January 20th, 2005

krazy koati

Spread my wings and fly away

So we had the basketball tournament. I'm not completely ignorant of basketball: last year I watched nearly eighteen minutes of the last NBA Finals game, and I've seen in the Brendan Byrne arena the plaque commemorating where, in 1984, the Pacers's Clark Kellogg became the last pro player ever called for travelling. I've seen every episode of the Super Globetrotters too many times (granted, twice is too many), and even saw Space Jam because tracerj and everybody else at the con was too.

But for actual playing, well, I've got none. I look nice, if stiff, at free throws, and I'm OK grabbing the ball with my left hand (I'm righthanded), but I'm weak in lay-ups, shooting, running, passing, intercepting, and jump balls. I'm basically noncompetitive, certainly in fields I don't regard as important, so I play a relaxed game where I don't run after the ball so much as saunter towards it, if it doesn't look like the ball's coming back anyway. Plus my attention drifts away, so I miss cues like the ball nearing me.

Still, I didn't do too badly considering I made no basket in two games. I found a comfortable role as relayer -- I was always left open, because opponents noticed I was no more likely to make a basket than continental drift was, so could wander way outside the pack and move the ball between blocked real players. I made one interception, although it was of a pass my teammates made. We had reasonable fun, considering. A valuable rule addition was everyone on the team clapping at each score, helping all remember who was on which team.

Trivia: Philip of Macedonia did not subjugate Athens after defeating it, but forced the city to ally itself to him. Source: ``Regal Treasures from a Macedonian Tomb,'' Manolis Andronicos, National Geographic July 1978.

Currently Reading: The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune, Richard Kluger.