Friday, January 28, 2011

The Geezer Section

Working at a small college has had some unexpectedly wonderful perks, and one of the most unexpectedly wonderful has been free admission to athletic events.

Husband and I have reserved seats in the Geezer Section of our historic fieldhouse. It's the perfect spot for us--we feel decades younger, surrounded as we are by retired faculty members and alumni who played in this fieldhouse half a century ago. And while our section can get exuberant (holy cow, our two retired bishops have some lungs on them) we only stand for the national anthem and to go get popcorn. Old knees, you know.

Between games or during a lull in the action we bring out the crossword puzzles and knitting, and chat about our days.

None of these players will be playing professionally. They are the hot-shooting guard who's only 5'7", or the center who was just a touch too slow for Division I ball. But they play because they love to play and because they can get a terrific education at this college while they extend their athletic lives a couple more years. This isn't a school that gives full-ride athletic scholarships, though, so you'll find them stocking produce or sacking groceries in the off season.

They get to play, and the Geezers cheer them on, and then we all chat about sports as Saturday's stars help us reach that can just beyond our grasp on the top shelf at Dillons.

Boy#3 will be on national television tomorrow, playing in the courtside band when his big university takes on its cross-state arch-rival. There is a magic to this kind of spectacle, with ESPN cameras and Bobby Knight providing analysis. But there's also a quiet magic in knowing the players by name, and in sitting so close to the floor that we hear the coaches' instructions.

It's great to be a Geezer.

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