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Inspirational Reads

David Slays Goliath

February 19, 2007

I've withheld posting about this for a while, because I didn't have all the facts. I still don't have all the facts, but I have a more clear picture of what is happening here.

At the end of the season, my daughter's basketball team played the number one team in the league in back-to-back games. They were undefeated, and it's pretty obvious why. They have one kid who is light's out shooting from anywhere on the floor. He's going to grow up and be a pretty good athlete. Hell, he's a pretty good athlete now. They have another kid, a girl, who is about the size of my wife. This is supposed to be a 5 & 6 year old league. Now, I don't know if the girl is just big or if she has a thyroid problem or what the story is. I do know that her dad is the coach of the team. I also know that the offense revolves solely around these two players. The one kid who is naturally gifted will either throw the ball to the big girl in the middle and then she turns around and shoots, or when the defense crashes down on her to prevent the entry pass, he drives down for a lay-up. It's pretty simple, and devastating because there's no way the Lilliputians can hold down Gulliver for that long. Much to my daughter's team's credit, they've played that team tough both times, losing twice by 4 points, and the second game they had a lead late until the team's normal offense took over. However, that's the entire offense. Throw the ball to her, and if she can't get it, the other kid drives and shoots. No one else is allowed to take a shot. They only serve the purpose of throwing the ball to the girl in the middle.

So, that sets the stage for tonight. Tonight was the team's second tournament game (they won on Saturday morning to move into the second round in the winner's bracket...congrats, you get to play the unstoppable team). But, fortune shined on us, sadly, at the expense of the really good kid's ankle. He and the big girl who plays in the middle actually ran into each other coming down the court and took each other out. The coach for the other team had to sub each other out, and the poor little guy who was good finally had to come out of the game completely.

This is where the breakdown began to happen and what I had suspected to be true in fact was true. My daughter's team slowly chipped away at the small lead that the other team had and then played really tough defense (my daughter was key to this in that she stuck very tightly on one of the other girls on the other team who was playing point and wouldn't let her pass the ball to the big girl in the middle...and when the other girl got the pass off, our three tallest boys were all ready for the pass and intercepted it). My daughter's team got up by 7, and then the other team came down, got the ball into the big girl and scored, then the other team came down and played good defense and forced a lousy shot that they rebounded.

The kid who rebounded it shot the ball into our goal, which counted for our score, setting us up by 7 again. The other coach lost it. I mean, totally apoplectic. It made most college coaches (Knight, K, Roy Williams) look tame. At a five year old who was on top of the world because he was actually allowed to shoot the ball for once (what a novel concept). Yeah, it's a dick move by us for celebrating the gift basket, but our dick move is completely outshined by this guy's stellar asshat performance. I guess that's what you get when you have seven kids who you don't let shoot the ball. Jerk. Then, my daughter's coach pulled out a great move and just had the ball handlers dribble the ball for a minute to run the clock out, which is exactly what their team did to us the last time we played because we had too much momentum. The whole time, this guy is screaming for a foul. The time and expired and my daughter's team won. Unfortunately, the other team is not eliminated, but they have one loss, and we have the upper hand. Two more wins and the championship belongs to my daughter's team. That's what teamwork does. Five of the eight kids on my daughter's team scored, and Madeleine played tough defense and little Trajan played tough defense and got some good rebounds, too. All-in-all, it was an excellent game for the light blue team. I love seeing a well-coached team click together.

The coach for the other team fully and totally earned the Asshat of the Night award. My suspicions were true all along: this guy truly is a piece of work. I should have known when he showed up with a notepad to scout our team because he hadn't played them yet. Asshat. You deserve it AND the loss. I'm just sorry that Number 11's ankle had to be hurt.

But wait, there's more. My least favorite soccer mom in the whole world, the wife of Coach Doug who coached my daughter's soccer team last fall, is connected with this team. Her punk brat kid plays on the team, and the whole time she's sitting in the stands running her obnoxious mouth about how the ref isn't calling travels fairly and that their team actually has to dribble the ball while we don't. All the while her punk kid is in there shoving my daughter around to keep her from getting the ball. For that, they both get Honorary Asshat Awards. At one point, my daughter had to come out of the game because she hurt her arm. I didn't see what happened, but I guess she hurt it when she was going for a rebound and she actually banged into one of her own teammates. However, I had seen the punk kid in under the basket all night long hacking and fouling and pushing and shoving, so I assumed it was him when she was injured. It wasn't but that doesn't change the fact that he's a punk.

I still can't believe how stinking happy I am for a kids' basketball team. I feel about the same way I did when Indiana upset Duke in the 2002 NCAA tournament. I know some of the feeling is that this asshat got his comeuppance, but a huge part of it is that my daughter played really well, and I'm very proud of her. I'm biased, of course, but I give her the MVP and the second UNAsshat Award. to explain that second one to her...


Chemgeek said...

I [as a totally unbiased bystander] suspect that your daughter has an inherent understanding of what the "UNAsshat Award" means. The name may throw her, but I suspect she appreciates the essence of the award.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

You're right. I'm sure she will gladly accept any award that results in the gift of an ice cream cone.

Will Shannon said...

Your kids are sharp...they get it.

Have you ever considered youth coaching yourself?

You know enough about the game to make it competitive, but you are a human being who realizes that, well, these are children who should (at some level) be enjoying this activity.

If not coaching, then perhaps the eminence grise for the team...the strategical genuis behind the scenes?