A Pilgrimage of Sorts

It’s that time of year again. Baseball playoffs are starting, football season is just picking up, and NBA training camps have just kicked off. I took the summer off to venture up to the sticks, and managed to take a day trip to Springfield, Massachusetts–home of the Naismith Hall of Fame. Springfield is a strange place. It is a shit-hole town, where outside of the HOF, there is nothing. Everything about the town is sketch. The only place I felt safe was at the public library and within the confines of my departure bus.

Springfield is the true birthplace of basketball, and the town is revered for this fact alone (otherwise it would just be the Topeka, Kansas of the northeast). Dr. James Naismith drew up the rules and concepts of the game there; took it to Lawrence, Kansas, and from there–well you know the rest.

The Hall of Fame itself is pretty small. There are three levels to it, and only two really have memorabilia. The bottom floor is like one of those fan experience exhibitions, with goals and backboards from different eras, and different sized rims intended for dunking (I may or may not have “rocked the cradle” and flushed on a 12 yr. old who made the mistake of getting in between me and the rim).

I left feeling pretty underwhelmed for the money I spent, but the experience brought my hoops fanaticism (and friendships) full circle.

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