Week in Review – Week Ocho

Notable Game Recaps

  • Monday: Erik wound up playing for both teams during the same game. It all started when he crashed the party, becoming the 11th player to arrive at the court. The undersized El Cajon facility is already crowded with 5 on 5, and 6 on 5 is just asking for trouble, and so Commissioner Gary was faced with an unexpected logistical challenge. He handled this smoothly by instituting a substitution policy where the 11th man could sub in for any tired player from either team, and that is how Erik eventually managed to play for two teams.
  • Tuesday’s game pitted George, Kerry, Gary and Adam against the out-numbered but bigger, faster, taller and stronger team of Nathan, Matt and Jim. A half-time downpour made the court slippery, and tilted the advantage to the team with more players. Adam and his band of crafty veterans could pass the ball faster than the defense could rotate on the icy slick court, creating open shots to pull to a commanding 14 point lead. That was exactly when Kerry started talking all kinds of trash, spurring Nathan, Matt and Jimbo to come back and take a 58 to 57 lead. The game came to an unsatisfying conclusion when Jorge rattled in an ill-advised, off-balance, contested, NBA range, 3 pointer.

Injury Report

Darin has regressed with that neck thing where he can’t turn his head to the left, and has missed significant playing time. He tried to come back on Thursday, but returned to the bench for Friday. Matt’s shoulder has been consistently located (not dis-located) during 2013. He is still in the injury report though; on Tuesday he misplaced his Tums, and had to play through the pain of acid reflux.

Big Things Coming!

thermometerCheers to the development department at lunchsketball.wordpress.com, for a triumphant fundraising drive. An amazing $72 of support poured in from across the nation, guaranteeing that the coffee and donut expenses of the blog will be covered for weeks into the future. Six new player profiles are on the way.

Full-Court Press

This week’s edition of the Power Rankings Presented By Gary weighs in with a Dickens-esque 963 words (counting each emoticon as 1 word)… Let the record show that there was a moment during Friday’s game when Jim announced the correct, actual game score…

Player of the Week

In a week filled with great basketball from a number of players, it’s fair to assume that what Kerry, aka “Kracker”, did on Thursday is all that people are going to talk about when they look back to Week 8. Kerry stepped up when his team needed him most, with teammate G prematurely leaving the game to attend to a forklift emergency at HQ. Cap’n Hook put the short-handed team on his back and and brought them home with a fierce scoring rampage. Animal Kracker.

