Shea Serrano took his twin 5-year-old sons to Monday night’s Spurs-Rockets game. This is what transpired.

6:30 p.m.: Big night. Tonight, the boys (my twin 5-year-old sons) and I are going to watch the Spurs/Rockets game at the Toyota Center in Houston. It’ll be their first in-person Spurs game ever, and only the second pro basketball game of their lives (I took them to go watch the Clippers back when Blake Griffin first started dunking on everyone’s heads during his second rookie season, but they were barely past baby then so all they wanted to do was be shitty at skeeball in the Kid Zone in the stadium).

I’m excited. I don’t anticipate the boys’ll make it past the second quarter, but whatevs. My dad started taking me to Spurs games around the same age too; the actual games were always incidental. I suspect just about all of the people that read this site (or any site about sports, really) have similar memories of similar time spent with their fathers.

I also suspect just about all of the people that read this site (or any site about sports, really, but definitely specifically this one) are really, really good at things like foosball and navigating Microsoft Excel, but that’s a different thing.

6:34: Conversation:

Boy B: Who’s playing, Daddy?
Me: The Spurs and the Rockets.
Boy B: The Rockets are from where?
Me: From Houston, where you were born. They’re like the Texans, but basketball.
Boy B: Oh. And the Spurs are from San Antonio, because that’s where you were born?
Me: Correct.
Boy B: Who else was born in San Antonio?
Me: … Umm, oh, well grandma lives in San Antonio.
Boy B: IS GRANDMA GOING TO PLAY?!?!?!
Me: Dude.
Boy B: MAMA! GRANDMA PLAYS FOR THE SPURS!
Me: Jesus Christ. 

6:53: At the stadium. The boys have noticed the sign at the top and, with the intensity of 1,000 suns, are doing their best to sound it out. “Toy-oh-ta. Toy-yota? TOY YODA?! YODA! DADDY, DOES YODA PLAY FOR THE ROCKETS?!” What the fuck is happening right now? We haven’t even made it inside yet.

7:08: Malibooyah. Made it to the seats during pregame announcements and nobody is dead yet. Praise.

7:08:15: Oh, we’re sitting the lower section, right in the middle of the court. High-five to Jason Friedman, the superheroically talented staff writer for the Rockets and a longtime buddy of mine, for setting that up.

7:08:30: To clarify: I’m using the term “longtime buddy” loosely. Mostly, for the last four years our relationship has existed in the He Writes Some Strong, Insightful Piece About Rockets Basketball and I Leave A Comment/Tweet Wherein I Mention How That Particular Piece Didn’t Talk Enough About Manu Ginobili Giving Me A Basketball Man Boner context. But you know, tomato-toMAHto.

7:14: They’re playing the in-game music. One of the songs the Rockets play here is the beginning of “The Addams Family” theme song, which uses the same cadence as a song they taught the boys in school that helps them remember the days of the week. “Daddy, are they learning the days of the week right now?” Yes.

7:19: The Rockets open the game with a 6-0 run. Boy A: “Daddy, I thought you said the Spurs were good.” Salt in my eyes.

I Think: Man, fuck you.
I Say: Don’t worry, son. The game’s just starting.

7:20: I don’t know anything at all about Carlos Delfino, but I know that I hate him.

7:21: MANU. MANU’S IN.

7:21:15: I was at a Spurs game in San Antonio in 2009 and, swear to God, Manu looked right at me during a 20-second timeout (I may or may not have screamed, “MANU, GO HALF ON A BABY WITH ME,” which may or may not be why he glanced up). When I realized he was looking at me, it felt like my chest immediately filled with ice and my loins immediately filled with fire. All of those groupies that wait for NBAers at their hotels like cackling maniacs? I completely understood them in the moment.

7:26: Dudes, Chandler Parsons — he looks like he just walked off the set of “The Real World.” Was he on “The Real World?” He was on “The Real World,” wasn’t he? Neat.

7:38: The boys are doing remarkably well. I figured by now they’d have been climbing all over everything and whatnot. They’re just chilling though. I have to assume they’re Manu starstruck. That HAS to be it.

7:39: Ah, man. It’s an in-game timeout and the Rockets group is playing a video on the jumbotron showing the Spurs mascot shopping for Rockets gear incognito. I’m not sure I can sit through too much more of this uncalled for slander. Keep that shit up, Clutch. See what happens.

7:41: MANU WITH AN AND-ONE. MALIBOOYAH. I’d stand up and cheer but this erection I have might knock the hat off the guy’s head in front of me.

7:41:15: Serious question: If you’re at a game and your hat gets knocked off by a guy’s erection, do you say anything? Or do you just let that one walk into nothingness? Like, I mean, for real. Because that seems like maybe the trickiest situation of all. I’m saying, how do you have that conversation the next day at work when someone asks you how to game was? “Oh, it was going great until I got into a fight with a guy with a chub.”

7:49: First break from the game for the boys. Getting snacks. We got one hotdog, a cracker with some dirt sprinkled on it and a thimble or root beer: $925.

7:57: Game’s even so far. Not sure how to feel about that. I’d anticipated the Spurs would’ve been up by 80 points by now. Feeling kind of like my pregame bet (Spurs -115 points) isn’t going to pan out like I’d hoped.

7:58: Gross. Delfino tried to do some behind the back nonsense on a fast break while Manu guarded him. (I can’t be certain, but it looked like Manu said “You can’t pump fake Zeus and you can’t go behind the back against God’s Hand, bro.”) Of course he turned it over. That’s such a Delfino thing to do. Ugh.

