the National Championship in 2011, but when I heard that the boys' favorite player in the NCAA was Jabari Parker, I was flabbergasted.  Did they know he played for the evil empire?  And when I obtained tickets for Duke's tilt against the Boston College Eagles, both boys went a little nuts.  Did they not know that Coach K is evil incarnate?

All this for Jabari Parker?  I doubt they had heard of him prior to November 2013.  But now all of Boston was looking to see this absolute beast from Duke.  It really had nothing to do with the two 1st round draft picks we have in the 2014 Amateur draft.

6pm.  Boston, MA.  We were lucky enough to be just feet away from Duke as they warmed up.  It was disconcerting to see that no one was sitting in the 3 rows ahead of us.  What was the problem?  But we still were excited to see Parker warm up before us, with only a couple of sad BC fans standing between us and the Blue Devils.

And when we got to these seats just a couple of rows up from where Duke was warming up, I had to admit that I didn't know who Jabari Parker was either.  But that didn't matter to the boys as they leaned over the railing to the visitor's tunnel, trying to get a high five from Parker and even the stiff dictator, Coach K himself.  They were so excited that the old, crotchety couple behind us told them to sit down, that those weren't our seats.  The game hadn't even started yet!  I guess it was a good thing that crotchety old folks were sitting in those three rows ahead of us either.  Jesus!

The game started quietly enough.  The Eagles and the Blue Devils traded punches as the lead flopped back and forth.  Parker was especially impressive as he would run some plays in the corner spotting up for a 3 pointer, but he looked most comfortable taking a pass down in the low post and taking it up strong against the weaker Eagles' defenders.  He was scoring baskets in transition to, running down the court ahead of everyone and throwing down thunderous dunks.  BC battled on though only trailing Duke by 4 after the first half, led by some dude named Olivier and another guy who looked like Kris Humphries.  Let's give BC 0% chance of winning this game.

The real highlight of the boys night, though, was at half time as they both were able to high five Parker as he walked into the tunnel.  Sweaty handshakes form complete strangers?  Count me in too.  Even LC tried to get some skin from Coach K who stiffened up as he came closer to the 40-ish fangirl.  (I would too.)

The Second Half was a different story.  Shortly after the half began, Duke went on an 18-0 run to start pulling away.  Duke was up by 20 for most of the second half cruising to an easy 21 point win.  Those kids in front of us left with 10 minutes left, figuring that parties in the middle of Winter in Boston had to be better than here.  Fly away, fly away.

But the boys were both ecstatic walking back to the car.  They both got to touch hands with Parker.  Maybe he'll end up with the Celtics and we'll see him a lot more 'round these parts.

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