Power Rankings: 2013 Week 8

Today is going to be a really rough day for power rankings…….there were four games and some people only played one game and others played all four…so I have to keep in mind all the intanglibles on both sides of the ball….all the hustle and key points dealing with getting everyone on the team involved to forge a win…..it is with this thought in mind that I have to make the rankings as follows……and if you have a problem with them……I am sorry…feel free to offer up a rebuttal on any position but be warned….it wont alter the rankings unless you can make a point that is sooooooooo much better that I feel inclined to change my mind…..so with that said….here goes….
1) because Jorge won three of four games with his leadership and knowledge of the game….it did not come down to sheer skill but also court sense and great rebounding a driving to the hoop………
2)Nathan ……..made his whole team better, and powered his team to one out of two wins…..with his size and shooting and passing he is a stat machince! He may have outplayed Jorge a wee bit one on one, but in the grand scheme of things, did not get the win in one of his two games played with a good cast around him! Still, it is by the slightest of margins that he falls to second place but I have to put him here!
3) and that brings me to Matty Ice….strong at number 3, he is a stud on the boards, a stud driving to the hoop and has taken more of a beating than anyone else on the court in the last few weeks! He wins the “timex” watch award for three weeks in a row…..because he take a licking and keeps on ticking! He is the ironman out there and a true force in the making….watch out Phil ……he has taken your spot and if he can learn a bit more court sense when it comes to seeing the court and making better passes will be firmly in the 2nd or 3rd spot on a weekly basis! it is by the slightest margin I put him at number 3, but when he gets his teammates involved more he can move up even more!!!!
4) Jimbo………played well all week and is solid at number 4……..he is a steady player in this area and hardly ever falls any lower……but he earned his way here……Jimmer ……..Jimbo……call him what you want…..he is a good player (and a bit of a gunner) lol
5) Micheal……..played a great game on monday and was very instrumental in his team winning and made very few mistakes if any in the game, thus propelling him to this spot on the rankings!
6) Eric and Adam…..I have to give them a tie at this spot….they both play with such intensity, such vigor, such piss and vinegar….what can you say about them? they are almost mirror copies of one another, both dribble very unusual, both are fast, both are excellent rebounders and both steal the ball a lot…..the difference only lies in their shooting and passing abilities……where bigwater is a much better outside shooter than Adam, inside they are both forces to deal with and both fight for their rebounds to keep the play going……and they are both studs on the court….however Adam is a much better passer than bigwater E……he usually gets the ball to his shooters with more accuracy and knows when to pass whereas big E hardly ever passes and when he does….LOOK OUT!!! it can go anywhere with great velocity as Jake found out when the ball ricocheted off his nose in a game this week! I cannot figure out where to put these guys so I will keep them joined at the hip for now…..
8) Darren fits in nicely at this spot…played a wonderful game but nothing out of the ordinary for him……I dont recall much of his accomplishments this week….so he fits nicely here at number 8!
9) Kracker ……had a pretty solid week….make some shots and for once, knew when NOT to shoot so he helped his team win on several occastions! Good for you Kracker…..played with passion and heart and did his best not to get in the friggin way so his team would lose! Touche Kracker….I salute you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10) Jacob……played very average this week…did not shoot particularly well and made a few shots but took a LOT of bad shots as well! His shot selection is what hurts him the most…needs to make better choices when deciding to launch one up! Made a few layups but outside shooting and rebounding followups were not very accurate this week…played pretty good defense and rebounded well……
11) Q (little David)……made a few shots but was not very accurate with passing and did not do anything well enough to rank any higher than this….but remember he is the youngest player out there and tries really hard and has a good shot but needs to be a more rounded player when it comes to rebounding, defense and passing!
12) Jr. ….his knee bothered him this week and he played ok….nothing out of the ordinary….did not make many points or make any great plays so he sits here in the last position for now……..
there it is….love it or hate it! it is what it is……till next week…this is the “Old Man”, G$ , your beloved commish! peace/out suckas!

Update: I just noticed something….I forgot to rank Phil this week….so let me insert him at number 7 after Adam and Eric…..since he played well but did not play with the fervor of Eric and Adam this week………sorry but I forgot about him and so he has been placed in the rankings…..:(

New Basketball Crazy Weird in Good Way


Did it come from outer space? The future? According to the packaging, it is a basketball. Its full title is the “Under Armour 295 Spongetech Basketball“, and this week it made its debut as the official ball of Lunchsketball.

The following is printed on the box for the Spongetech ball: “GET MORE SKIN ON THE BALL. Control comes from having more of your fingers and palms on the ball. More skin means more control. More control means more points. And more points… isn’t that why we play the game?

So they use the Socratic method of marketing over there at Under Armour. They have given customers something to think about, for sure. To follow their thought provoking line of questioning, let us examine their argument point by point:

  • Does the Spongetech allow more skin on the ball? The answer must be yes. This ball has a network of wide, deep and unconventionally patterned grooves, that do indeed put a greater surface area of one’s fingers in contact with the ball.
  • Will more skin mean more control? That is hard to say. Shaquille O’Neal probably met the extreme limits for skin in contact with the ball, and that famously didn’t seem to give him more control at the free throw line. Overall, though, he was highly effective at basketball, and scored many points, which must mean that he did have a lot of control in other areas of the game. Since he scored more points, it can then be understood that the Under Armour argument is still intact, although it now more than ever rests upon the answer to the question: Why do we play the game?
  • Here the discussion must turn to Wikipedia, where the answer becomes clear: “Basketball is a team sport, the objective being to shoot a ball through a basket horizontally positioned to score points while following a set of rules.”

There you have it. More points is why the game is played. If you truly know who you are, as a human being formed in the image and likeness of God, then you can arrive at no other conclusion then that the Under Armour 295 Spongetech Street Basketball was designed for you and the game.

