The First Love Never Fades Away (Group Sales Gab)

Kathryn Bobel, Co-Director of Group Sales

Most people who know me know that I have a slightly less than healthy relationship with Rick Reilly’s writing.  Some may feel he is conceited, a hack, gets away with too much because he is Rick Reilly.  I think he’s a genius.  That being said, these next few paragraphs are my ode to Reilly’s Go Fish component, Too Short For a Column.

Right now it’s 10:36 on a Sunday evening, I’m laying alone on my second-hand couch 700 miles from my hometown and I just got done watching ESPN’s “30 on 30” film, Winning Time:  Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks.  There are a few things floating around in my head right now:  I completely forgot about Anthony Mason’s big ol’ ugly mug, Ewing’s flat top did a darn good job of covering up that weird shaped head of his, and John Starks really just said, “Did this dude just did this?”

I’m also thinking about being a wide-eyed seven-year-old sitting on my family room floor in Indianapolis.  It’s Friday night, I have a plate of home-made nachos resting beside me on a kitchen towel-draped footstool, the Pacers are on the WB (or channel 4 as I called it), and I’m about to spend the best 48 minutes of my week with my dad and my guys–Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Rik Smits, and the Davis boys.  I’ve told people before that my first love was the NBA, and the Pacers in the heart of the nineties were the objects of my affection.  I lived and died with Slick Leonard’s unmistakable “BOOM BABY!” and Miller’s unmistakable kick-out-my-right-leg-and-maybe-score-some-contact-on-my-jump-shot move.

Dan Klores’ film brought back memories that were blanketed by everything else that has happened in the past 16 years–boyfriends, graduations, weddings.  For a few minutes tonight though, I remembered what it was like to be a wide-eyed kid sitting in Market Square Arena with my dad, 10 rows from the top, mesmerized by the lights, the noise, the electric din. 

I’m 23 now and the lights, the noise, and the electric aura are still mesmerizing.  Every once and a while I’m reminded of why all of us work endless hours in an unforgiving field–because the lights, the noise, and the electric air take us to a place where anything is possible, a place where on any given night we are all equal, a place where for a few short hours nothing matters but you, me, and the game. 

Bobel is entering her second season with the Crawdads and first as
Co-Director of Group Sales.  She served as Sales Assistant with the
‘Dads throughout the 2009 campaign, after stints with the Indianapolis
Indians (AAA) and US Track and Field.

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