As unexpected as the Dallas Maverick’s championship was, even more unexpected was the realization that I would be in Atlanta when the championship parade was scheduled.
I was resigned to missing the big day (seriously big: 300,000 people!!), until The Boy emailed to say that the Mavericks were doing a special event after the championship parade just for the season ticket holders.
No way was I going to miss that!
And that’s how I found myself working late into the night to finish a deadline, then up again at 3 am (with duplicate alarms going off at 3:15 and 3:30 just in case) and driving to the airport at 4 am.
That’s also how I found myself gratefully giving a homeless man $5 for pumping gas into my car. Or maybe that was just what happens when you haven’t had coffee and it’s 4:30 am and you’re desperate to get to the rental car return facility.
It’s definitely why I begged an American Airlines agent to pull me out of the line of 200+ people waiting to check in for American Airlines flights (thanks to an electrical storm the night before that knocked out the kiosk self-check in system). Note to the curious: My begging worked.
And it also explains how The Boy and I were able to navigate through thousands of cars on the freeway, jam-packed trying to go to the parade, police barricades, through hidden side streets to make it to our reserved parking at the Arena.
Just like the Mavericks: We would not be denied.
Our special event after the parade (which we watched in air conditioned comfort inside the arena) was a pep rally with the entire team. The place was packed. Awesomeness!
All of the drama and the lack of sleep was totally worth it.
Worth it to see our stoic superstar choked up at the recognition of all he’d achieved.
Worth it to see our never-at-a-loss-for-words owner choked up and at a loss for words. Worth it to watch our classy coach get up to make a small speech to honor Mark Cuban’s commitment to the team.
And oh so worth it to see just how clearly the players love and enjoy one another. Talk about commitment. Talk about community. This was a team. It’s a big part of why they won.
I know we contributed to making this a great day for the team – but the team made this entire season great for us. I’d take a redeye flight back to Dallas for cheers, chants and confetti any day.
I couldn’t say it any better than this: