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Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham
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312_stopthepresses.jpgSo I took my nieces to a college-basketball game a couple of weeks back.
The thinking being, You know, I didn’t get to go to a college-basketball game until I was in college.
So … wouldn’t it be nice for me to do this for them?
Well, one of the three actually watched the game. And significantly, she wasn’t the one who plays basketball.
“I really thought JMU was going to win,” Hannah, one of the 9-year-old twins, insisted to me afterward.

For the record, the Dukes lost the game that we went to rather handily – George Mason beat JMU by a 96-75 count, and led all the way after beginning the game with an 11-0 spurt.

“But I really, really wanted them to win,” Hannah insisted.

Her twin sister, Rachel, seemed no worse for the wear. And the girls’ older sister, Kayla, 12, who has started playing youth basketball – “I didn’t score, but I set four picks,” is her mantra – didn’t see much of the game at all.

“She spent the whole game with Amanda texting,” my wife sneered.

(She was sneering because I took the girls to the game and left them with Crystal in the stands to sit on press row and schmooze. How nice of me, right?)

So then I asked Kayla and Amanda who they were texting, and …

“Each other,” they both said.

And some other kid named Mariah from their school.

“So … I bring you to a basketball game, and … you spend the game text-messaging?”

I was starting to sneer now.

I would’ve knocked down my grandmother to get a chance – one chance – to go to a college-basketball game when I was a kid. They didn’t have the wall-to-wall sports TV back then that they do now, after all.

And even today, I much prefer being there than sitting in the barcolounger with the remote.

“Oh, but they enjoyed the experience,” my wife relayed to me.

And then began listing for me the various and sundry food items that they had partaken in before the game, during the game, at halftime, and afterward.

“So … the bank approved the loan, I’m surmising,” I said flippantly.

“But Uncle Chris, I am so sad that JMU didn’t win,” Hannah said, snapping me out of my funk.

Did I mention that I’ve altered the will …

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.



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