8:18: Wow. So we’re at halftime and the boys are still holding steady. Time to walk them.

8:20: I wonder if at Carlos Delfino’s house, whenever someone poops they say, “I just took a Carlos Delfino?”

8:23: Uh-oh. Boys are starting to drag a bit. Can’t leave now. The game is too good. About to pump them full of sugar.

8:27: COTTON CANDY, MOTHERFUCKER. Boom. Just bought myself at least 15 more minutes.

8:28: The boys are GOING. Talking about all sorts of stuff.

Subjects covered: Dances you can do to “Gangnam Style”; squirrels; squirrels dancing to “Gangnam Style”; a boy in Boy A’s class named K., who is apparently the biggest prick of all — he poured soap on the floor on purpose so kids would fall, and he called someone a “big, big crybaby,” which, judging by the tone, is to kindergartners what calling someone’s mother a cocksucker is to adults — football vs. basketball vs. baseball vs. Sky Landers; and Ninja Turtles.

I wish I was making all of that up. Anyone who has a kid will cosign the validity of the claim.

8:34: Dudes, did you know that if you add up the weight of all of the termites in the world and compare it to the weight of all of the humans in the world, the termites win 10 to 1? That shit is blowing my mind right now.

8:34:15: Oh, sorry. That’s one of the bizarre facts from Snapple, which is being given away for free tonight.

8:39: Did the referee just blow a call against Manu? He did. He did. This is how revolutions start.

8:41: Boys are toast. They should’ve been in bed 41 minutes ago. That plus the cotton candy crash is hitting them hard. They look like Bubbles from “The Wire” whenever he’d gone a little too long between hits. This shit is not pretty. We need vegetables and a bed STAT.

8:42: KISS CAM. Always fun. Good for at least two more minutes.

8:43: You know what’s going to be neat? When some forward thinking marketing department ups the idea and comes up with Fondle Cam. That’ll be the move, for sure.

8:53: Goddamnit. Tony Parker sat down and Patty Mills came in and Jeremy Lin just went yo-yo, draining threes, getting to the line, setting up dunks. He’s dominating. goddamnitGoddamnitGODDAMNIT. Spurs were winning, and they’re still up by one, but they’re losing. I’m probably not covering my bet, unless Manu goes for 90 in the fourth (a 35-65 probability).

8:54: Lin with the ball. Seven seconds left in the third. Spurs by two. That can only mean…

8:55: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. Lin buries a three with two seconds left and then does the most assholey backpedal down the court while the world turns to ash. Did Shakespeare write this game?

8:56: OK, I think that’s it. The boys are done. I’m going to try to ignore them all the way through the fourth. The game’s been pretty uptempo so there probably won’t be too many stoppages so we should be out of here by abou–

Dang it.

That’s it.

We’re leaving.

Boys win. They can’t take anymore.

It’s a close fourth quarter and this’ll probably be the only game I see all year, but still. The boys fought as long as they could, so I can’t be mad. They’re adorable. They’ve earned an early exit.

Proper good time. Love.

Note: The game went to overtime, because of course they did. And the Spurs won in overtime, because of course they did.

Comments (11)

  1. As a dad of 7 year old twins, you had me rolling. I loved the “football vs. basketball vs. baseball vs. Sky Landers; and Ninja Turtles” That’s a major victory to make it through 3 quarters with 5 year olds. The older they get, the funner it gets.

    • Twin Dads: We are brothers in war.

    • p.s. They ABSOLUTELY wore me out. It was like I was defending against a two-on-one fast break the entire time.

      p.p.s. I am positively devastated I didn’t think to make that fast break joke during the actual write-up.

      • Twin dad bros!

        My identical twin boys are 5 as well… and my god did you hit multiple nails on their heads.

        I took my boys to their first cricket game (ask Leigh Ellis) last week but it went surprisingly well. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and take the plunge. The pure joy of the experience (usually) makes up for the crippling effort involved.

        Hats off to you for the achievement. I hope they get to see many more games.

        Your forgotten joke reminds me of the line of thinking that twins are usually ok because you can play man-on-man defense when your wife is around… but when you lose a defender it’s might tough to play zone on those little balls of energy.

  2. This is great!
    As a college student who passionately follows the nba and this blog, this post is disgustingly funny. I was holding my side in pain laughing from the writing and your experiences with your kids. If I’m ever blessed to have kids I’m pretty sure I’m going to be going through some of these same experiences…
    “I Think: Man, fuck you.
    I Say: Don’t worry, son. The game’s just starting.”
    Priceless.
    Great Piece.
    Keep it up!
    … as a Knicks fan my entire life gotta love me some JLin, and yes his tale is written by Shakespeare.

  3. “8:43: You know what’s going to be neat? When some forward thinking marketing department ups the idea and comes up with Fondle Cam. That’ll be the move, for sure.”

    Was sitting at Barclay’s last night and had this very thought. If it happens anywhere, it’ll happen there…the place may be the least family friendly venue I’ve ever been to. Being that I’m in my 20s, this is a great thing.

  4. Leigh Ellis cosigns your hate for Carlos Delfino.

  5. Good story, but I hate the Spurs and Manu is the devil

  6. Just wait till they see the raptors they’ll think they’re playing dinosaurs!
    Only difference is it’ll never happen and that you’ll be the one asleep by the 3rd.

  7. this should be a regular segment! I love it!

  8. I’d be intrigued to hear more about their Ninja Turtles conversation…

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