Conflicting cults

What's a Christian Blue Devil to do when the Big Game and Ash Wednesday fall on the same night?

Back east, this was no conflict. You could go to an evening service and be in front of your television in time for tip-off. But here, the game started at 6 p.m. and the service started at 6:30. (Perhaps I could have found a morning service to attend, but I haven't learned my way around the ecclesiastical community yet.)

Splitting the difference wasn't really an option, either -- at least, not if I wanted to participate in the appropriate rituals for each event. The full Big Game experience would have demanded driving an hour east to a sports bar Santa Monica to take in the drama with the west L.A. Duke Club. The Ash Wednesday experience demanded driving a half-hour west to a church in Ventura to take part in corporate remembrance and confession. You live in greater L.A., you get used to spending a lot of time behind the wheel, but you still can't be multiple places at the same time.

So church won out, and I had to leave it to my fellow fans to observe the rituals of the game and content myself with learning the outcome after the fact. I got in one good cheer on the way home in my car while listening to the score updates on the radio. (I couldn't find the game itself -- must be on the wrong coast.) It seems that my team did not suffer the wrath of the basketball fates as a punishment for my inattention.

I did appreciate the opportunity to experience the game vicariously, albeit from a Tar Heel perspective, by reading Leslie's liveblogged play-by-play. I was sure there was an error on my feedreader when it said there were 45 updates to her blog, but no.

I don't think there's a major feast or fast scheduled for the day of the home game.


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