Monday, January 9, 2012

BT Week

            This Thursday night, at 6 PM, Park takes on Beth Tfiloh in basketball in an away game just down the street on Old Court Road.  In the first matchup, on Park’s home court, Beth Tfiloh escaped with a narrow 49-45 victory after a thrilling game.
            My personal rivalry with Beth Tfiloh, however, goes back quite a few years.  Before coming to Park in the 9th grade, I played basketball for Krieger Schechter.  Our annual Saturday night matchup with the Warriors was always a memorable experience, with all four boys’ and girls’ teams playing back to back in the packed BT gym.  There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush that comes when their announcer bellows into the microphone his famous, “LAST MINUTE OF THE PERIOOOOOOOD!”
            As I moved on to Park for high school, my rivalry with Beth Tfiloh did not dwindle; much to my surprise, it intensified.  Now, playing in the same conference, we faced the Warriors twice every season.  Park and BT seem to match up in the playoffs year in and year out.
            A true rivalry consists not only of competitive aggression, but more importantly a mutual respect.  Last year, after splitting their two regular season games, the Warriors sent Park home in the first round of the playoffs in front of a booming crowd.  This year, the expectations for both teams were high, and in the first conference game Beth Tfiloh drew a large crowd at Park’s court.  The fans, donning full suits of yellow and blue, screamed for their team to play “DEFENSE,” hollered during free throws, and chanted, “Ham’s not Kosher” in honor of Park’s center Ham Sonnenfeld.  When the final buzzer sounded, the Warriors fans and players erupted in joy after their comeback victory as the Park boys trudged off the court.
            Following the game there were vicious comments from both parties.  Tweets and wallposts recounted the game in great detail.  The Warriors got their chance to gloat, and with good reason; they deserved some bragging rights after a win away from home.
            Thursday night the teams meet up again.  Look for fans from both sides to come out in full force.  No matter what the final score is, it’s sure to be a show.  This is what rivalries are all about.  For Beth Tfiloh, it is a chance to complete a series sweep.  For Park, it is a chance to get some revenge.  Get pumped: it’s BT Week.

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