The Colonel convinces Miles to go to the Creek’s first basketball game, despite the fact that Miles hates sports and people who watch them. This is mostly because when he was in second grade, he was beaten in a game of baseball by a one-armed kindergartener. The Colonel explains to Miles that the only time he will put up with Weekday Warriors is at a basketball game, because he loves the games so much. He tells Miles about Hank Walston, who is the star basketball player. The Colonel describes Walston as loving weed as much as Alaska loves sex. Walston is only the star player because the rest of the team is so bad.
Miles’ hatred of sports demonstrates how much his memories affect his actions. Indeed, despite the fact that Miles thinks it’s stupid for the Colonel to hate all Weekday Warriors, Miles holds a similarly irrational prejudice in hating all sports enthusiasts. His memory of a negative experience is so strong that it overrides his aversion to hating any group of people, and leads him to discount an entire subset of society.
Miles is shocked to find that everyone in the school, from the goth girls to Kevin Richman, is at the basketball game. Kevin offers Miles and the Colonel a truce, but the Colonel and Miles refuse. Finally, the Colonel makes him a deal: if Kevin can pick a president whose last words Miles doesn’t know, he’ll agree to a truce. Kevin chooses Millard Fillmore, and Miles responds with his last words, “The nourishment is palatable.” Miles realizes that Kevin would have believed anything he said, as long as he said it in a confident way.
As Miles spends more time at Culver Creek, he slowly emerges from the shell that protected him in Florida. While he is not yet as confident as the Colonel, he at least realizes the value of confidence, and he is able to turn down Kevin’s request for a truce.
The Colonel leads the Creek crowd in cheers that make fun of the opposing team’s intelligence and SAT scores. Instead of making noise while the other team shoots free throws, the Creek crowd is silent until the moment the player starts to shoot, when the Colonel stands up and yells something ridiculous. Eventually, the Colonel gets kicked out, which turns out to be his goal. Miles is happy to be friends with someone as bold as the Colonel.
The Colonel’s game-time ritual only works because the sense of community at Culver Creek is so strong. Even though the students fight among themselves, they come together and are incredibly loyal to one another when pitted against a common enemy.