Another installment of “tournament time is the best time”:
In Overland Park, Kansas last weekend, Jeff Shull was wistful when he drove past his grandmother’s old house on the way to watch the Duke – Kansas game at his mother-in-law’s house nearby. He watched Kansas NCAA tournament games with his grandma there and the team didn’t lose either of the “Elite Eight” matchups. He’s also a superstitious sort, the Kansas City Star says.
The game with Duke was close at his mother-in-law’s place and when it went into overtime, Shull knew what he had to do.
He grabbed his keys and headed to grandma’s house, which is owned by Andy Schwartz, who just recently moved in. A complete stranger, the Star says.
“Hey, man, are you superstitious?” he said at the door.
“Not really,” Schwartz replied.
“(Shoot),” Shull said back. “But here’s the deal.”
He told Schwartz about his grandma. About watching the 2012 and 2008 games here. He had beer.
“Dude, get in here,” Schwartz said, almost as if he had been expecting the whole thing. “You’re good. Let’s watch.”
The game ended their way, of course, and afterward Schwartz gave him the tour. The ceilings were painted, but the walls were the same color. New carpet. Same wood paneling Shull remembered, same furniture layout, and the leather couch even looked similar. Schwartz wondered whether the stove had ever been gas. Shull mentioned he didn’t miss mowing the big yard.
The male rituals of friendship can be hilariously complicated, but in other moments, they can be beautifully simple. The next day, Shull dropped off a bottle of bourbon as thanks.
If Kansas should get to the championship game on Monday, Shull says he’ll swing by Schwartz’s place to watch.