I am among these middle-aged blasphemers, showing no emotion if I win, but full-throated in my profane analysis if I lose. Bowed and gasping after each game, I feel the mysterious tug on my basketball jersey that tells me I belong in one of the hardwood pews a few dozen yards away, squirming once again inside the Catholic Church of today. But for now at least, I find more comfort standing here, on a hardwood basketball court in an old gym, breathing in the stale, familiar air of the Catholic Youth Organization past.
For more than a decade, I have been playing in this informal Sunday morning game, which was established a few years earlier by a dozen men who cheekily called themselves the Apostles. With the promise of modest donations to the financially challenged parish, they were granted that most coveted and elusive item of our youth, the gymnasium key.
For it is written on the walls of childhood: there is no greater waste than an unused basketball court.