I talked to my friend KT the other night, and she could barely contain herself. Shrieking, yelling, yipping, squeaking – she was out of control.

Paul Wong
Joseph Litman

Her favorite television show, “Friends,” was airing in a few minutes, and she was on an anticipation-fueled ebullience bender.

Were she frothing at the mouth while speaking, I would not have been surprised.

After taunting her for feeling so good about such a bland show – I guessed that Ross would be making dorky archaeology jokes that week, like the previous week, and the week before and the ten years before that – I hung up and went about my usual Thursday night business.

The next Monday, I spoke to KT again and got my weekly, three-minute “Friends” recap, crucial information for a gentleman friendly with so many girls and sell-out guys. (Quickly about this second group: they don’t watch “Oz” or “The Wire” yet find time for “Friends?”)

Satisfactorily informed – Ross and Rachel miscommunicated, Chandler and Monica did married-person things, Joey and Phoebe were left the writers’ scraps – the conversation turned to me and my activities for that night.

I told KT that I was doing what I do almost every night this, my senior year: Watching the greatest proof yet that God exists.

However, it wasn’t the “700 Club” that had garnered my attention. Resplendent in my white headband, white Boston Celtics shirt, old-school Dallas Mavericks road shorts (the true-royal-blue ones which feature the cowboy hat over the “M” and kelly green trim), Kevin-Garnett-style wide rubber band, and spark white/royal blue Jordan Trunners, I tried to coolly say, “Watching NBA League Pass.”

However, I was so excited about the prospect of choosing which of the ten available games I’d watch that I couldn’t stop myself. “Aw yeeeeah; NBA’s in the fuckin’ building! HOLLA!” Oh the catharsis.

When the din had subsided, KT put the phone back to her ear and ended our conversation with a dismissive, Seinfeld-like, “Well, I’ll let you have fun with all that.” And I did.

I have fun with NBA League Pass every night, because unlike those who love watching “New York” thirty-somethings, my favorite show is on all the time from November through June. Does it get boring? No.

Watching the world’s most amazing athletes glide through the air while wearing coordinated headbands, arm bands and rubber bands – all the while thinking about things like their Ferraris, one day being able to drink legally and perhaps passing to an open teammate – never gets boring.

For those who don’t know, NBA League Pass is a cable service to which viewers can subscribe, and for $160, the basketball-obsessed crowd can watch almost every regular season game played in the association.

Since high school, when I heard about the free time that college students enjoyed, I had been dreaming of the day when I would order the league pass.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t the foresight to realize that in college, my homework would require much time and my profligacy (I collect sneakers) would require much money.

However, this year my workload had subsided and my consumerism had been restrained, so I pulled the trigger on my life’s greatest purchase.

For a person whose father walks around the house muttering that Shaq should be illegal, whose sister claims that Todd MacCulloch is “the real TMac” and whose mother knows that Lucious Harris doesn’t punk in the clutch, it seemed as though the stars were in alignment.

So, what do I do with my league pass? The simple answer is that I watch basketball, but there is a lot entailed in the process.

First, I need to figure out which games are being played on a given night. My favorite teams to watch are:

n The New York Knicks – my hometown team, and one which seems to have circled my birth date and said, “We’re not winning a title while this sucker’s alive.”

n The Golden State Warriors – Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas have brought new excitement to the top-of-the-key handoff.

n The Cleveland Cavaliers – an interesting science experiment that brings up the question, “If a team merely tries to dunk on every possession, can their activities still be called ‘basketball?'”

n The Dallas Mavericks – nothing is better than yelling “The Diggler” every time offensive juggernaut Dirk Nowitzki touches the ball.

Second, after prioritizing the games, I turn my attention to what I will be wearing to watch them. Based upon silly coincidences – the Kings were 7-0 last year when I watched their games while wearing their shorts – and a desire to maintain a certain hip-hop-inspired fashion sense, I throw together an ensemble that will simultaneously encourage good play and make me appear as though I were straight out of the pages of “Slam” magazine.

The throngs of sneakers, shorts and headgear that I own enable myriad combinations. Ooh, the black wave cap and read headband work well with the Trailblazer shorts.

Finally, having consulted the channel listings and my mirrors sufficiently, I sit down and go crazy. The state in which I found KT that Thursday night? That’s me five minutes after having clicked on channel 754.

A couch cushion is destroyed, the coffee table is slammed and the tranquility is pierced.

Typically, one of my roommates will be roused out of his room to ascertain the source of the commotion. “Oh, Michael is wearing the Jordan IX’s in teal. Get a life, Joey.” Then it’s back to some work so that he gets it done before Thursday night.

Me, I typically have no such considerations – deadlines permitting – because Mondays are like all my other nights spent immersed in the L. And the association is more exciting than any long-time friends having Freddie Prinze baby sit their kid.

– Joseph Litman can be reached at litmanj@umich.edu.

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