Dear Gold-Blooded Diary,
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, there’s an endless score of people around the nation that are either making plans… or excuses. I am one of the millions (and millions) choosing the “plans” option in this funny conundrum, and I decided to activate my Lyft app and swerve around the Bay Area for some quick, extra cash.
Anyways, one of the coolest things about playing the part of “Hipster Taxi” is the wide variety of personalities that I come across in my travels. Today during the early afternoon, while whipping through sunny Berkeley, I met a wonderful elderly woman named Judith. After some casual ice breakers (“Can you believe it’s still winter? This weather is gorgeous right now!”), there was a quiet lull.
I had the car radio at a barely perceptible volume. The throaty chorus of Tears for Fears’ new wave hit “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” gently wafted from the speakers, mingling with the quiet bluster of outside traffic. Judith turned slightly in her seat towards me, and politely asked me what I like to do in my spare time.
As I attempted the advanced driving maneuver of rapidly merging through three lanes of sleepy traffic towards the turning lane at the light, I proudly responded, “I like to write about the Golden State Warriors”.
She gasped. As I made the turn, I glanced back to see her face lit up with an excitement that almost startled me.
“Do you like the Warriors?” I inquired.
“Oh yes, I just love them!” she gushed. “I watch every game, and I’m even going to record tonight’s game.”
Internally, I immediately wondered, who would record a game against the lowly Phoenix Suns? That’s when I knew I was in the presence of a fellow Dub Nation member. We feverishly launched into a conversation about how she came to adore the champions.
“My life partner passed away a few years back,” she confided. “He was the one who was always rooting for the team, even when they were terrible! I used to not really care about it, the game was so fast, and it was hard to keep up with. But he would be there rooting for them, even when they weren’t winning so much like nowadays.”
I nodded quietly, squinting as I remembered the dark days of the Warriors franchise. “He was always telling me the backstory of the players,” she continued. “Guys like Mitch Richmond. You know, like ‘Run TMC’?”.
I grinned and acknowledged that brief period of Warriors success (those are my earliest Warriors memories), before asking her who her current favorite player was.
“OH….well…that Stephen Curry is so fun to watch. Oh my goodness, you can’t take your eyes off of him!” She clapped her hands together suddenly and lowered her voice. “But… Klay Thompson is my absolute favorite. Really, the whole team is just so fun, but Klay’s definitely my guy, I just love him. ”
At this point the conversation took a pause, as we added another passenger to the ride share. As he clambered into the backseat, Judith turned around and exclaimed, “Hey we’re just having some Warriors talk!”. The gentleman, “Mike” was down to participate, and yet another Dub Nation disciple was added to the car.
She asked me about what blog life is like, and I mulled over it for a second before I replied: “Well, it’s super cool to share my thoughts with the world on basketball, a sport I’m pretty passionate about. But, at the same time, the world just might respond, and that can be a bizarre experience. You never know what folks have going on in their heads, and how they will respond to your opinion, for better or for worse.”
“Like for example,” I continued, “did you know that there’s a lot of people who don’t like the Warriors because they celebrate too much during the games?”
Judith paused and frowned, before gently responding, “Yeah, but…what’s really wrong with young men celebrating how good they are at playing a game? I mean… God forbid they show some excitement or exuberance for how fantastic they are at their jobs.”
Mike chimed in from the back, “And their job is entertainment…it’s not that serious.”
“And-and they should call them the Oakland Warriors,” Judith blurted out. “Why not? They better not call them the San Francisco Warriors when they move!”
I got a pretty good laugh out of that. I pulled up to her destination, and I told her that I would love to mention our conversation on the blog. Her face beamed with surprise, and she gave me her blessing. As she opened her car door, she turned back to make sure of something.
“You said, ‘Golden Gate of Mind’, right?”, she asked.
“No ma’am, Golden State of Mind.”
“I can just Google that?”
“Yes ma’am, we’ll be there. My name’s Daniel.”
“Okay,” she cocked her head thoughtfully to the side. “And can I comment too, like everybody else?”
I smiled and nodded, “Yes ma’am, we’d love for you to speak your mind.”
She fist bumped my shoulder and slid out of my passenger seat, muttering “Daniel at Golden State of Mind” to herself as a way to remember.
What’s the moral of the story? If you come up on this blog talking nonsense, we will unleash Judith on you.
LOL, but seriously, it was wonderful to witness the joy Warriors basketball had blessed this woman with. It reminded me of why I’m planning Valentine’s Day festivities, and also why I watch the game of basketball: to find a comforting diversion from the mind-numbing monotony of the daily grind.
That’s the greater purpose of all this sports-related jibber-jabber we pump out into the internets every minute. At least, I hope? We’re all in this for fun…right? Even if that fun comes at the expense of somebody else’s team getting blasted as Stephen Curry shimmies on national television.
SHIMMY ON THOSE SCRUBS, STEPH!!! BURY THEM!!!!!
Ahem, but back to Judith. The wondrous bliss in this woman’s eyes as she spoke about how fun the Warriors are was truly, as San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich once confessed about the Dubs themselves, “beautiful and fun to watch”.
Do you think anyone from GSoM can recommend a great Valentine’s Day restaurant in the Bay to hit up?