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Premonitory Basketball?

December 15, 2017

Let’s hope not. Or maybe let’s hope so.  Early this morning I dreamed the basketball equivalent of the End Times. I woke up thinking that that was the end of basketball, certainly for me. As the dream ended I was through with it. It made me think, too, of the crash near the end of Hunger Games 2, which I had been thinking about on the previous page, in connection with the revolution. A beginning is also an ending.  It may be that my youth is over.

That’s a long story, and I don’t have time to raconter it all, on what is going to be a very busy day for me. But I want to add this page on the actual day of the dream, so I’ll tell it now, and then come back to the bio context.

The basic pattern in bball is that your team gets the ball at the far end of the court, and you try to advance it the length of the court, against opposing players, and put it into an elevated basket there. The game is highly patterned, and fluid within those patterns, and fast-moving, with limited allowable ways of handling the ball. You are allowed to advance the ball by bouncing it, throwing it to another player (ideally, on your team), and throwing it into the basket. You can’t simply pick up the ball and run with it. When I was a kid and played the game (poorly, sometimes even throwing the ball to a player on the opposing team, but usually by accident), players were not allowed to touch members of the other team. Today the game is a contact sport. Life is change, change is life. But still, touching is more limited than in football. Certainly you are not supposed to grab people and wrestle them to the floor. There are referees.

As a young athlete, I was a runner; but as a sports spectator, basketball was my delight.  And that was in Indiana.

In my dream, I’m watching a college bball game on the home court of my favorite team. My view is like Jack Nicholson’s or Spike Lee’s at a Lakers home game, except that I can see the entire court as if I’m multiple TV cameras, including zooming in.

We’re in the middle of the game, and things have been going well enough, in the normal patterns of play. But suddenly something happens and the players lose their minds. The ball gets loose, and all ten players go for it. Seeing it again now, it was like a “fumble” in football, with every player trying to get the ball and/or prevent anybody else from grabbing it. But they’re in skimpy uniforms, flinging themselves across an indoor, hardwood floor. It reminds me, too, of a “demolition derby,” in which you try to touch someone else’s (anybody else’s) car with your car, in the most damaging possibly way.   For most of the length of the court there was a fast, chaotic flow of bodies chasing the ball and each other, crashing into piles that quickly disintegrate, rising into another chase and pile-up. The spectators in the stands jumped to their feet, and stood in stunned disbelief. I thought, “This is it for me. Basketball is finished.”

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