With the tragedy and all the horrible aftermath of the Aurora Theater shootings, I figured it was time for a humorous break to get our minds off of everything for a moment and try to laugh a bit. Sit back, relax as I give you an anecdote about my own basketball history ... with the help of FND Films.
It's really amazing how your mind can rationalize past experiences with the distance of time. If you were to ask me now I'd tell you that I was a pretty damn good point guard when I played basketball in junior high school. Wowing the masses with my killer crossover and a jumper so smooth it could be made of the finest silk. That is what I would tell you, and I would remember it vividly that way.
Unfortunately, in speaking with some people I knew back then recently I have come the the conclusion that my memories are exaggerated to the point where I have made myself into Steve Nash when I was actually a mediocre version of Kirk Hinrich. Hell, if these people are to be believed I wasn't even Jorge Gutierrez. This is all very surprising to me considering my most stirring memory of the awful time I had at Oberon Junior High School in Arvada, Colorado was being a great baller, a shot caller ... 20" bla-
You know what, nevermind. My legs were too short, I had no vertical leaping ability. I couldn't finish with either hand at the rim and my jumper only worked if I was completely open. I mean, no one standing anywhere near me kind of open.
It turns out my memories aren't so accurate. My hoop dreams have been replaced by the realization that I didn't just stop playing basketball because I am short (which I am ... wanna fight about it?). Or because of the other factors that were playing in my head at the time. No, I merely stopped playing because I wasn't that good. I often found myself in this sort of scenario just playing basketball with my older brothers:
FND Films - Hoops (via Fronk2107)
Pretty much sums up my basketball experience with my brothers. In fact I distinctly recall my brother Jon hitting a shot like the "Tornado" several times. Seriously, my brother never was any good at basketball until he was playing me. I felt like the Nuggets of 2007, even though this was the early 90's. Yeah...but I digress. I'm learning rapidly that my memories of accomplishments don't exactly mirror reality.
My greatest accomplishment in my basketball days was hitting the most amazing/lucky shot over a school bully (aka: jerkface meany) that made him stop in amazement. I was playing on the same team as a friend of mine, and I got the ball at the top of the key. Did a little Iverson cross-over, couldn't shake the guy and then decided to heave at the basket from 15 feet away. While going up I realized I had yet to raise the ball above my knees yet, so I had to (in mid air) get the ball in shooting position and over the guys' hand while still in the air. To this day I don't know how I did it, but the next thing I know the ball fell through the hoop and barely caused a ripple in the net. I jumped up in the air and celebrated. However, in celebrating I realized that the shot caused me to throw my right shoulder completely out of joint. Dooming me to a lifetime of shoulder issues. Was it worth it? Absolutely ... not. I would trade that memory for better shoulders in a heartbeat. There you have it Stiffs ... my "peak" as a basketball player ended in 1993 at the age of 15.
In that spirit, if I tried to play basketball even recreational-style right now, the result would be much like this video (at the 3:03 mark):
FND TV Episode 2 (via Fronk2107)
Ok, maybe with less blood. You get the picture though. A combination of age (34 is too old, just ask Chris Andersen) and height, coupled with bad shoulders have relegated me to the blogosphere. That's ok though. Dreams are sometimes better than the reality of limitations, and I'm ok with my dreams. Life is an amazing gift and I wouldn't trade my life for anyone out there. In times like these it's easy to get angry and shake your fist at the sky. In times such as these it makes you realize how amazing your own life is, and to treasure it more. Hug a loved one and chill with your friends. Live life to it's fullest and make others happy. It's all you can do.
What are your hoop dreams Stiffs? Hopefully they came to a better conclusion than mine.
Special thanks: to the guys at FND Films for giving me their kind blessing to use their videos in this article. These guys are some of the most famous youtuber's out there and their films always, without fail, make me laugh. They were featured on Tosh.0 last year for their film "Celery" (which is hysterical) and their film "Annoying" has over 20 million views on youtube. Amazing. One of my personal favorites was one they did called "Black". So funny. A friend sent me a video they did about 4 years ago and I've been a big fan ever since.
Right now they are in pre-production on an ambitious film called "Punching" find out more about it and watch the trailer right here:
These guys do amazing work and they were quite generous to let me use their videos. I highly suggest you watch the films if you want to just laugh.