This week, Lunchsketball presents an ESPN E:Ticket masterpiece, “Living and Dying for the Game”. It was not published anytime recently (long ago, when Stephon Marbury was still relevant, apparently), but it is timeless material. It is a documentary about a bunch of old guys who have been playing basketball together, routinely, for years. Sound familiar? It is very well-written and fun to read, and a number of striking parallels between Lunchsketball and these players and their “Saturday Game” make it particularly interesting. For example, their game features a “Commish” who obsessively monitors the number of players invited to the game. Then there is the part about a pair of long-time participants who argue like an old married couple. It’s a bit of a novel, so maybe print it out and enjoy it in the handicapped stall some day. Here’s the link again:
Jacob’s overall presence calls to mind a sort of Lunchsketball Charles Barkley (from playing days, not Barkley the Hutt on TNT), and he has been proven able to withstand a great deal of blunt force trauma. He is not afraid to bruise, and moreover, when he takes a hit, it actually tickles him. Following the sickening thud of a collision, Jacob breaks out in loud, uncontrolled giggling.
Suppose that there’s a loose ball, with two players running for it from equal distance. This leads to a game of chicken; some guys just want it more and are willing to take the pain, and others don’t want the ball that much, and at some point decide (correctly) it’s not worth it, and steer out of the way. Jacob is in his own category. It’s not that he wants the ball so much that he’d run through a brick wall for it, but rather, he just wants the ball and he also happens to enjoy knocking bricks over.
FAVORITE SAYINGS: “WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”
VERTICAL: Varies with his use of “Insanity” DVDs at home.
FG%: Either pretty good, pretty bad, or just OK.
Despite being built for demolition, he plays more of a finesse game. On offense he actually plays sort of a shooting guard. If you’re going to get a lot of points out of Jacob, then expect those to come from outside of the paint, particularly from that short-baseline area where Gary earns his keep. On defense, he covers a lot of ground, and because of this, he’s a good fit on the undermanned team in a 3 vs 4 or 4 vs 5 game.
Jacob is opinionated and renowned for his game analysis and team-picking skills. He is a member of Gary’s top panel of consultants; when G would like to be extra sure that the teams are picked right, he can turn to Jacob for solid advice. Following a game, these two will find a time to meet and discuss what important conclusions can be drawn; what worked, what could have been done better, etc.
Jacob has played for years, and as of yet, no nick-name has really stuck. He is Jacob. That’s enough. He does have a famous catch-phrase though, and that is “WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”. He might yell this to strike fear into the opponents’ hearts or to boost team morale, but whatever the occasion, it is always yelled with enthusiasm, and it has become his signature.
Due to a shortened week of lunchetball and a limited attendance of lunchketball players and attendance……I will do my best to rank the players that did play this week…..so here goes….
1) Still at number one…..nothing has changed and nobody challenged Jorge this week for his number one spot with any one game great enough to slip into the number one spot …..and it is interesting to say but Jorge lost both games he played in this week but played well enough by rebounding, passing and defending to hold off any minute challenges to his esteemed position at the top of the list.
2) Eric…..because of his magnificent shooting day on Wed,. he and Jorge pretty much held off four players to be in it till the last shot went down! What a hustle day for these two studs at the top of the list!
3) Jimbo played well on the three team that took down the four team on Tuesday and played pretty solid….
4) Matt and Adam tied here….played well for their teams all week….neither shot particularly well this week, but made up for it in all other aspects of the game!
5) Chris played very well for the three team that took the four team down and played great defense and made pretty good passes and inspired his team to win with his example!
6) Darren……had an ok game but nothing special as he was limited by injury and will be looking to come back strong next week!
7) Jr. and Jacob…….tied here at this spot, both played decent, both were good defensively and rebounded well, both passed ok, but neither made a large percentage of shots…….so this is where they are at for the week!
8) And rounding out the troops………….Kracker is here………………………………and I will leave it at that…….thanks again for participating and hopefully next week is a good one and everyone is healthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1. Jorge Super game even though only one appearance inspired his team to victory when all was almost lost……….
2. Jimbo Great steady week with new aerodynamic haircut played better than everyone else EXCEPT Jorge
3. Adam Best week the kid has had since he started…..played tough through injuries and fatigue
4. Phil Pretty good week for Phil, but could have been better if he had made a higher percentage of shots
5. Darren good week and made some great shots………
6. Eric best block of the week against Tzushinski……….but could have made better passes and more accurate shots to bring victory
7. Matt had an off week……regular stud on court but missed a ton this week in only game and could not come back from that……
8. Jacob started off good in Wednesday’s game but went cold and played outstanding defence all week
9. Jr. played right about where he plays normally….nothing fancy…..made some nice moves to the hoop
10. Kracker was Kracker………………………………………cemented here sucking hind teet for a lackluster week because of many ailments and body aches…..poor guy did all he could just to be out there……we love our Kracker……
Game of the Week:
EL CAJON – Wednesday’s game began as a fast-paced shootout, but morphed into an intense, defensive slug-fest, that eventually had to be cut short. With the score just 40-38 following what felt like 90 minutes of play, Jim announced that the game was to end at 50 points, instead of the normal 60.
