Lunchsketball is proud to present:
Lunchsketball is proud to present:
The game was destined to be a one for the ages before it even began.
The teams had been decided the day before and anticipation ran high. It was to be “Adam & the Geezers (Phil, G$$, Kracker and Jimbo – four aged but experienced veterans with 200 years of basketball experience)” versus a hand-picked selection of four of Catholic Answers finest young lunchsketballers (Matthew “Buzzsaw” Tuszynski, Darin “Triple D’ DeLozier, Gary “The Younger” Lucero, and George “Swamp Thing” Gehring)
Then everything went sideways. It started early in the morning when Phil “Foul Here” Lenahan threw down the gauntlet with a “why only 4 young guys?” comment. That comment inspired Erik “Dirtbag” Gustafson to throw his hat in the ring and what seemed like a pretty even matchup turned into an e-mail firestorm of trash talking and attempts to get into the other teams heads. Let’s get something straight – these two teams don’t like each other.
Game time arrived and it was obvious from the get go that this was going to be a hard fought defensive battle. The scoring came slowly and cries of “uh-uh-uh, not in my house” were many. The Geezers feared the loss of their spiritual leader, when G$$ went down hard after tripping over an invisible obstacle no doubt placed on the court by Erik “Dirtbag” Gustafson. Gary got up, dusted himself off and got back to business. But even though the heart wants something, the body isn’t always willing and it seemed that the injury had effected G’s shot in a bad way. Eventually the younger team pulled ahead at halftime to what seemed like an insurmountable 26-18 lead (At least it seemed that way in the mind of this 55 year old reporter.)
But things aren’t always what they seem. Looking like the cast of “The Expendables”, the Geezers took the court for the second half with fire in their eyes and ready to play. It seemed that their mantra was “Defense wins games” and they used that style of play to force turnovers and go on a run to a 32-30 lead. The game was on – and at that point the air was filled with grunts, sweat, and maybe even a little blood – but after 90 minutes of grueling play the youngsters walked away with a 51-45 victory.
But let’s not be mistaken – Although with the victory they procured bragging rights, the youngsters know better than to rub it in the Geezers faces. They know that the old guys had what was definitely sub-par day in regards to shooting and with the same teams on a different day the results could indeed be very different. G$$ put it best in a post-game interview… “all played as hard as I have seen them play so we did not lose for lack of effort……my shooting was off due to my crappy knee so I feel that I was the weak link today and probably cost us a close victory”
Is a rematch in the cards – you better believe it!
EL CAJON, CA — Vince Lombardi once said, “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” What a perfect sentiment to summarize the basketball that was played during the lunch hours this week!
Gary, and sons Chris (aka “Fargell”) and Gary Jr. were reunited for Monday’s game. Once, long ago, a common sight at Lunchsketball, the Gary & Sons trio has become a rare treat for the fans. They were also joined by the acrobatic play-maker Erik (aka “Gumby”), and the roster was rounded out only by the imposing lane presence of Phil (aka “Foul Here”). This was about as balanced and challenging of a roster as may may be assembled during lunch.
Who else, then, to face them than the “Dream Team” itself? Kerry (aka “Captain Hook”), George, and Darin were willing to give it a try, adding seasoned veteran Jim (aka “Jimbo”) to go 4 vs 5 in the first game of the week. A compelling matchup on paper quickly fizzled into a route. George and Kerry just didn’t have it, while on the other side of the court, the Gary Family picked up wherever they left off, bringing their trademark energy and chemistry. The Dream Team left the court on Monday under a cloud of frustration and disappointment.
On Wednesday, Kerry, George and Darin were back together again, this time joined by Erik, who had been impressive in Monday’s game. All that you need to know about this game is that Kerry made 5 (five) 3′s in his quest for redemption, including a backboard-breaker of a bank shot to win the game.
