Becoming a true North Carolinian

2012 March 12 basketball 05

We love our adoptive state and can't imagine a better place to be raising our two little boys. However, I must confess that, as much as we love North Carolina, we've been negligent by not introducing them to our state's beloved sport, basketball. Jeff, of course, doesn't watch any sports while I, having spent my teenage and young adult years in Florida, developed a love for college football like a true Floridian. I've always understood the parallel that North Carolina's love for basketball is equivalent to Florida's love for football, but the sport has never held my attention. Despite sitting through his first college football game merely a few days old, Gavin is now four years old and had never seen basketball played on television! That all changed this past weekend when I decided to watch Florida State play in the ACC championships. While I was curious to watch because FSU is actually good this year and already beat the trifecta of Triangle teams in the regular season, my goal was to introduce Gavin to the sport so he wouldn't embarrass himself in front of his Tar Heel friends with his complete lack of knowledge about the sport!

First up, FSU easily beat Miami in the quarterfinals on Friday night after the boys went to sleep. Then, it was time for the real deal: semifinals against Duke on Saturday afternoon. Gavin previously said that he was excited to watch the game with me, but when game time actually arrived, he couldn't have cared less and probably watched for a total of two minutes. Jasper kept pointing to the television yelling, "Football!" no matter how many times both Gavin and I tried to correct him. This was strike one in my attempt to turn the boys into basketball fans. Florida State beat Duke, so there was still one more game and another chance!

2012 March 12 basketball 01

2012 March 12 basketball 02

The third and final game was held on Sunday afternoon: the conference final against the UNC Tar Heels. Game time mirrored Jasper's nap so Gavin and I watched together, cuddled on the couch. Jasper crashed quickly right after the game began so I carried his overtired body upstairs as he wailed, "Fooootbaaaaalllll!" Gavin actually watched the entire first half of the game with me although he was more excited about the commercials (he enjoys the commercials most when watching football, too!). When the game returned after halftime, he declared that he was tired of watching basketball and he left to play with his cars. Florida State went on to win without Gavin cheering. Someday, he'll understand the significance of what happened that day when the Seminoles took on the powerhouse teams from basketball-crazy North Carolina to win their first ever conference title and I'll at least be able to tell him that he witnessed half of it!

2012 March 12 basketball 03

Gavin was, however, inspired to shoot some hoops in the back yard after witnessing the sport on television. He's actually not a bad shot and scored a few points in our four-foot-high basket. The sand table and slide still held his most of his attention, though. A still-confused Jasper took the football and begged for help to throw it through the hoop backwards from the bottom up (see first picture). I still have a lot of work to do with that little one!

2012 March 12 basketball 04

I later asked Gavin which sport he prefers and he responded, "Football." I asked why and he replied, "Because they play with a football." He then told me, "Next time, we can watch football instead of basketball." I may not have turned him into a basketball fan this weekend, but I'm pleased to know that all of my football brainwashing has paid off! We still have the entire NCAA tournament ahead of us. Perhaps there is still time to turn these North Carolina boys into basketball fans!


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