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.