Week 17-Where’s the Intensity

All we needed was a small flame beneath the collective toochis of the AFBL to return the league to it’s prodigious numbers.  12 players in total filled the gym for what will be remembered as a awful display of basketballing.  The AFBL has always been turnover prone but this weekend was truly epic.  There was a sequence where one team threw the ball out of bounds on an errant pass.  The other team got the ball back and threw it out of bounds on the in bound pass.  Then the other team got it back and lost the ball.  Then the other team turned it over.  If that sounds confusing, I’m sorry, we don’t name our teams, though I’ve been lobbying all season long for us to do that. 

Let me simplify that second to last sentence:  We collectively stank last Saturday.  It was pretty unreal.  What’s funny about how crappy we are is the way we choose to exhibit our crappy tendencies versus our moderately okay tendencies.

One game in particular, though it happens in almost every game, effectively demonstrated the bi-polar AFBL nature.  Team A-for lack of a better term- and Team B-same reason- were closing in on a final.  Team A led the entire game by a wide margin.  Miraculously B came back.  They narrowed the margin.  They managed to get within 2 baskets or so of tying the game.  Unfortunately A was at 14, the game was played to 16 and we kept score with 2’s and 3’s.  B decided that it would not lose.  B began clamping down on defense.  It worked surprisingly well and for the next 5-10 minutes B couldn’t score.  A couldn’t score either.  Eventually B managed to mercifully end the game.

Why is it that we tend to hang on until the end, then when we realize that we can’t win the game that we try our hardest?  Where is the intensity in the start of the game?  Why is John Freeborn flinging left handed hook shots from mid court on the first possession of every game, but clamping down on defense and swinging the ball for the last possession? 

We play harder at the end of the games to ease our conscious.  If we lose, then we can’t say we didn’t try.  If we win, then it was an amazing comeback.  I’m not advocating increased defensive play by anyone.  I’d prefer no one guard me.  I have trouble making open layups.  I think I missed 4 this weekend.  I just want some consistency from the league.

One way you people can be consistent is to show up again this weekend.  12 people is much better than 6-regardless of the insanely sloppy play.  How much rust did you guys have?  My excuse?  Well, yes I’ve played all but 1 game this season, so I shouldn’t have rust. 

Well, if you must know, my sneakers we’re too tight.

HOUSER WATCH: Week 17, Raking Childhood Scars

I’m just going to cut and paste our email interaction:

ME (to all of you):As a youth I played organized basketball just once.  I was ten years old or so and played in a rec. league for like 8 weeks.  How am I so good with out technical training?  Like Jimi Hendrix, I guess I’m just naturally talented.  When I played in the league I was given a t-shirt as a jersey.  On the front it read, “Hillsborough Recreation” atop a basketball.  On the back of the dark green shirt the number 17 gleemed in a vinyl white.  17?  Who wore number 17?  I didn’t get a sexy number.  My father researched who wore 17 in the NBA.  Chris Mullin.  Okay.  I’ll take it.  I had a crew cut at the time and a drinking problem, so I guess it made sense.  For some odd reason, I always chose 17 as my number in sports from then on.  I didn’t even like Chris Mullin or basketball all that much.  It just stuck.

Jim’s response:  i played basketball , and got cut from a team that didnt have have
cuts , because of ” behavior problems “. i was 11 and hyperactive.
they kept the retarded kid, and i got cut for kicking basketballs .

i am not kidding. so i played baseball and was number 8 , because i was born in august.
and i played football and was number 85 . tight end.
aaron mckie is my favorite player ever, so i am sticking with 8.

Me:  Holy shit.  Please tell me this is allowed to go on the blog. 

Jim:  sure… rake the childhood scars.


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