This Week in Lunchsketball: Week 7

Top Story:

With full hearts and empty stomachs, Jorge, Jacob, Gary and Kerry re-united for the annual classic Ash Wednesday game in a bid to avenge their historic 61-30 drubbing a week earlier. The opponent’s front court once again proved to be too much for the under-sized 4 team. Phil fired a crisp 89% from beyond the arc, while Matt picked up the rest of the scoring load, making 42 of 43 (estimate) shots from the field.

Jacob still hopes to see the day when he can win one with George and the grandparents. He points to the final score of 45-60 as progress; 45 points is a 50% improvement from their final tally last time out.

This Week in Fashion:


“Those are like… CalTrans.” – Skooter

George strutted a new pair of snazzy-looking orange shoes on the court Tuesday. The shoes were ordered from the internet, and had arrived fresh off of the UPS truck just in time that morning. The office was buzzing with excitement. The occasion was shared in a special way by teammates who each donned their own orange article of clothing, touting themselves as “Orange Crush” (because the team wears orange and crushes opponents). Tim wore an orange handkerchief,  Adam wore orange socks, and Gary wore blue shorts with prominent, orange trim. Yes, that seriously happened, and for what it’s worth, Orange Crush managed to win the game in spite of it all.

Dream of the Week:

bron bronReports have surfaced that during the early hours of Thursday morning, George, aka “Jorge”, dreamed that he met LeBron James. In the dream, Jorge was very hungry, and when LeBron heard this, he generously offered to drive Jorge to the grocery store. The two of them went to Sprouts, and enjoyed pushing the shopping cart around and meeting fans.

The dream has been interpreted to be a direct result of Jorge falling asleep listening to an NBA podcast, following a day of fasting.

Full-Court Press:

Darin touched the backboard again last week, this time with multiple witnesses. He has announced that his next project will be to touch the backboard twice in one lunch… Matt jammed a finger nail while reaching to block a swiftly-thrown pass. The injury sounded very gross, and play was paused for a few minutes while Matt walked around grimacing and sucking on the finger. This is not his first injury of 2013, and yet he has still not dislocated his shoulder…  Jorge’s latest nick-name is “Orange Mamba”, because of the new shoes… John still has 45 weeks left to play 10 games and make his New Year’s Resolution.

Quote of the Week:

“That tree came at me really fast.”

– Adam, aka “Whirling Dervish”

Power Rankings: 2013 Week 7

Ok….now the task of doing the power rankings for this week…..Feb. 11-15…..I am rushed to do this to make a deadline so here goes:
1) Jorge……still crazy….after all these years……hah….a line from a Paul simon song….stil the one…..another 80′s reference…………hey…what the heck….still the cream of the crop for our humble lunchketball enterprise!!!!!!!!!
2) Phil……………had a great couple of days this week…….made shot after shot and continued to taunt opponents while shooting 3′s in their face!!!!!!! and posting them up!
3) Jimbo……………..still annoying the commish with his constant kicking of the ball and arguing the score with the commish…but he is a solid player, good defender and shooter….he’ll do that!
4) Matt and Adam tie for fourth………………solid effort for both…Matt only played one game but was very good…..shot about 75% from the field and dominated in his one game…….Adam put blood sweat and tears on the court…..and was magnificent with his efforts this week…..the consumate “team player” Adam is the guy you love to have on your team!
5) Eric…………………had a typical “E money” week…solid in steals, rebounds and scoring….only weakness is his passing skills…managed to almost decapitate a teamate with a wild pass on friday but his teamate survived with a sore nose!!!!
6) Darren….played one game and was a good solid player….typical Trip D game with not too many memorable moments! nonetheless solid here…..
7) Kracker. and Jacob tied at this spot……..sometimes they just killed their ratings with bad shots, blown passes and turnovers…..both played pretty good defense on days by stealing balls and blocking shots and shutting down their opponents……but their defense was most of their production this week….Kracker through the ball away a bit….and both fouled a bit also…..
8) Jr. ………….kinda flew under the radar this week….had one really good game and then a couple of really average games……he is only slightly behind the two above him….just a hair so dont read too much into his placement here….you can make a case for any of the three, Jacob , Kracker and Jr. to be above the other by a slight margin…..
there it is….nuff said…peace/out

Lunchsketball Urgency Letter

The Project Has Just Taken a Big Hit 

Crime: You see it in the headlines everyday, but you never expect it will be you. When it hits, it can be devastating. The Pickup Basketball Journalism Project was coming down the homestretch, just $12 away from the 2013 goal. The project received great news: a major donor was going to help. The donor had a $20 Starbucks gift card, and that was coming to the project in the mail. Well, days turned into more days, but no card in the mailbox.

