Sunday, November 9, 2008

Look Mom! I'm on TV

One of the coolest things that me and my dad do together is go see the Washington Wizards basketball games up in D.C. It’s something that we’ve been doing for years and years and years. I first remember going to a game when I was about 6 or 7 years old. As a little kid it was always an adventure for me. We’d make the 2 ½ hour drive up to the old arena, enjoy an action packed game, and then sometimes we’d even stay the night at my grandparent’s apartment that was just outside of D.C. When I was really young we would maybe go to one game during the year, and usually we would go to the games not to see the Wizards, but rather we’d be there to see the OTHER team that was playing. I remember seeing Michael Jordan and the Bulls once and another time the Shaquille O’Neal led Magic. I remember being truly amazed by how talented and big the players were. Since we would go to games so rarely, my Dad and I would always stay after the games had ended (thinking about it now I suppose we did it more so to avoid being stuck in the terrible traffic that follows all sporting events) and try and snag an autograph as the players left the stadium on the way to their cars. We were lucky enough to score an occasional signature, even if we were asking ourselves, "Who was that guy again?"after the player had signed a scrap piece of paper. :) After waiting for autographs in the freezing cold we would head to the car and my Dad would make the long drive back down to Richmond while I would sleep the whole way dreaming of the day when I too would make it to the NBA!

This past Friday my dad and I again went up to Washington D.C. We go a lot more often these days, and now we cheer for the home team! :) It has been a great way for us to just hang out and spend some time together. This particular game I finally was able to realize one of my biggest dreams…I got to be on the scoreboard. Now we’re not talking about being on the screen for a few seconds. We’re talking me, on the HD Jumbo-Tron, my face, like 15 feet by 15 feet for atleast a few minutes. It was freaking sweet! I was chosen to participate in one of the prize-give-away contests that they do every home game. The contest was simple enough, there were three balls on the screen and inside one of the balls was a Wizards player. The balls were mixed around and scrambled up and after being switched around I had to choose which ball had the player inside. If I was correct our entire section would have T-Shirts thrown to us! If I was wrong the section next to us would get shirts thrown to them. So the pressure was on: choose right, be the Hero; choose wrong, be Boo-ed out of the stadium. Fortunately for me, I chose right. And the entire stadium erupted in cheers and applauded their approval (except the section nest to us I guess! They probably cursed my name. Haha) And so with my victory came a shower of T-Shirts! It’s funny how getting a cheap T-Shirt can make grown men dived over their neighbor and/or wrestle with each other; you’d think that they were giving away 100 dollar bills instead of a 5 dollar shirt. I of course, as the conquering hero, was assured a T-Shirt and I didn’t have to fight to get one.

As I sat down I saw this little kid in front of me with his Dad. The kid was maybe only 9 or 10 and had been too short to grab a T-Shirt for himself. We was looking at me and I could see that he had really wanted to grab one, and now that he had come up empty-handed he was sort of disappointed. I sat down and looked at my T-Shirt that I had won! I thought to myself, "This kid wants and needs this shirt more than I do. And besides, it was cool enough for me to just be on the big screen " So I tossed the kid my shirt and went back to watching the game. The kid’s face lit up like a Christmas tree and his Dad looked at me and whispered a thank you to me while he high-fived and hugged his kid as they celebrated their "spoils".

Material things aren’t everything. I realize this a lot more as I’m growing up. It’s the journey and the experiences gained along the way that are of real worth. Getting there really is half the fun! And I’m glad that I could make that little kids day…and be on the Big Screen.

3 comments:

Melanie said...

That is awesome! Good job. I would have cracked under the pressure! And that is so nice of you to give away your shirt too. Such a sweet guy!

Jensen's said...

Brad, You continue to amaze me. You are going to make the best husband and father. I better meet the girl who is lucky to have you.

ahlmers said...

Hey Brad - Maybe you can add me to your blog list. Will you let your mom know that I would like to see her page??

It was so nice to read about you and your life. It has been a VERY long time since I have seen you or your family.

Cousin Stephanie