Long Live the Kings

I think I have said this before,

but I’m a fan of the underdog.

There is just something about the fight

that lies within the one whom everyone counts out.

Tonight I sat and watched the entire

State of the City address by Kevin Johnson.

I’m a Sacramento native yet I never am one to get behind politics.

But tonight, I was glued to my television.

For the fate of my favorite sports team,

the Sacramento Kings,

is in limbo, and Kevin Johnson is our city’s Superman

when it comes to this issue.

Listening to his words, to his plan,

brought me moments of “Whoop-whoop!” cheers

and I am not shy to admit, at one point,

a few held back tears.

And for a moment I thought,

Is this how people who are gaga over politics feel when they

hear Obama speak?

Because I felt it.  I was sucked in.  I was moved and inspired.

For me, the Kings are more than just a team.

They are memories and cherished moments I get to spend with my family.

And I sincerely hope that after this fight,

the underdog known as Sacramento


The Kings have been in Sacramento since 1985,

a year after I was born.

And though I probably attended my first game around age 5,

I’ve been a fan, thick and think, for 23 years.

I can remember sitting in those red plastic seats,

my feet unable to even touch the ground.

Back then, I probably was more interested in the cotton candy and sweets,

but year by year, my interest and love for this game grew.

Not only did I get to share some memorable moments with my dear old Dad,

but I learned the ins and outs of the game.

I’d plop my cereal bowl in front of the sports page in the morning,

memorizing stats to share with the boys at school so I’d look cool.

For a girl who knew her sports stats was way cooler

than the girl who spent hours practicing piano or ballet.

My favorite players may changed from season to season,

Walt Williams, Spud Webb, Tyus Edney, Doug Christie,

but my love for the team only grew and grew.

To think this team could leave my beloved town of Sacramento

it honestly brings a shortness of breath.

Last April, the day of the “Last Game”

I sat in the parking lot before walking in to work to call my Daddy.

I cried because I’d be sharing that evening’s game with my boyfriend

rather than sharing “one last” game with him.

Little did I know, there’d be a little hope around the corner.

The Kings stayed for one more season.

Which brings us to tonight’s State of the City.

Kevin Johnson is the Superman this city needed.

The Maloofs may be his Lux Luther

but I believe he’s going to make this thing happen one way or another.

I want to be able to share more games with my dad

and someday bring my kids to a Kings game.

We may be the underdogs.

People across the country may have counted us out.

But underdogs, they just don’t give up.

And Sacramento just won’t quit.

Not without a good fight.

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Abuelas are better than grandmas


This is Abuela.

She’s the one who is responsible for my Cuban heritage.

My espresso addiction.

My fiery bulldog ways on the soccer field.

The woman who inspired my sewing hobby

and taught me to sew a project for “10 dollars or less.”

The woman who will always greet me with,

“Hay que linda!  Gina, you look like a million dollars.”

(Yes, even if I’m in workout clothes.)

Who told me to never leave the house without earrings

and a little bit of lipstick (or chapstick in my case).

She’s hilarious, thoughtful and you better believe she’s a good negotiator.

I had the best time sifting through old family photos with her yesterday.

We belly laughed as we shared stories

and passed back and forth, “Remember when?”s.

Brought me back to the days I’d visit her in Miami

on my Spring Breaks in college.

While my friends would visit the beach or go on some crazy college group trip,

instead I took a flight to Miami to spend time with Abuela.

She and I would shop and take in movies,

and come home to eat Cuban food with Abuelo.

We’d practice speaking spanish.

We’d drink cafe con leche.

To me, those were the best Spring Breaks ever.

Though I really do miss my visits to Miami,

I’m pretty happy she’s here in California now.

Because now I don’t have to wait for Spring Break

just to hang out with her.