Tuesday, April 3, 2012

his buddy

Spoke picked Kentucky to go all the way. 

He told me as he filled out the brackets (in ink) just like he and my dad used to do as soon as the chart hit the local paper.  Spoke would tell me his pick before the tournament started so I could be an honest witness to his winning predictions. 

Win, he did! 

My dad couldn't believe how often Spoke got it right, whether it was the ACC or the NCAA tournaments.  "Ernie, sometimes you've got to go with the underdog," he'd say as my dad time after time would stay loyal to the ACC or just pick a favored team.

As he got older, my dad would wait and fill out his picks game by game as teams were eliminated.  It was then, less about the game and more about the guy-time.

Spoke went to watch ball most weekends during the regular college season, hauling clean laundry, a few grocery items and if Daddy was lucky, something special from the 3906 kitchen; a pie or bread pudding or cheddar cheese cookies which by halftime, he'd have eaten half of from the small, rusty holiday tin which was passed back and forth year round.

My husband continues to fill out his basketball picks, two seasons now without my dad.  I think he always will. 

Spoke fills me in during regular games and the tournaments; we talk highlights and scores, coaches and injuries, even the draft, but in a way, in some magical way, it very much remains their guy-time.

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