The real mystery here is not “How did we win,” but rather “Where did the sombrero come from?”

Shockingly, last night Alex, Tara, Allison and I made it to the basketball game with few problems. (By “few,” I mean at one point I was barreling down the road towards a light and nobody could agree on whether I should go right or left, so I nearly clipped a mailbox.) The game itself was predictably demoralizing—one of our kids accidentally kicked the ball out of bounds—until halftime, when things started to get awesome for us. It was a real nail-biter.

The real tension is between the student fan sections. They scream for blood, whatever the sport. Our rival school’s fan section was noticeably more impressive, probably due to the fact that they all live on that side of town and did not nearly take out any mailboxes en route. So their chanting of “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN” was both obnoxious and unnerving. I always think that unless we’re the ones doing the cheering.

Anyway, we were sucking, as usual, and I actually turned to my friends and said, “Is it too late to go sit on the other side and cheer for [rival school]?”

“I think so,” said Allison, “as we’re wearing the wrong colors.”

But then things took a turn, and we pulled ahead, and it came down to a matter of points and we won. This immediately prompted our fan section to chant “I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE WON!” as well as the typical “THIS IS OUR HOUSE [clap clap clapclapclap],” which, when you’re chanting it at a school that is not your own, is the biggest “fuck you” you can give as a collective student body without actually chanting the words “fuck you.” Our principal was pacing threateningly, just in case things got out of hand. This was not his first rodeo. He still remembers fiascos of years past. He still remembers the year my class tried to crowd-surf a freshman and sent him careening out of the fan section at the homecoming football game. He’s ready for anything.

Anyway, we walked out of there winners, and Alex walked out of there with a sombrero that was not his, and he wasn’t entirely sure how he got it.

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