It is with much sadness and frustration that one comes to the conclusion that the $20 gift card was stolen. That is precisely why it is strongly encouraged that donors follow the secure channels of the kickstarter webpage, but we’re talking about my sister here, and she doesn’t take instructions from kickstarter. That’s entirely understandable; I love Beth because she’s a free-spirit who lives dangerously and doesn’t follow the rules, but it means that this project has hit a slump, financially.


At the outset of this project, $60 felt like a challenging goal, but I knew that I could rely on my donors. I also knew that I’d receive my best support from my sister, who is especially generous to her favorite little brother. It is hard to anticipate something like a burglary though, and so now the project really needs your assistance. [click here to contribute]

Despite the Slump, It’s Full Steam Ahead

It’s a busy time at Lunchsketball.com, and there is certainly a lot of work to do!

  • Lunchsketball is being read more than ever. As of February, the site has already had 55 visitors, which is an all-time record according to WordPress Analytics, and there is still some more February to go.
  • It’s spreading across the globe. Lunchsketball has fans in 10 countries, from Argentina to Ireland, and enjoys particular popularity in Germany and Thailand.
  • The new Power Rankings Presented by Gary page is changing lives around the country and around the world as people log on to receive weekly updates on the relative value of pickup basketball players, as assessed by Gary.
  • Youtube is a new and promising frontier for pickup basketball journalism. The videos such as this one on youtube have received over 100 views.

With all that Lunchsketball is doing, it makes me proud. There is so much that Lunchsketball is doing—and can do—but it requires the help of many people (probably about 15 total), particularly at this difficult time, when we’ve just suffered our biggest hit.

Please Don’t Make Me Email This to My Mom 

If the $60 goal has not been reached before February 19th, I will have to consider sending this site link to my Mom. I don’t want to do that. Mom is good with computers by the standards of her generation, but it is going to take her forever to get a credit card set up online, and there’s just a lot that could go wrong during that process. Please consider sending something this way today so that the Pickup Basketball Project, to add 6 new player profiles, can get underway. I am grateful for your support on this project.

This Week in Lunchsketball: Week 6

Top Story:

Kerry sank a clutch three pointer near the end of the game on Monday. It didn’t tie the game. It didn’t even make the game close; but it was important for morale, as it drew the score to 57-30, ensuring that Kerry’s team would make it at least halfway to the winning score of 60 points before losing in memorable fashion.  Final score: 61-30. Yes, a record has been set. This was the widest margin of victory ever recorded in the game, as Gary, Darin, Adam, Jr. and Phil clobbered Kerry, Jacob, Jim and Jorge.

The game was a massacre from start to finish, with one team shooting the ball well and passing with brilliance, while the other team clanged shot after shot off the rim and backboard. Jorge was 0-15 from three point range, and Jimbo didn’t make a basket before Gary’s team had 50 points.

photo (2)

In truth, there is some question as to what bulletin board Jorge was referring to, and as the record books will show, the bulletin board material didn’t seem to help much at all.

Facial Hair News:

Adam took part in the historic blowout mentioned above, and then went on to lose back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday. One key variable: on Monday, Adam played the game with a luscious and flowing beard. Later in the week, he lost two games, now clean-shaven.

In summary: Beard = 30 point historic victory. Clean-shaven = Loser. Off the court, however, came this public statement from Adam’s girlfriend, responding to the fresh new look: “Sooo handsome!!! I have one very good looking man :)”.

New alias for Adam: “Samson”. Discuss.

Photo of the Week:

kerry mutombo

Kerry rejects a box of cereal. Photo courtesy of Tim, aka Benjamin Button.

