Notitia ex ordo - Bill Crawford

Here is a picture of my third grader granddaughter, Mary, taken just after end of the championship basketball game in the parochial league that her team plays in. If you look closely, you will see a tear in Mary’s eye. All of the girls on the team were sobbing because they had just a lost a very hard fought game in the FINAL TWO SECONDS by a score of 14 to 12. However, since there are a total of seventy two teams in this little parochial league (counting the boys teams and the girls teams and the various age groups), I thought Mary’s team did GREAT in making it to the championship game.
I have tried to go to all of Mary’s league games, but my wife Mary generally has stayed at home; this because all of the games seem to be played in the same parochial school gym, which is located in Denver about one hour away from our house (I guess this gym must be centrally located to all of the schools in the league). The games also are usually played EARLY on Saturday mornings and (except for the Championship Game) the gym has always been as cold as an ice box (I guess the school keeps the heat turned off as a money saving matter). The games usually have been low-scoring, with an average final score in a game being about 12 to 8. Mary has scored one goal in about half of her games, and it is really a big deal for her when she scores a point. They don’t have free-throws in these third grader games because the girls really have a hard time getting the ball up to the goal from the free throw line. Instead, the Refs always turn the ball over to the other team after a foul.
In all of these games the parents and grandparents really get caught up in "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat". It’s almost as if they were all Final Four games!

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