Last week I read an interesting article on the declining interest of white people when it comes to the NBA.
In the article, Buzz Bissinger writes, “I also make a habit of asking every white sports fan I know whether they watch the NBA. In virtually every instance, they say they once watched the game but no longer do. When I ask them if it has anything to do with the racial composition, they do their best to look indignant. But my guess is they felt very differently about the game when Larry Bird and John Stockton were playing.”
I found this wildly intriguing. It’s true that viewership of the NBA is down and many complain that the NBA All-Star shenanigans aren’t what they once were, but on Saturday night, three white girls (myself and two roommates) hunkered down on a couch in Brooklyn, set our table with snacks and beer, and watched (and “ohhhh!”-ed at) most of the All-Star Game challenges, and returned the next night for the game.
Two of us even voted during the Slam Dunk contest (Blake Griffin jumped over a car. I mean, come on.).
One other roommate was returning from a trip home to Pennsylvania, and when she arrived she found us lit up with the basketball festivities, shouting at the three-point shooting contest. She entered with her parents and grandmother. I thought her dad might weigh in on the competition, but it was her grandma who offered a comment on the shooting prowess of whoever was running around beyond the arc at the time. And as her mother walked by with groceries for our refrigerator, she paused to watch a struggling contestant.
“He’s not squaring his shoulders.”
I nearly died. It was perfect.
So, I don’t discount the numbers or research when it comes to the alleged dwindling interest in the sport on the whole, but this year the All-Stars put on a show. And we were very appreciative.
On the afternoon of Saturday, February 5, I received a shocking phone call. One of my friends had passed away in a tragic, freak accident the night before.
The details about what happened are fuzzy. No one really wants to talk about what happened, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is that Christofer Roseberry, known best in my world as Christofierce or Ferocious, is gone.
Christofierce was just that – FIERCE. I remember the first time I met him. Two of my fabulous gay male friends were having a housewarming party, and Chris was in attendance. I knew only the hosts, but I happened to make eye contact with Christofer from across the room. He flashed a giant, devilish grin at me and sauntered over.
“Why hello there, gorgeous. What’s your name?” he asked. I told him, and he replied, “You can just call me Christofierce.”
From moment one, I felt Christofer’s energy. He reverberated human electricity. Chris was such a radiant human, living and loving so unabashedly that his life force impacted me every single time I saw him. Not to mention the fact that he would pick me up (or any number of other women near me), swinging us around the dance floor whether we wanted to or not.
I attended a memorial for Christofer last Wednesday, and though crying was inescapable, the stories many shared made almost everyone in attendance smile and laugh. And I think that’s the way Chris would have wanted it. He brought immense joy to this world, and seeing how many people packed the tiny space in Alice’s Tea Cup in Midtown East – New York City (though he was from Ohio) reconfirmed the kind of man he was. One of my favorite stories came from one of the managers at Alice’s Tea Cup. She recalled the last time she saw Ferocious – he was twirling at the hostess stand.
There is no way around it – life is short. I try to make every day count, to have at least one genuine moment of uniqueness and wonder each day, but sometimes it’s more than easy to lose sight of that. Things like this reinvigorate that goal. If I could do anything to pay tribute to Christofer, it would be to live and love as fiercely as I possibly can. And I am determined to do so.