The 4-team of Jorge, Adam, Jacob and Gary rushed to a big early lead, behind a scoring outburst from Jacob, but the 5 team caught up and took their own 12 point lead in the first half. Then it was Jim, Phil, Darin, Richie and Kerry’s turn to cool off, and the game settled into a gritty, defensive struggle.
Adam, who has a full beard now, battled remarkably defending Phil, a skilled post player. The out-sized Adam managed to alter Phil’s shots by engaging him in mundane conversation, such as asking about the make, model, year and mileage of Phil’s car. Phil tried to reply to Adam, dispensing the information in-game. It is that much more difficult to get the proper touch on a hook shot while saying “2008 Passat”, but Phil tried, whether out of gamesmanship, manners or some a mixture of the two.
40-38 was the 5 team’s last lead, as the 4 team turned it up with one of Gary’s patented baseline jumpers, a Whirling Dervish basket driving down the key, and fast-break points to reach 50.
Pickup Lines – How to Speak Pickup Basketball:
Hair-o-dynamic: Showing improved athleticism after a haircut. Short haircuts are believed to create a better air-resistance profile with less weight and drag, boosting player speed, agility and vertical leap.
“Jim was much more hair-o-dynamic today!”
John went running on Thursday at lunch, which could be an early step toward playing a basketball game later this year… A ping-pong table has arrived in the warehouse (making the company that much more like Dunder Mifflin), and many of the basketball players have joined the newly formed “Table Tennis Society”… Darin gave up his beard for Lent, and has been diving in the Power Rankings ever since; suggested work-around – mustache…
Player of the Week:
On Wednesday morning, Kerry reported seeing four puddles on the basketball court. Commissioner Gary, man of action, took control of the situation by emailing Jim, Jacob, Phil, George and Darin to say he needed one of them to drive out and sweep up the puddles. Who would step up in a big way and answer Gary’s call to save the day? Who would heroically volunteer so that there could be basketball at lunch on Wednesday, in a game where nobody slipped on a puddle? That person is the Player of the Week. Congratulations Jim.
Note from the editor: The Power Rankings Presented by Gary have really taken off! This segment has outgrown the original “Power Rankings” page. In addition, Erik, aka “E”, reviewed the Power Rankings and noticed that it would be helpful for the visual learners in the audience to have a graphic display of the Power Rankings over time. His work is fascinating. It appears below the text of this post, and you may look forward to updates.
To better accommodate the thriving Power Rankings and Erik’s latest contribution, these will now be posted on the main blog page. The old rankings have been copied, posted separately to the main page, and backdated for your reference.
Ok…..it is with much pain I must rank the players for the week of 2/25/2013-3/1/2013;
we had some participants playing only one game this week and others playing 3 games this week, so it is especially difficult to do this on the fly…..so here goes….
Numero UNO (that is number 1 to those of you who do not speak spanish);
1)Jorge…..what can I say…he did just enough today to keep his reign of consecutive numero unos going, he got his WHOLE team involved, was a spiritual leader and made his fair share of baskets…….he narrowly escaped the brilliant game of Phil on Wed., who played only average on Monday so by a slight hair, he retains his hold on this coveted spot!
2) Phil………played an excellent game on Wed…….but a relatively weak one for his normal participation on monday so it is with great fervor that I place him ever so gently here at number 2!!!!
3) Jimbo was Jimbo…….some days better ….some days not so much better….but steady as she goes……….
4) Adam…..played like the dickens this week! Great rebounding and passing and wonderful defense………a real energizer bunny that made his team so much better than usual!!!!! the whirling dervish was “in da house” and made a big splash this week!
5) Matt and Darrin tied for 5th this week……………..both played well in spurts and made excellent plays for their respective teams………hard to say who outplayed the other but they were both pretty consistant….Darrin played with less errors and Matt made more baskets and rebounded a ton!
6) Eric…….was a lightning bolt of offense on Friday and was all over the court…….other days was less impressive and fell a bit in the rankings due to turnovers and missed shots on the other games…..
7) Skooter…..played with little impact defensively and pooped out late in the game…but made some tough shots and great passes!!!!
8) Jacob…….played some tough D and had a good game, an average game and a bad game playing all week…..pretty steady player……but needs to make better shot selection at times and settle down and play the game slower and more efficiently….
9) Kracker……..played some tough D and made some nice shots on Wed……did not gun as much as in the past and learning to pass more and shoot less and this only helps his game!
10) Jr. ……played ok in spots and spotty in others….needs more improvement to move up in the rankings…….but is a good player for the most part and a nice guy.
ok…there you have it ….feel free to make any rebuttal….come strong or dont come at all!
till next week….peace/out…………G$..
Navel Defense System (“Belly D”): A defensive move, whereby one player lifts his shirt to expose a bare midriff in the line of sight of an opposing player who is attempting a field goal. The objective is to distract the shooter and cause him to miss a shot. Fair-skinned defenders emit particularly glaring white light from the belly area, which can only worsen conditions for the shooter, although other factors such as belly size may also add potency to this strategy. While flashing as described, the defender may run toward the shooter for effect, or simply stand in place, if already properly positioned. In some cultures it has become customary to shout “Belly D!” in order to draw additional attention, but this is not a requirement.