On October 20th, 2006 President Freeborn was sitting in his luxurious office on the 23rd floor of the AFBL building in center city. In this office, which occupies the entire floor, I approached him about the AFBLog. His right hand man Crazy Don sat next to him. Don’s office is on the 22nd floor, it’s a maize of AV equipment, Bunsen burners and chalkboards covered in X’s, O’s and Esperanto. President Freeborn’s secretary, who has her office on the 22nd floor also, buzzed me up to see him. He doesn’t let anyone use his personal elevator so I climbed a short set of stairs. As soon as I stepped from the stairwell, I was struck by the sweeping vistas his office afforded. Freeborn took note and said, “sometimes you can see Pittsburgh, the Empire State Building and the Washington monuments. Not often, but on really clear days.” If he had told me he could see Big Ben across the Atlantic on a clear day, I wouldn’t be surprised. I had heard he kept this office as an intimidation tool. Anyone that wanted to approach him about the AFBL would be immediately humbled by the experience. It worked. I felt a great deal of trepidation but I pushed forward. I tried to convince him in years past to allow me to be scribe to the league, that it would increase revenue and attendance. He was skeptical. I approached him again this year and he was more receptive. His only question was, “why not do it in the Inquirer or the Daily News?” I told him the blog format allowed for a freedom the print media wouldn’t allow. Whereas the DN would only print 800 words, the blog allows for 8,000. Last Friday he called me back into his office. He said, “Brick, when we green lighted the blog we were hoping to get some more prolix prose from you than what we are getting. If I don’t see improvements I’m going to get one of Don’s interns to do the blog and you’ll be back on statistic detail.” So with this direct command, from the topest of the top, I present the longest blog entry yet. Get, like, totally stoked. Bro.
Before I start this week’s recap, lets have a rousing ovation for President Freeborn. He has shown insane amounts of dedication to the league this year. Six years in, we are seeing the strongest season yet. People are coming out, I think they’re having fun and the level of play is as terrible as ever. He and Crazy Don have stats up for week 1 and week 2 in week 3. Not over the summer when we have all forgotten about it, not week 5 when it doesn’t matter, weekly updates. Flat out amazing. Great, great work, fellas. Onto the re-cap.
This week marked two returns. Kevin Henderson had an explosive game hauling in rebounds, driving to the basket with a fury and making defensive adjustments to clamp down on his man after a shaky start. It was a return to form from the end of the 04-05 rookie season that led many to believe Henderson was the future of the league. After a season off, perhaps escaping pressure and expectation has helped him come back to earth. The other return was a less figurative one. Chris ‘Reggiani’ returned to the Vainglorious AFBL after missing all the summer games and the first two games of the season. The reason he missed those games due to an email address mistake. Sorta like when Houser gets a phone number from a girl at the bar on Friday night. Then calls the next day only to get the OTB. Whoops, save that stuff for the Houser Watch. Anyway, I’d like to take this moment to apologize to whoever is at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m real sorry we’ve been sending you all these emails about the greatest basketball league ever. Glad to have Chris back as he is undeniably talented. He runs the point, shoots from the outside and can get to the hoop anytime he wants. If anything he’s a little too knowledgeable about the game, forgets the discordant nature of the AFBL, and expects people to play at a level that is above what they are capable of playing at. Plus he’s a solid dude. The only down side is that he’s a tad precocious when it comes to the elbows first physical play of the AFBL. And this brings me to what I really want to write about for the Week 3 wrap up. Fouls more than anything else defined week 3. All season there has been a trend of the talented players to play opposite the not talented players. I think of it as Grit versus Talent. Grit wins an astounding amount of games. This week Grit managed the final three victories but not with out some funny business. Every time Josh Ferguson put the ball on the floor Crazy Don, a Grit lifer, fouled him. Chris was hacked all over the place too. I’d like to think there has to be a better way to deal with the excessive fouls than giving the team the ball, but it seems like there is no alternative. We could send them to the line, but have you seen us shoot free throws? It takes a half an hour for 5 AFBLers in a gym of 20 to make a free throw. Maybe after the 5th foul committed by a team the player goes to the line and gets 2 chances to make a free throw. He can only earn one point. If he makes the first he doesn’t get any more. Unfortunately, we can’t keep track of the score, so I doubt we would be able to keep track of fouls. I guess the most viable option is for us, Crazy Don in particular, to move our feet on defense and STOP FOULING. That seems unlikely though. Okay. One last note, Joe Rose scored a ton last week. I’ve since learned it was only to impress a lady he brought to the game. Crazy Don was supposed to guard him but Joe gave him $20 to ease up on defense. Outright pathetic.
HOUSER WATCH: Week 3, Anus Magillicutty
Like a fastball high and inside the Houser Watch has caught Jim’s attention. I know this for two reasons.
1. This week before he departed early again, he said he was leaving, “like George.” Since we were on a basketball court I tried to relate the reference to the sport. The only thing that came to mind was Muresan. I asked him to clarify and he reminded me of the last Houser Watch. Talk about egg on the ole face. What are you going to do? I generally write these things drunk. Unlike George leaving on a high note, Houser left after another loss. He only won a single game last weekend.
2. Houser has played relatively boring in both games this season. No excessive chucking, only mild profanity, not a single ball kicked in frustration. He knows that as soon as he reverts to his old self the Watch will dispatch it to thousands preying on his downfall. Well, what the fuck? Since nothing is more boring than writing about Jimbo’s reasonable play on the court I’ll tell you about his mustache. You heard it here; he is now my mustachioed archenemy Jim Houser. Right now, the mustache is thin, but Jim plans to grow it in thick, travel to Hawaii, don a Detroit Tigers cap and rent a Ferrari next spring. He’s a pretty funny guy that Houser, even for a sometime ball hog. I wonder if after he does that he’ll have an uncredited role in an underrated movie like Anus Magillicutty.