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A Night to Remember: How I watched the New Orleans Pelicans get into the NBA Playoffs

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Were you at the Smoothie King Center? I want to hear about it! First, let me tell you about my night.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately I could not come to the Smoothie King Center last night to support the New Orleans Pelicans against the San Antonio Spurs. My wife and I have a beautiful fifteen month old daughter. She has a check up in the morning. We wanted to make sure we could feed her dinner, give her a bath, and get a good night of sleep in her before she had to endure another round of vaccinations. Pitching her on her aunts or grandparents tonight was not in the cards.

Instead I took her to a Smoothie King this afternoon. She wore a red Pelican onesie (a "boys" one, the girl ones are almost all pink and unnecessarily frilly), a red tutu, and her favorite strappy sandles. I ordered a small angel food. It is red, tastes pretty good, and isn't heavy on calories. I didn't need a meal replacement or a workout recovery beverage, I needed a treat. It was delicious.

Last week, when the Pelicans played the Golden State Warriors we went out to dinner. Mexican. Family function as a friend was celebrating a birthday. The Pelicans won! Tonight my wife had to work a little later, so once she got home I ordered to go and drove quickly there and back to get dinner home in time. Shredded chicken chimichanga again for me. It worked once, right?

We eat, our daughter has some guacamole. Just like against the Warriors! She loves avocados as it is; guacamole is a hit. The game is about to tip off and my wife and daughter go into the living room while I watch from the kitchen and clean up. Pels are playing well! Really well! As the first quarter comes to a close all the dishes have been washed, the bottles are in the sanitizer, the table has been cleared and wiped off. Do I dare venture into the living room and mess with the juju of the Pelicans.

No.

Pacing in the Kitchen

If you remember from my recap of the last Pelicans game against the Spurs in New Orleans my wife and I are pretty superstitious sports fans. It does not extend to not washing clothing or any unsanitary practices, but we do basic things. Were you sitting there when Drew Brees threw that touchdown? What is your lucky shirt or jersey? When our daughter was younger we would watch much of the game in separate rooms if things were going well, my wife rocking our little girl to sleep.

Tonight this meant I stayed in the kitchen. More than that. During the first quarter my hands were covered in soap suds for a good deal of it. I never tweeted. That would also continue. At half time Oleh sent me a DM. "Dude, are you alive?!?" I read it. Yes, I was very much alive. And no, I was not going to respond to that, not yet.

I do one of two things when I am nervous; clean or pace. The first quarter I cleaned. An open floor plan, a sink that faces the living room, and a 65" flat screen TV means I'm never far from the action. As Norris Cole lit on fire while streaking through the atmosphere destined for Lake Pontchartrain I paced and drank copious amounts of water from a Pelicans souvenir cup bought on opening night. We have one from each season since I moved here. Even with my wife over seven months pregnant we made our way to opening night against the Indiana Pacers in 2013.

A text came through. My best friend is watching too down on the West Bank. Do texts count too? I couldn't chance it. We've been great friends for some five years now, a text not answered immediately would not raise an alarm. I have a 15 month old, he knows sometimes my hands are full.

Bed Time Delayed

My wife went further than I could have imagined. Bath time usually occurs around 7:30 in the house. If everything goes well our daughter is in her crib by 8:30 and if my wife doesn't have to work the following day we might catch up on an episode or two of The Americans after a game if I'm not covering it. I asked if she wanted me to start running the bath water at halftime; we're already a half an hour behind schedule.

"Mess with the juju? No, Noodle can stay up."

Two things, yes our little girl's nickname in the house is Noodle. Second, all bets are now off. She's been up late a couple of times before. Now that she's going to be awake for the entire game my wife and I are liberated to the occasional outburst at the television. Delaying bed time for a toddler is a big deal. Stretching out the entire evening routine to begin some two hours later?

My wife and I would commit this stubborn act of parenting suicide if it meant the Pelicans would claw their way into the postseason.

Rewards too Numerous to Count

The Pelicans rewarded us, all we Pelican fans, with a win. Hard fought with more than just a dash of uncertainty and dread on top. Anthony Davis with the block? We hooted and hollered. The clock ran dry and everyone hugged. Bath time could commence.

Thankfully the rewards did not stop there. Time to fill the tub; I send out messages as quickly as my thumbs can type to ensure everyone that I am alive and that the recap will be written. Our little girl was great, staying cheerful even with her hair being washed. Good night kisses for everyone and I finally hop on the computer to get to work.

Thank you Pelicans.

Thank you Mandy.

Thank you Noodle.

Let's hear about your experience watching last night's game.