A large turnout of 19 people defines week 2. I think it is in part a response to the renewed energy John Freeborn has brought to the table this season and in part due to a thinning of the herd. The league has established itself, six years in, as a place where enthusiasm, competition, competence, incompetence, indifference and camaraderie commingle. And some people love that. And some people love other things. The people that love other things have stopped showing up. And the people that love the AFBL have abandoned hope on those itinerant basketballers and have moved to recruit those that have a steadfast dedication to sport. Unfortunately those with the steadfast dedication are those with talent. Personally, I try to recruit crappy players. I don’t need to see the league’s talent levels rise. I need to see them diminish. You know why? Because I am flat out terrible. In the past I’ve been bad, but in acceptable ways. This season, I’m missing open shots, turning over the ball and all kinds of nonsense. This is why I’m trying to recruit worse AFBLers, so I look better. Apparently no one else is aware of this, so I’m making it public. When you invite someone to play, ask not about their portfolio, ask, “Did you play in High School?” Ask, “Did you have a basketball hoop in your driveway growing up?” Ask, “Did you know that typically a basketball is orange?” If the answer comes back as, “yes” to any of those questions, then tell them they’re not welcome. Of course, even with the seeming increase in the talent pool, we managed to play what Ben Jones termed, “The worst game in the history of the AFBL.” So maybe it doesn’t matter how good or bad a player is outside of the AFBL. Once they step inside the hallowed halls of McCall School and walk past the bronzed bear, a weird jinx is placed upon them. They forget what they’ve know to be true, get frustrated with the frenetic discombobulated playing style, throw their hands up in frustration and say, “when in Rome.” If this is the case, them perhaps I am not as terrible as I think. If this is true, that AFBLers are products of the AFBL environment, then it matters not how much talent they bring into the game, for they all level off under the eye of Crazy Don’s camera. So, probably, I am good. I am not flat-out terrible. You guys are smothering my talents beneath a blanket of communal, clumsy play. Well, thanks a lot.
HOUSER WATCH: Game 2-Looking Good
Houser was there early. He played hard, distributed the ball well, and most shockingly wonderfully, he dove for a ball! I was as shocked as you, the faithful Houser Watch reader. Now before, “I have an aneurysm” I must inform all that Houser left early. Only an hour’s worth of sterling play. Maybe this is a new strategy of his. Leave on a high note, like George in that episode of Seinfeld.