Monthly Archives: August 2012

New Player Profile: Adam

ABOUT ADAM: Adam has become one of the regulars, and an emerging difference-maker in the game of Lunchsketball. He is among the league’s premier defensive players, and he is a fearless rebounder.

Adam does not often take shots, but when he does he prefers them to be game-winning. While his shot is a work in progress, it tends to improve when it matters. His reputation as a clutch scorer was solidified during 2011, when he made the game-winning shot in each of three consecutive games.

Adam is not afraid to dive for a loose ball. In fact, he takes a gruesome spill to the pavement almost once every game. It is normal for any player to trip, or get fouled and fall awkwardly once in a while, but Adam leads the league in painful-looking collisions with pavement, and this race is not close. When he decides he should try to get the ball, nothing else matters. It is nice having Adam on your team, because it means that you won’t have to contend with him for the ball.

PLAYER STATS:
NAME: Adam, aka “Sid”, aka “Seagull”, aka “DJ GrooveQuest”.
2-POINT FG%: Not sure, but when he makes one, “Adam Bomb” puns are possible.
REBOUNDS: Let him get it. Not worth it. Adam wants it more.
RESEMBLANCE TO DERVISH: Maybe. Need to see him play with the hat on before deciding.

His defense and rebounding are strong, but what the fans really want to see is his dribbling. When he’s got the basketball, he has a trademark move where he is able to suddenly stop himself and change direction by dropping the palm of his non-dribbling hand to the pavement. His outstretched arm becomes a pivot point for  precision hair-pin turns. This is always a fascinating play to watch.

Adam is often compared to a Whirling Dervish while he’s dribbling in the manner described above. For clarity, here is a video of some Dervishes, in the act of Whirling:

Somewhere in Istanbul, a well-read Turk may be pointing to a Dervish and saying, “He’s spinning around out there like Adam playing basketball.”

Rules

GAME TIME 

  1. Games are to begin at 12:00 pm, unless otherwise specified.
  2. “12:00 pm” is understood to mean “12:25 pm”.

EQUIPMENT

  1. Players are encouraged to bring their “gear” every day.
  2. Players who forget their “gear” are pressured to borrow unclaimed, previously enjoyed “gear” that collects over time in the bathroom and the warehouse.

REGULATIONS

  1. Out of Bounds: The grass is out of bounds on the sidelines. The painted line is out of bounds on the baselines. The backboard is shrouded in mystery; if the ball strikes the top, underside, or any of the leading edges of the backboard, there will be controversy.
  2. Back-Court: The back-court rules for Lunchsketball are based loosely on the NCAA rules. As with most outdoor pickup games, the back-court rules are generally relaxed and not strictly enforced, unless Samer’s cousin-in-law Nathan went back-court, in which case it is always a violation, and a turnover is charged to Nathan.

SCORING

  1. Games are played until a team wins by reaching an agreed-upon number of points scored.
  2. Points-to-win are determined after the game has been in progress for no less than 20 minutes.
  3. Score is to be announced audibly at player discretion, but players will be mocked if they announce the score so loudly or often as to be considered distasteful.
  4. When yelling out the score, players must use only numbers within the range of 1-9. This is really confusing; however, shouting “23-18” is cumbersome, while by comparison “3-8” may bear a certain panache.
  5. Shots taken outside the 2-point line are worth 2 points; all other baskets are worth 1 point, unless Phil’s team is down by 10 or more points and the opposing team agrees that Phil can take shots from half-court which will be worth 5 points.

RABBITS & THEIR DOODIES

  1. Playing area is designated rabbit defecation zone.
  2. Rabbits in El Cajon/Santee area are to gather and defecate all over the playing area.
  3. Rabbit droppings may be removed from playing area prior to games. THIS IS NOT A REQUIREMENT. Rabbit droppings aren’t squishy. You can walk and dribble on them, and you’ll be fine.
  4. Full disclosure, some rabbit droppings are squishy, but rabbits have found the squishy ones to be unfailingly delicious, and do not leave them on the playing area. Read all about it.
  5. Should it be considered necessary to remove rabbit droppings from the court, it becomes the responsibility of Jim or Kerry to bring the broom for this purpose. Triple may volunteer to do the actual sweeping, otherwise this falls to Jim or Kerry.
  6. In the event that a mutilated rabbit carcass is left in the middle of the court, said carcass is to be removed immediately. Gary’s good basketball is quarantined for one week, or until such time as the playing area is determined to be free of bunny-germs.
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New Player Profile: Somber

ABOUT SAMER: Here’s another example of somebody who does not play every day, but that you need to know about. He’s a member of the Lunchsketball Reserve, which is the long, rotating list of players who are on-call to make occasional appearances in the game.

Samer can make his shot with some consistency, and that alone would be enough to number him among the elite at Lunchsketball. While on the court, he is gifted with a general awareness of where his teammates are and what they are up to. This means that extra care needs to be taken when picking the teams with Samer, because if he is put on a team with another player with that same awareness, they may conspire and be able to use strategy, which can become an unfair advantage.

When he is on the court, he is often called “Somber”. Gary has tried to make the nick-name “Sasha Vujacic” catch on too, siting a resemblance to the former Laker. This will not stick, partly because not enough people know what Sasha Vujacic looks like, and also because nobody outside of Serbia can look at the combination of letters which is “Vujacic” and honestly say that they know how to pronounce it, or are even interested in learning.

