I am lame.
I do not have a smart phone.
I twice thought this fact cost me the opportunity to connect with the #playingtowintour.
Last night I was away from wifi. I got home to my house in West Lafayette, Indiana and checked my iPod touch as it came back online. I was dismayed to discover Dave and Sean were 90 minutes away at the arena in downtown Indy and here I was at home, with small children going insane with fatigue, my wife on a business trip in Puerto Rico. If I had a smart phone I would have known they were near Indy and could have met them. I blew it.
Not to worry, Sean and Dave told me. They'd meet me on their way to Chicago in Lafayette. Sweet! I was elated. But apprehensive. Afraid to tweet my phone # I figured no worries, I'll make this happen. We agreed to meet in a parking lot of a big box retailer.
And then I gave them the wrong freeway exit number.
I only realized this to my horror when I was between wifi spots. By the time I got to the place I had intended to meet them, they were searching in vain for a store I had described as massive (it's a competitor of Super Walmart's) at an exit only generously described as a truck stop. They told me to meet them at the Marathon gas station off that exit. This began a series of comedy of errors that would have been easily rectified had I had a smart phone. These errors lead to them waiting somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes at a gas station in the least impressive part of an unimpressive town.
But wait they did.
i had brought my seven year old daughter with me. Dave practically ignored me--to my delight--and spent perhaps half an hour with my estatic daughter. They talked Kings. They talked about Dave's kids. She signed the RV and put the smiley face on the Indy sticker--he had to hold her up so she could reach. They had a blast.
I am stuck (blessed?) in a town my daughter, the Sunday school diva, will tell you I refer to as a shit hole. My wife, a prof at Purdue, loves her job, which is in a field fairly unique to Purdue (so it's hard to think of moving home). It's a good job. But I am surrounded by people who see sports as a diversion at best, a waste at worst. These are my friends. Needless to say, I see sports as something much bigger. You all can relate.
The locals, from professors to grocery checkers, who have asked me about the Kings, have all asked the same question first: is Sacramento big enough for an NBA team? Every. Single. Person. Indy is the 26th largest market. You who read this know Sacramento is the 20th. Is it big enough? Ha! Only a few believe me that Sacramento is the larger market. I realized only yesterday the margin is over 300,000 TV households.
I grow so tired of this. I feel so isolated. I cheer and chant with people I watch at city council meetings, wishing desperately to be there with them. With you, whoever you are. You are Sacramento.
Today, Dave and Sean brought Sacramento to me. I signed that RV, along with so many of you and with my daughter. And I think my amazing daughter, the seven year old who comforted me when I cursed like a sailor for my lack of a smart phone, gave Dave a little piece of Sacramento too. I hope so.
Thank you Dave and Sean. Thank you Sacramento. It was so good to with you, if only for a few minutes.