Last night UNC won their 6th national championship.
I’m amazed how little this mattered to me. I didn’t even watch the whole game. I turned it on shortly after tipoff. For the first half I only partially paid attention while I did other things. For the second half I watched less than 5 minutes of the game before deciding to go to bed.
This amazed me because UNC’s 2nd national championship is one of my earliest sports memories. It was 1982 so I was only 7 years old at the time. I don’t know if I remember the actual game or if I only remember the countless replays I’ve seen over the years of Michael Jordan’s go ahead shot and James Worthy’s game clinching steal.
What I definitely remember from that night was how important it was for me to watch that game. As a Second Grader with school the next day I had a bedtime too early to watch the whole game. After being sent up, I snuck back downstairs to the office to watch the rest. I turned the TV on and lowered the volume to a whisper. It was still a flawed plan because the bathroom was right next to the office. Eventually my mom came back that way and I was busted.
I was generally a good kid who rarely caused any problems for my parents, so Moms went easy on me. The fact that I even did this must have showed her how important the game was to me so she let me stay up. I don’t recall if that meant for the whole game or just until halftime.
So today there is this clear contrast in my head. As a 7 year-old, I’m doing everything possible to stay up and watch this game. As a 42 year-old, I can hardly be bothered to pay attention while it is on and don’t care if see the outcome until the next day. It’s strange to be able to see such a clear progression of how my priorities and things I enjoy have changed over the years.