Thursday was the rubber match of sorts. Kerry, not content to rest on his Wednesday achievements, chose to go for glory by bringing the Dream Team back together once more to play for the coveted winning-record for the week. It was a struggle from start to finish. Fouls were hard. Calls were disputed. Voices were raised. Gradually, though, a champion emerged: somewhere in the midst of three games of blood, sweat and tears, Kerry, George and Darin found the winning-magic that had eluded them on Monday. In that closing stretch of the game, when both teams were long past exhaustion, teamwork was all that mattered. Here’s to the victors.
Say goodbye to NBA-style nose masks at lunch basketball; Darin has cleared the 6 week post operative danger zone, and ditched the mask. Team physicians have placed Adam (aka “Sid”) on the injured reserve list; he is expected to return next week. This week he showed up to watch the game on Monday for a little while, before leaving in disgust, muttering about a waste of a lunch hour. It is not clear what he was expecting to see.
Scooter made an appearance on Wednesday, showing up unannounced and late, shooting lots of threes and talking a quite a bit… In a possibly related story, G-Money had a brief Hurricane Mode moment on Wednesday. Somebody said the wrong thing to Gary, and it was like he just got a star in Mario Land. It was an incredible sequence in which Gary Dervished through the lane, elbowing Scooter while busting out a nifty spin move probably last seen in 1975, next firing off a fade-away jumper in front of Jorge, grabbing his own board, and finishing, again over a bewildered Jorge.
ABOUT GARY’S KIDS: Any time that Lunchsketball finds itself a player or two short, Gary hits the phones like an NBA GM at the trading deadline. He flips through a rolodex full of sons, grandsons, nephews, and in-laws who he can call up to the big leagues on a couple hours’ notice.
Gary Jr., Chris, Richie, Micheal, and David collectively serve the role of the proverbial “kid” at Lunchsketball. They fall in an age range between middle school and 25 and they share a habit of running around really fast the whole game. The fact that they look to varying degrees kind of like each other lends them a sort of interchangeability that is perfect for the role of Lunchsketball sub.
Chris has the most experience of the bunch. Chris is Gary’s son and goes by the mysterious nick-name “Fargell” [ far - jell ]. “Fargell” is a Gary family inside joke that none of them are comfortable explaining to the public. All kinds of sailor talk has been known to fly at Lunchsketball, so what could it possibly be that would make anybody blush? The ambiguity surrounding the “Fargell” moniker only feeds the curiosity. One is left to speculate that the origins of “Fargell” are amazingly shameful and offensive.
Chris (aka “Fargell”) is a streaky shooter from the outside. When he shoots threes, he always steps on the line for some reason and so they become really long twos. Other than that, his only real weakness is that sometimes at 10:45 in the morning he is still too hung over to answer the phone when his dad calls, and so he misses the game. He must be near to graduating from the Lunchsketball kids program, and so his final appearances are to be cherished. He is sort of the Allan Iverson of Lunchsketball. Heart, hustle and defiance he wears all on his sleeve – his therapeutic compression sleeve.
Gary Jr. is Chris’ older brother. Gary has a lot of nicknames mostly tied to his being the second Gary; hence Gary the Lesser, Lower Case g, Gary 2.0, Gary XP, Gary Vista, Little Gary, etc. Gary Jr. plays the game with a style very similar to his father’s. Just like his old man, he usually scores on mid-range shots from the baseline. It is like watching Big G on fast-forward, except without all the shoving. Unfortunately, he comes to Lunchsketball less and less in days of late.
Micheal is the Micheal Jordan of Gary’s Kids. He’s not actually Gary’s kid; he is related, but must have received a stronger cocktail of basketball DNA than the rest. He never seems to need to work very hard to play well and he always just looks like he knows what he is doing. It is very annoying. Fortunately, he only shows up when the San Diego Unified School District is not in session, because he is only 10 or something. He is the most “the kid” of all the “the kids”. He can make an open three and he has a Tony Parker/JJ Barea sort of running floater that is unstoppable.
Richie is another steady contributor. Richie sometimes plays with his iPod on (a *very* “the kid” sort of move to pull). His style of play is like a compromise between Chris and Micheal, although he is probably the largest of “Gary’s Kids” and can play more in the paint, especially on defense.
