WARNING: While there are no hard giveaways concerning the plot of last night’s ‘Game of Thrones’ episode, two quotes and one character’s use of a weapon in the show’s opening scene are referenced.
Sweaty dad-bods were havin’ a barrel of monkeys yesterday, let me tell ya h’wat. According to my dad’s weather report, Duluth was “90-some” with two F-bombs. He was cooking a steak, inside, when I called him.
My step-dad was asleep when I called him, because I called him at 10:30 p.m.
Hey, with a show to write and Greatest Night of Television Ever to catch, this pet father had to pick his spots cautiously. I couldn’t get it out of my head: Game 7 of the NBA Finals on the same night as the Bastard Bowl?
The plan was simple: catch the first half of Warriors-Cavs, take in Game of Thrones over halftime, turn back, and catch the end of the game. Easy. Almost.
“I don’t know what to do,” I said to my wife, “I don’t feel like drinking, but I can’t watch the game unless I go to a bar.”
“So?” she said. “Just go to the bar and don’t drink.”
Wait, YOU CAN DO THAT?!
Enlightened, I bolted for Grizzly’s. The game had already started, the score 8-8.
I get into the car and immediately start leaking sweat. Two F-bombs.
I’ve got my phone firmly secured under my crotch, and the NBA app up, as I cruise down County Road 6. The score is 16-14 Warriors as I cross Carlson Parkway and zip into the Grizzly’s parking lot. I slam ‘er into park, crank the key over, hop out, grab my bag, and scramble inside.
The booth I like is open. I slide in, look up and see golf. GOLF?!
They change it, don’t panic. Anderson Varaejo misses a free-throw and Kevin Love snags the rebound one-handed. I order an Arnold Palmer (with no bourbon!) and the blackened wings I love so much.
The Cavaliers are up 23-22 at the end of the first. We’re good, though.
A storm warning — oh, snap, it’s a tornado warning! — has been issued for Central Minnesota. MOBILE HOMES WILL BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED, says a ticker at the screen’s bottom.
On the top, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue was interviewed between quarter. The sound was turned off, but I surmise the conversation went something like:
Reporter: “LeBron LeBron LeBron, LeBron?”
Golden State wunderkid Stephen Curry is on the bench biting his nails. On the court, his two most prolific teammates, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, are making similar “I smelt a fart” faces.
That fart is LeBron. Everyone else in a Cavaliers uniform looks like a flailing doofus, but LeBron is coating the court with something so potent, it could probably damage a mobile home.
Those Cavaliers uniforms, by the way, are horrendous. They like what a knockoff shop would sell if it wasn’t licensed to sell real NBA product. Warriors are up 32-31.
The blackened wings are fantastic as usual. They’re meaty, with that light char and delicate zing that really make you believe in wood-firing. At $7, they’re a tough plate to beat.
Uh-0h, now we’re really talking about weather.
The weatherman for KSTP stands in front of a map, and there’s a lot of yellow and red. He’s trying to look concerned, but his face tacitly says “Duuude, this is so fucking cool!”
Back to the action! DRAYMOMD FOR THREE! DRAYMOND FOR THREE AGAIN!!
Whatever game Steph Curry needed to have, Draymond Green is having it for him. This is all going to marvelously. With 3:31 left in the second, I pull up a screen for HBO Now. Damn right I’m watching it here at the bar.
Wait. Did my waitress just … bring me the tab?
I wasn’t ready for the tab. I was going to order more food. I was going to suck down like 15 more Arnold Palmers. Is this their way of telling me to get out? My computer’s battery is pretty low.
It’s a sign. I’ve got time to figure this out. I pay up, pack, and head home.
The Warriors are up 49-42 at the half. I log in to HBO Now.
On what might have been the most important night in its history, HBO Now is down.
I click buttons maniacally. I restart. I change my password. I still can’t get in. WTF? I check Twitter. Other people are talking about it. Shit. It’s not just me.
I head into the bedroom and whine to my wife. She has no answer, but she does have a dog racing back and forth through the house, onto the bed, off of the bed, speeding in circles. We look at each other, at him, at each other, and back at him.
We know what this means, and it’s my turn.
I jog Porter out and wait for him to sniff out tonight’s Worthy Earth of the Whippet Poop.
He sniffs …
5min later: … and sniffs …
5min after that: … and sniffs …
At this point, we have wandered out past our complex and Porter is in a sketchy, trash-ridden weed patch a block or two out past our building. It is there he discovers a square foot of earth worth of receiving tonight’s Offering of the Whippet Poop.
We dash back inside.
I check Twitter. Andrew calls tonight’s episode “One of the hardest to watch in a while.” Wait, it’s already over?! Brent LaBathe of Vikings Territory says “That Game of Thrones episode was worth missing the 3rd quarter tonight.” THE THIRD QUARTER IS ALREADY OVER?!
The Cavaliers have erased their deficit and only trail by one heading into the fourth, 76-75. Two F-bombs.
I have a tough choice to face: the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the NBA Finals, or ‘Game of Thrones.’
9:06 p.m.: I stew in my seat. I check social media. I check NBA.com. Nine minutes remain in the game. Cleveland has taken the lead.
“Screw it,” I decide. “I’m watching ‘Thrones.'”
9:14 p.m.: Buffering
Back in Oakland, the game is tied. I need a drink. I pour myself a water, chilled, on the rocks. We goin’ hard!
9:24 p.m. We’re done buffering! A fireball is tipped, and we’re underway in Meereen!
9:31 p.m.: Klay Thompson with a layup. The game is tied with 1:04 left in the NBA season! Dracarys, motherfucker!
9:35 p.m.: GRAY WORM … I mean, KYRIE IRVING WITH THE DAGGER! Cavaliers lead 92-89 with 53 seconds left.
9:51 p.m.: The Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA champions. They’ve just become the first team ever to win the NBA finals after trailing 3-1 in a series. Around this time, Melisandre offers advice the Warriors should have had before game-time: “Don’t lose.”
I’m happy for Kyrie Irving, and I’m happy for the city of Cleveland. I respect LeBron James for carrying a team, a city, on his bulky shoulders and ending Cleveland’s 54-year title drought. He just won a game 7 with Iman Shumpert’s top … bun … tail … thing and Richard Jefferson’s bloated corpse running ’round the court with him. Fine. I still hate Kevin Love.
The Golden State Warriors were the first team in NBA history to win 73 games in one season, losing only nine during the regular season. They went into the playoffs, and lost nine more. I won’t go into any Thrones detail. I’ll let Tormund take us home with a great title idea for the Warriors 2015-16 season.