Jumped into a taxi at approximately 9:52pm tonight after a great dinner at Home Plate. The driver was wearing earphones — white, iPod style. Can’t ever remember seeing that before. Then he suddenly starts shouting.
WE WON!!!!! CAN YOU FREAKING BELIEVE IT?! AAAAHHHAHHAHHH!!!
Scared the crap out of us, until we noticed he was on the phone. The Beijing Jinyu Ducks had just defeated massive overdogs Guangdong Southern Tigers to win the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) title.
NIU-BI NIU-BI, LA LI LA, NIU-BI-II …
124 TO 121!
MARBURY SCORED 41 POINTS!! IT WAS CRAZY — HE FOULED OUT IN THE LAST MINUTE …
YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, WE’VE BEEN WAITING THIRTY YEARS FOR THIS!
BEIJING GUO’AN JUST BEAT TIANJIN 3-1, TOO! BOTH IN THE SAME NIGHT!!! AND THERE WASN’T EVEN ANY FIGHTING … EVERY TIME WE PLAY TIANJIN THERE ARE A TON OF FIGHTS…
THERE’S NO WAY I’M GOING TO BE ABLE TO SLEEP TONIGHT!!
I didn’t pay much attention to the CBA until the last couple of weeks, when Beijing made it into the finals, and afterward Stephon Marbuy was filmed bawling uncontrollably for several minutes in the locker room bathroom. (The whole Marbury story is worth reading.) Then Beijing went up 2-0 on the road, lost Game 3, and went up 3-1 in Game 4. I wanted to watch Game 5 but completely forgot about it.
Our driver had obviously come prepared, though. He kept up his shouting the entire twenty minute ride. I think he would have done it even if he had been sitting alone. Definitely one of my most memorable taxi rides ever — right up there with the one around 2006, when the Wuhan driver picked me up from the Hankou train station, found out I was American, then begged me to get the US military to come and invade China.
It was also probably the first time I saw a sports fan react to his team winning a championship without knowing what what he was reacting to. I hope he goes home a little earlier than usual tonight, so that he can turn on his computer and relive it all: the final buzzer, Marbury collapsing in a heap and crying, Marbury being tossed in the air by his teammates while he’s still crying, and everything else. Fun stuff.