The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
Significance of Kobe, Shaq Matchup Under-appreciated By Aunts, Grandma
Originally posted 12/27/2004

From left: Joyce, Helen and Debbie Noland spend quailty time with baby Connor while the guys waste their time watching the incredibly compelling marquee matchup between Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant (inset)
COOS BAY, OR - Sources within the Noland family of Coos Bay, Oregon reported this weekend that the significance of the Christmas Day matchup between Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers and Shaquille O'Neal's Miami Heat was greatly under-appreciated by the Noland aunts and grandma Helen Noland.

"We were all trying to watch the game," said Keith Noland, Helen's son, "and it was every five minutes with the 'let's open presents,' or the 'why don't we sit and visit for a while?' It's almost like they had no idea what a big game it was."

"Oh, those boys and their basketball," aunt Debbie Noland said shortly after the conclusion of Miami's thrilling 104-102 overtime win, a game NBA fans nationwide had been awaiting since the schedules were announced months ago. "I wish that just once they'd be able to tear themselves away from whatever silly game they were watching."

"I couldn't believe that Ray just sat there and watched basketball with his brothers when they should have been enjoying Christmas with the family," said Joyce Noland, Ray's wife. "He knew perfectly well that the plan was to play Scattergories after dinner, but when the time came, he acted like he just had to see this game. Like it was some big important game or something. He can't fool me; he just didn't want to play Scattergories."

The Nolands reported that the only adult male present who didn't watch the Miami-Los Angeles game was newlywed Bryce Noland, who never left the side of new wife Rachel because, as older brother Keith Noland said, he has yet to figure out that "you can stop now. She married you. She's not going to leave you over you watching a basketball game, no matter how much it pisses her off."

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