Last night I hooked up with three dudes I met online.
No, it wasn't random sex in a cheap hotel room but rather a meeting of hoops fans who'd been sharing ideas and jokes for years now.
Twitter/blogosphere pals Seth Johnston, Travis Margoni, Joe Morris and I decided to congregate at Portland's Slow Bar to see if our friendship stood the test of actually having to be in the same room with each other.
A little personal backstory: since the birth of my daughter eight months ago, I've seen my social life practically vanish. I used to be in a band. I used to go to clubs, bars, parties and concerts. Now I have playdates with other parents and trips to the park with the stroller. The idea of making new guy friends and doing manly things appealed to me.
The fellas were more or less what I expected them to be- smart dudes with good senses of humor. But the meeting had an awkward blind date kinda vibe until we got a few drinks in us. And started talking basketball.
Our waiter looked exactly like a young Lindsey Buckingham. The music was loud but Lindsey B had an annoyingly quiet speaking voice. Not surprisingly, he got my drink order wrong.
The conversation started with funny stories about being unfollowed on Twitter and whether or not someone should take that personally and unfollow back as revenge.
Then we moved on to pondering Blazers defense and what effect pace plays on its overall ranking. I asked if the Brandon Roy buyout story was legit and everyone felt that John Canzano pulled that out of his ass and that his "inside source" was probably his own imagination. The group agreed to be each other's inside sources for future breaking Blazer news (Nate McMillan diagnosed with cancer!).
I was getting drunk and talking too much.
The topic turned to this year's Finals. I expressed my belief that the Heat were going to win, even though I dreaded the possibility. Everyone concurred that they were temporary Mavs fans simply because they didn't want to see Miami holding the trophy.
Despite our collective malevolence, we all agreed that LeBron James was the league's MVP again this year and that he's officially underrated now, somehow. We even pondered the possibility that he might be a sensitive soul who's really torn up inside over the public reaction to his offseason theatrics. Poor LeBron.
Time passed quickly. Drinks kept coming. Lindsey B was replaced by a rocker chick with sufficient volume to project over Danzig and Metallica. I'm sure we were louder by now, too.
We talked about the Bird/Dirk comparisons. Seth mentioned Nowitzki's Australian walkabout as a sort of vision quest that allowed him to find his focus. We laughed about Dirk's relationship with his creepy shooting/life coach whose name was escaping us.
"German Goldschlager. (laughs). No, wait, what is it?"
More laughter. At this point in the evening, I suddenly felt like these guys were my friends. Gotta love the bonding powers of alcohol. And sports. And Holger Geschwinder.
Suddenly it was nearing closing time. We'd been there about four hours. Everyone was bleary-eyed. We said our goodbyes and agreed that another Bro-Down should be planned in the future. Good times, good group of guys.
Pictured: me, Seth and Joe (photo by Travis)