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by Jen T. – 8th Grade

The Devils howled and cheered. The buzzer beeped, the crowd roared, and the game was over. The Devils were hooting with excitement, giving each other high fives. But not the Breakers, the losing team. The Breakers swore. The Devils were too busy being interviewed by reporters to hear. It was unusual for the Breakers to have such poor sportsmanship. Even in a rare loss, they had a good team spirit. So why this time? Why did it have to be this now, the time that my dad took me to my first real basketball game?

I was eleven, one of five children, and after months of planning I was especially looking forward to this night. My dad is a reporter, constantly at sporting events, typing away at his pencil-thin Macbook, posting the scores and the results of the games. Somehow, he squeezed a night off and two tickets to the Devils/ Breakers game. As we sat courtside we took it all in. The people, the smells, the music pounding in the big, black speakers – most importantly, my dad sitting next to me.

I will never forget that night, spent with two of my favorite things: My father and basketball. Though there is one thing I wish I could forget. At the end of the game, when the Breakers had lost, I heard them swearing, using words that I had heard older kids say and of which Mom and Dad weren’t too fond. I couldn’t believe how distraught and immature they were acting. The Devils, who were celebrating, tried to shake the hands of the Breakers, but the Breakers furiously stormed away. As things started to get worse, Dad and I quickly hurried out of the stuffy court and walked outside in the chilly, late night air.

The next morning, I walked into the kitchen, yawning. My dad sat at the table, in his robe and slippers, drinking his morning coffee. His brow furrowed as he looked at the paper, sliding it across the table to show me.“BREAKERS GONE WILD!” the headline screamed. Below, was a huge picture of the team captain giving a rude hand gesture to the coach of the Devils.

Why couldn’t they just accept a loss? Whenever my basketball team loses, we shake hands with the other team and say “Good game!” Across the room, the tv was filled with more snapshots of last night’s game appear on the screen. At first, I was wondering why my father was so upset. Didn’t he see these things weekly?

Then it hit me.

It was because I was with him, and this was supposed to be our special time. I don’t think he wanted me to see the other team get so upset. The thought that he felt this way because of me made me guilty and unsettled, I wanted him to know that it was ok. I got up, put my arm around him, and told him that these things happen, and we’ll get over it.

Photo Courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons

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