Power Rankings: 2013 Week 6

Ok….its that time again….have to do the power rankings for the week………and this was a very difficult one to rank………but here goes:
1) Jorge……there was one game that was not his usual stellar game, and then followed by two games of absolute magnificence!!!!! its not even close….Jorge was head and shoulders above the rest of the pack this week!
2) Phil……played well during the week and VERY well on thursday pushing him to the top of the heap with only Jorge ahead of him!
3) Darren…………..only really spectacular game and one pretty standard game for his two appearances, but played well enough on both sides of the ball to grab the number 3 spot on the charts!
4) Tie….between Eric and Adam……Eric….only played one game but a great game it was….and Adam played all three and was a foundation of rebounding and team play that kept his teams either ahead or at least competitive the rest of the week….nobody outshined the other…..both were pretty damn good players this week!
5) Jimbo……had a slow week….did well in spots but did not play with as much fire and intensity as the two above him did! More ball kicking and missed shots, did not finish as strong as usual for the week!
6) Matt ………….had one game this week and was pretty good, but was not out there enough to knock the other guys ahead of him out of their spots…….needs to see the court more and become a better passes so he makes his team better…..when he does that he may be in the top five of the list every week!
7) Kracker……………played his ass off today………made some shots when he had to and didnt throw the ball away as much as usual…..played well enough to move into this spot, at least for one week!
8) tie- Jacob and Jr. ………..both had less than stellar games….Jacob played only one game and did not hit his usual shots….Jr. hit some key shots but missed a lot as well….neither of them played that much better than the other so I will keep them tied at this spot for this week!

This Week In Lunchsketball: Chapter 7

Top Story:



The week was full of shake-ups in the Power Rankings Presented by Gary. Nick and Charlie, who held positions 1a and 2 respectively last week, fell off of the rankings entirely. Meanwhile, Darin, aka “Heavy D”, shot from a 7th place tie all the way to sole possession of Number 3. Jimbo advanced one position to Number 2, despite Gary’s complaint of a proclivity to laziness.

Also noteworthy, Kerry and Jacob did battle in the first Power Rankings One-on-One Challenge. According to the official rules of the Power Rankings Presented by Gary, any player in the lower 30% of the Rankings is permitted to challenge a higher ranked player to a game of one-on-one. Should the lower ranked player win, he assumes the loser’s higher position in the Power Rankings.

A small crowd was present for the game, and excitement was in the air. Chris, aka “Fargel”, stood on the sideline, clipboard in hand, to record statistics for a list of prop bets involved with the game. Jacob soared to an early 10-1 lead, and then was able to withstand a furious comeback by Kerry (who at this point had the crowd at his back), to prevail 11-4.  Reportedly, there was actual money riding on all of this, and Jacob was a 2.5 point favorite.

Adam, aka “Whirling Dervish”, attached a suction-cup mounted GoPro camera to the top of the backboard, to collect footage of the action from an interesting, NBA-like angle. Look for that footage to be available here soon.

Thank you! Thank you!

thermometerThe First Annual Fundraising Drive is well on its way to becoming a triumphant success. The online appeal to underwrite Lunchsketball.com has tugged at the heartstrings of this generous nation, and the response has been inspiring, as the drive is well within reach of its $60 target. In fact, it is possible that goal may be surpassed. A surplus of funds opens new, exciting possibilities for this blog. Perhaps the funds could go toward getting a better thermometer graphic.  This current thermometer graphic that we’re using is suitable for our needs today, but when the site grows as expected during coming months, there may be a need for a more sophisticated thermometer, with HD/3D graphics capabilities and real-time updates. The future looks bright!

Full-Court Press:

This space was formally called “Quick Hits”, but that seemed like a subsection of a baseball or boxing article, whereas “Full-Court Press” is a much more sport-appropriate and punny title for this collection of unrelated, half-baked thoughts… During a recent interview, John, aka “Versace” [games played during 2013: 0], discussed how easily he will be able to reach his New Year’s Resolution goal of playing 10 games, noting the fact that he would not necessarily need the entire year, and would quite realistically be able to play 10 games in a mere month’s time… The Power Rankings are going through a minor change; customarily  they have been released on Friday, but they are now scheduled for updates each Thursday. Please make necessary notes to your calendars and appointment books.