Week 5-What it Means to be an AFer

So. This actually happened on Saturday at McCall School.

One Team won two games in a row. Before I continue, how would you guys feel about naming each team? It would make this a lot easier for me. You see I have to describe a team as, “One Team” and a different team as “Another Team,” which is plain awkward. Think about it, okay, and then get back to me. Anyway, One Team had done quite well for itself, winning back-to-back games. Each week we start our games with what I will always believe is a flawed system. The first five to make their free throws are on a team and the five that cannot make it are their opponents. This will never make any sense to me. Why not make two captains and have them pick their teams. But, instead of keeping their team as picked, they just play on the same team and take the first three that they want. Because having the five players talented enough to make an uncontested shot on the same squad is just as perverted a way to stack the deck. The team that won those first two games was not the team that made their free throws.

In this, we learn two lessons. By we, I mean me and my close personal friend, No Heart McGirlfriend. I learn that maybe the system isn’t flawed and the parity of the AFBL can overcome all obstacles. What No Heart can learn is that a little heart, or perhaps Grit, can go a long way. Really, that’s a lesson for all the kids out there, not just No Heart McG. Because really, kids, you’re not good at basketball, or anything for that matter. If you try hard enough, like the Gritters of the AFBL do, you can reach a level that is a hair above mediocrity. Instead of cruising along, not trying at all, and staying at just mediocrity. The hair of a difference is the difference between earning $24,000 at a soul crushing job and earning $28,000 at a soul-crushing job. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you are trying as hard as you can and it doesn’t make a big difference. You see if you don’t try hard and don’t succeed, then you can just think, “Well, I’ll try harder next time.” Next time, though, you find yourself not trying anyway. It’s a defense mechanism.

And it is a defense mechanism One Team chose to avoid. The wallflowers of McCall gym were rabid, chomping at the bit to get on the court. One Team, who had no desire to sit down, knew it. Their opponent in the third game was stacked. Jason Haas, the sharp shooter, his boy Rick, the amiable fade away shooter with soft touch and genuine skill, Josh Ferguson, the raw jock who has no business in the AFBL, Sean, Haas’ boy who hit all his open shots in a tiny bikers cap and finally, Jim Houser, the human chiminey. One Team got together before they faced their formidable task, huddled up and talked about their defensive assignments. “Okay you take Josh.” “Yeah, I got him, I’m just going to keep him off the boards.” “You take Rick.” “Okay, I’ll try to keep a body on him.” “Fine, I’ll be able to help you on defense, I’ll float on my guy and bring help when I can.” This actually happened. Strategy! What the fuck? The strategizing is frightening.

I remember my early experiences with the AFBL. If I, or someone else, threw a body into another body as a pick, I was both stoked and impressed. I’d think, “Gee this is like the NBA, they use picks.” Of course, we are nothing like the NBA. I once watched a game of the AFBL with Crazy Don. As soon as he turned it off the Nets were playing someone on his t.v. The difference between the AFBL and the NBA was really something. Yes, really something. I’m not going to waste a clever simile on that, because we all know how shitty we are. Or maybe we don’t know. As the president put it last week in a comment to the post, we need the AF in the AFBL. The question is, what does the AF stand for? I’m no artist. I’m just a turd. I don’t know what to do off the ball, but increasingly I think people expect me to know. And this is a league wide phenomenon. Are we going to be a league of trash-talking, chucking, turnover machines? That’s what the AF represents to me. Or are we going to be a league that huddles before the game, breaking down tendencies of the opponent? If that’s how it is going to be, how soon before we bring in coaches? More importantly, how much longer before we bring in cheerleaders? Because I love chicks. And that’s really what I wanted to say. Chicks are so hot.

See you in two weeks, enjoy the Turkey, murderers.

–Brick James

HOUSER (MUSTACHE) WATCH: Week 5, Adorable but Under Appreciating

The stache was back this weekend! But because of his red hair and pale complexion the stache doesn’t really jump out at you. Lets say your average mustache ride costs 5 cents. A ride on Housers would only cost 2 cents. I’ve been told that cops have to grow mustaches after they’ve killed someone. I think Jim is growing his because he is killing himself. I got him a pack of African cigarettes this past summer. He said he smoked the whole pack in one night. After he was done, he said he was itching his gums. I have no idea what that means but I am guessing it is not good. How many other people out there are willing to encourage their enemy’s inimical habits? I’m a great arch nemesis. I hope he appreciates me.

As for his basketball courting, when One Team was going to play against Another Team, Jim was hanging out with One Team. John Freeborn was on One Team, he turned to a teammate and said, “Look at all the ringers over there.” And Jim got, not indignant, but a little put off. He asked in an uncharacteristically diffident way, “I’m not a ringer?” The teammate said, “No, you’re an artist.” Houser responded, “So I’m a double threat, then?” He said this with an adorable lilt, his voice lifting at the end, as if talking to the cool older kids. Since neither Freeborn nor his teammate responded, I’ll use this forum to respond. Jim, you got it buddy, you’re definitely a double threat. You’re just great at basketball and a real talent with that brush. Now, go get em tiger, nobody can hold you back. I’m a great supporter. I hope he appreciates me.



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6 responses to “Week 5-What it Means to be an AFer

  1. Ajones

    Hey, I just heard on the radio that Ryan Collerd won the MVP. That doesn’t make any sense. First of all, the season is only 4 weeks old, and second, I don’t think Ryan has played more than once. Weird.

  2. Joseph

    I miss one week and this is what happens? This Brick James is one crazy SOB.

    ps. I’m going to be a father. Nuts, right? I really need to step up my game, I can’t my kid see me play like I do.

  3. No Heart McGirlfriend

    oh..brick i’m touched (in a none pederast way) that you find reflecting on my saturday’s play.

    a little grit? i was a bowl full.

    can you imagine what it would be like if i showed up every week? you can’t hold me son!

  4. Brick James

    I don’t normally want to be seen trolling with the comment urchins. But I’d like to set the record straight on NoHeart McG’s bowl full. When or if the AV club breaks down the film, they will not break down individual games or match ups. Therefore I need to bring this up.

    The first game that my team won, I was guarding NHMcG. He got three points on me and a couple of boards. He sat out, rested and then we played his team again. Before the game I told Kevin Henderson, my teammate, that I would keep No Heart to 0 rebounds. Guess what his line was; 1 point, 1 rebound, presumably 0 assists. The rebound he grabbed was on the offensive side and had little to do with me. If anyone knows either or us, they know he is the larger of the two. Furthermore his playing experience extends beyond the AFBL, unlike me. Seems like if you have a talent edge and a “bowl full” of grit you’d get more than a rebound and a point on an inferior opponent.

    But I can’t say for certain, since almost everyone is better than me. But hey, maybe I’ll understand when I have a kid. Right?

    Don Brickles

    p.s. Congratulations Joe!

  5. The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.

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