He is, therefore, known best as Somber. This was started by a revered Lunchsketballer named Mark. Mark was convinced that Samer’s name was pronounced  “Somber”.  A great thing about Mark was how he’d often shout loud encouragement to fellow players. “There you go, SOMBER!,” Mark would shout. “You keep shooting that, SOMBER!”

PLAYER STATS
NAME: Samer, aka “Somber”.
DEMEANOR: Not somber; upbeat, actually.
STRENGTHS:  Field Goal %, Blocks, Steals, Assist/Turnover Ratio, Tattoo/Arm Ratio.
NEVER TRIED: White people food, including pecan pie, anything described as a “casserole”, and most cobblers.

Nobody ever corrected Mark. This came to be by unspoken agreement among the players, because everyone enjoyed hearing Mark yell “Somber”. Then one day, completely out of the blue, Mark asked how the name was pronounced; one of these, “Have I been saying that right?” moments, after literally years of saying it wrong. Shortly thereafter, Mark was forced into retirement, but his legacy endures every time Somber is congratulated for making a shot.

Olympic Moment

Olympians are role-models, whether they like it or not; their behavior is often mirrored by the masses of fans watching at home. In moments of glory, elegance and grace, Olympic athletes have the potential to have an uplifting effect on entire cultures. On the other hand, they may drag a nation down to new lows. Consider the following: A disturbing trend has developed in the 2012 Summer Games, something that might slip past unnoticed by the casual viewer – NBC will have no prime-time documentaries about this. To describe the problem, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a .gif is worth thousands more words, maybe even valuable words like “bacon” and “mustache”. Please see below the break:

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New Venue – New Star

SAN CARLOS, CA: Soaring temperatures in El Cajon (93!) have driven Lunchsketball indoors this week, as the players are taking well-timed advantage of an LA Fitness one-week trial promotion. Six Lunchsketball regulars were joined today by four guys who just happened to be looking for something to do at LA Fitness around noon on a Wednesday, in a game that became as Gary described, a “knuckle-burner”. A team with Kerry, Phil, Jim and Adam appeared to be on the road to an easy victory, after they jumped to a large early lead.

“We started out 4-on-4,” recounts G, “And we were getting our butts kicked.”

Never one to give up, Gary managed to lead his team back into the game by shrewdly acquiring gym patron and Lunchsketball new-comer Charles. This made all the difference.

“When he attacked through the key, he just like *** sound of rushing wind *** and he’d come storming through, and you just get out of his way,” said Kerry, of Charles. “We were actually ahead most of the game, and then this Charles guy just kind of poured it on. You know, he’s so big and strong, you had the feeling he could pretty much take over the game. When he decided it was time. Phil tried to defend him. You can ask him for his assessment on what that was like.”

“Charles, the guy who played yesterday, really very much a gentleman,” said Phil. “But as the game progressed he’d do a little more taking the ball to the hoop and I can slow him down a little bit… I enjoyed trying to defend him.”

Confusion and controversy erupted at mid-point, when the indoor venue made its presence known. Gary’s nephew Junior had a high-arcing 3 2-pointer ricochet off of the ceiling. This was new ground for Lunchsketball, as there are no ceilings to contend with at the regular outdoor court. A rule had to be established on the spot. Gary contended that possession should remain with the team that had shot the ball, but he was vetoed.

“How can it be out though,” argues Gary. “Because it didn’t go off the court! It’s not our fault that the ceiling is low.”

Low ceiling aside, comments were mostly positive regarding the indoor court, and there is general feeling that everybody wouldn’t mind playing there again.

“You know what’s convenient about there? I can buy Gatorade, right after it’s over,” explains Adam, speaking of the vending-machine smoothie-bar equipped LA Fitness.

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Memo from G…

Earlier this week, Lunchsketball participants got a very important memo from G. As everyone knows, G is one of the game’s premier organizers. He has very strong communication skills, including written communication skills, and he often emails the guys to give them their marching orders.

This week’s message was particularly special because of its exceptionally high word-count and the exciting news contained within (first-ever indoor Lunchsketball!), all written in Gary’s classic, liberally punctuated style. This historic email is included in its entirety for your review below:

Sent: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 8:04 AM

Subject: basketball today…………special note*

Ok guys….the time has come…..this week is gonna be very hot……so with that in mind we have collectively decided to try the LA fitness gym out today for lunchetball!!!!!!!!!! We are gonna try for three days this week……either tues , wed and thur…….or ….tues wed and Friday………………….either way we are planning to meet there at noon today! Please leave early so you can get there by 12! Carpool will be available for those who don’t want to drive and is encouraged….also this is important…..I am taking an hour of vacation time to use so I can plan on being there a couple of hours……..I guess we won’t know till we are there if this will work so we need to give ourselves enough time….if you don’t want to be there for that long, you are welcome to come play for an hour and then leave….just let us know what your plans are ahead of time…we have not done this yet but Tim has scouted the gym and said it is relatively unused at most times so we hopefully will have a good experience!

Please let me know who is coming for sure and I have passes for those that need them (those without memberships already) and again some of us do not mind taking extra bodies….please just plan on bringing a towel….going up is no problem but a sweaty body coming back is not recommended unless you have a towel or extra shirt to sit on so you don’t get your driver’s car seats wet! Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!  G

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