Last but not least there is David who, like Micheal, only shows up when school is out. David seems perhaps the youngest of the group. He already has a penchant for building a house of bricks all game long before proceeding to end it with a deep, nothing-but-net, three, and so his future looks bright.
Lunchsketball salutes Gary’s Kids. Were it not for you, many a lunch would be spent without basketball.
Here’s a little something to break up the week. Kerry drains the deep ball and waves to the fans.
EL CAJON, CA — In recent weeks, the weather seemed to believe that it was Miami, but in these last few days it has returned to normal (aka “perfect”). The Lunchsketball players are slowly waking up and coming to the court, like bears emerging from a long hibernation in air-conditioned bear-caves.
On Wednesday, Adam, Phil, Gary, Tim and Jim were on a team against Matt, George, Darin and, **Dream Team Alert**, Kerry. On one side, you had the most successful and legendary franchise in lunch basketball history, while the guys on the other side were calling themselves “Adam and the Geezers,” or “Adam and the Bicentennial Club” (for combined ages well in excess of 200 years).
An upset was in store. Maybe they were benefiting from three weeks of rest, or maybe Tim was living up to his “Benjamin Button” name and is approaching his Jordan years, but whatever it was, they pounded the Dream Team. It also didn’t hurt that Adam brought out a classic “Whirling Dervish” performance. If the senior citizens had to pick up one mercenary, they made the right choice. This may have been Adam’s best game yet, as he patrolled both ends of the court with Teen Wolf tenacity, devouring rebounds, scoring on triple teams, and finding the holes to lead to what seemed like 15 layups.
Phil in the office + No basketball at lunch = Phil drives out and gets Mexican food for lunch.
Time to say goodbye to some notable Lunchsketball equipment: The “Orange Crush” era is over, as the bright “Cal-Trans” orange shoes that George introduced in February played their final game on Thursday… Gary’s black Nike basketball developed a tumor and has been retired after a remarkably long run as the preferred ball for the game… Gary brought a new ball and it is really bouncy; currently debating whether the new ball is extra bouncy or whether it is normal and everybody was just used to the Nike ball, which had been worn to Nerf-like conditions… Phil’s shoulder is sore and he doesn’t think he can make three’s right now, but don’t tell anyone…
The award goes to Darin! When the doctor told Darin he couldn’t play for six weeks unless he bought a facemask, he went out and bought a facemask! That kind of perseverance and determination deserves recognition. If you see Darin today, be sure to say “Congratulations!”
El Cajon, CA — There was only one game played this week, and that game came about at a high price: sleep. Friday morning, seven stalwart souls, famished for basketball after a two-week drought, beat the heat and their cabin fever by dragging themselves out of bed on time for a 7:05am tip. Kerry, Jim and George matched against Gary, Adam, T-Ry and Erik in the first-ever game of Breakfasketball, or as it is better known, “Brunchsketball”.
There were originally nine scheduled to play, but not everybody made it. Matt texted at 6:40 to announce that he had overslept. Diana (aka “The Urbin Legend) was absent without leave. That left only seven players. When Tim (aka “Benjamin Button”) almost immediately hurt his ankle, it looked like Brunchsketball might become a game of 3 on 3. He was able to reach to the wells and grit through the injury though. When seven men of advanced years come directly from bed to an asphalt court to play basketball for the first time in 2 weeks, there are bound to be some injuries, and so just one turned ankle is not so bad.
Check out the new video on the “About This Blog” page… Sources say that Darin (aka “Darryl”) has acquired a nose mask (aka Schnoz-arroo); Lunchsketball eagerly awaits the debut… Special thanks to http://yougotfive.wordpress.com/ for mentioning Lunchsketball in their “Noon Game” article; they are doing great work over there, analyzing pickup basketball in depth never before seen… Shout out to Kerry (aka “Kerr-Bear”) for hitting the game winning shot in the first ever game of Brunchsketball…
“The ball lies its a** off all the time!”