Thursday, April 05, 2007

Therapy with Dr. Bob (Trout-style)

Dr. Bob: Ah, welcome back, Terry. Has it been a year already? Time flies, eh?

Me: Hmmpf.

Dr. Bob: Yes, well, court ordered therapy is no treat for anyone. Have a seat. How is your wife?

Me: Fine.

Dr. Bob: And how are your kids?

Me: Fine.

Dr. Bob: And how is your job going?

Me: Fine.

Dr. Bob: I see. And what about your obsession with Indiana basketba...

Me: This is actually a really interesting part of the year because the season just ended so we're all talking about next season and the new recruits and other recruits we might get and how much the other players will improve and who might transfer and...

Dr. Bob: Remember our breathing rule? Actually, I'm a bit relieved that you seem so upbeat. I watched the first half of the UCLA game and...

Me: (covering ears) Verboten!!

Dr. Bob: I beg your pardon?

Me: We've all decided to block that game from our memories. You know, like childhood trauma.

Dr. Bob: You're comparing a basketball game to childhood trauma? I'm not sure that's healthy.

Me: Yes, yes. Healthy. Very important. Anyway, the point is that we don't talk about such things.

Dr. Bob: And by "we" you mean the internet forum thingies that you read with your, um, "friends"?

Me: They're less my friends and more like my family. My brothers and sisters. Aunts and uncles. Cousins twice removed.

Dr. Bob: I get the idea. So, in spite of the UCLA... er, the end of the season, it sounds like you and your friends enjoyed the season?

Me: Enjoyed?

Dr. Bob: Yes. Enjoyed. You're a fan, right? You follow Indiana basketball because you enjoy it, I assume?

Me: Hmmmm... yes, maybe there's something to what you say. Enjoyment. I remember enjoying Indiana basketball... long ago... in the days of my youth... Calbert .......

Dr. Bob: (snapping) Terry! Stay with me here. I admit I'm a little surprised. After all our conversations about Mike Davis... long, painful conversations... I thought that now that Kelvin Sampson was the coach things would be back to, um, normal.

Me: I thought so too. And I tried to get back. I watched all the games I could for the first time in years. And I liked the team. But whenever they'd start to struggle, started missing shots... losing rebounds... stuff that every team does... I'd start having flashbacks to the Davis era. My brain knew that it was different, by my heart would hold me back.

Dr. Bob: Ah, yes, battered fan syndrome. Very common. Did you continue to have obsessive thoughts about the team?

Me: Well, doc, obsession is really in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? I mean what might seem obsessive to one person might be perfectly normal for someone else.

Dr. Bob: I mean classic obsessive fan behavior. Staying awake till 3 in the morning because you're so excited after a win. Daydreaming about the team winning a national title. Paying any attention to recruiting. Blogging about basketball during the off-season...

Me: Oh, no... I'm fine. Really.

Dr. Bob: Uh huh. So how do you follow the team nowadays? Any changes?

Me: No, pretty much the same. I go to Peegs for new, the forums for discussion, I visit Big Ten Wonk.... Omigosh!!

Dr. Bob: What? What is it?

Me: (curling into fetal position) Beeeetraaaaaayed.... beeeetraaaaayed...

Dr. Bob: I can't understand you with your thumb in your mouth.

Me: Oh, sorry. It's just that Big Ten Wonk has decided to stop blogging exclusively about Big Ten basketball and is branching out to all of college basketball.

Dr. Bob: So? What's the big deal?

Me: (eyes glazing over) What's the big deal? Egads! This conversation is becoming Edvard Munch-level horrific. Ye Gods, will this session never end? If we don't stop this soon, I'm going to need to George Bailey myself into a frozen river.

Dr. Bob: Terry? Is that you?

Me: (shaking head) Hmmm... what? Sorry, what were you saying?

Dr. Bob: Uh, let's change topics. Having you been taking your medication? Is it helping with your manic-depressive episodes?

Me: Not really. Everytime we lose I am convinced that every player on the bench is the second coming of Michael Jordan and every player on the floor is the second coming of Pat Knight. And everytime we win I am convinced that Sampson is a coaching genius who could lead a team full of Pat Knights to a title. There's a voice in my head who tries to tell me that the truth is always somewhere in between, but it's hard to listen. Carl.

Dr. Bob: Carl? Who?

Me: The voice in my head. His name is Carl.

Dr. Bob: I see. Um... still, based on our conversations last year, surely the absence of Marco Killingsworth has made you enjoy the season more.

Me: Who?

Dr. Bob: Marco Killingsworth. Played for Indiana last season? We had several discussions about his defense?

Me: Not ringing a bell, doc.

Dr. Bob: Is this one of those "verboten" things?

Me: ...

Dr. Bob: Uh huh. Fair enough. Anyway, I'm guessing that next season should be pretty enjoyable. I hear Indiana is bringing in a pretty good player next season. What's his name... EJ something? Eli Jordan?

Me: Do you mean Eric Gordon? Or Eli Holman? Or Jordan Crawford?

Dr. Bob: Whomever.

Me: Whomever? Whomever?! Aren't you from Bloomington? How can you not know who Eric Gordon is?!

Dr. Bob: I am from Bloomington. Bloomington, Illinois.

Me: (long pause) Illinois.

Dr. Bob: Yes. Um, Illinois. Why are you looking at me like that? Perhaps we should end things a little early today, okay? Nurse! NURSE!!

(Background: Trout is the handle for a longtime poster on Peegs' Forums who resurfaces every year or two to make a post about his fictional conversations about IU basketball with his therapist. I blatantly stole his idea for this post... I mean, this is an homage to Trout. Trout, wherever you are, get back in the game!)

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