Putting 2013 in the Books

Main Story:

Good-bye-bye-2013-wallpaperThat moment has come once again, to step inside of our San Dimas phone booth and go back in time for an excellent adventure reviewing a year that was. During 2013, we rode the ups and downs of the Power Rankings Presented By Gary. Our hearts were warmed when Lunchsketball’s plea for help was met with a nationwide outpouring of $72 of support. Tears when the blog went away for the summer turned to joy and laughter when it returned in the fall. In as many words, it was another banner year on the blacktop.

This was a year that saw the emergence of a new franchise. Take four guys whose combined years of experience go north of 220, add Adam, aka “Whirling Dervish”, and what you have is chemistry that works.  Adam’s invention quickly turned into a fan-favorite juggernaut, ripping through opponents with ease, and “Adam & the Geezers” became a household name. Just as the Geezers were coming on the scene though, an existing franchise took the next step: The Dream Team.

2013-10-31 12.48.38

On Halloween, Kerry, George and Darin, (collectively aka “The Dream Team”) took to the court with authentic, Team USA licensed, Dream Team jerseys. Wearing Reggie Miller’s #10, Kerry (aka “Miller Time”) capped off a memorable victory with one of his signature “Let’s go have lunch” three pointers. An effort is underway now to have the jerseys retired in the rafters of the warehouse.

As you may recall, at the outset of 2013, Lunchsketball set some resolutions for a handful of its members.

  • John (aka “Versace”) had the challenging, but very realistic goal of playing in 10 games. The results are in, and John managed to play in just 1 game this year. He didn’t actually play in that game. He sat near the court, and he was wearing shorts, and so he was awarded credit of playing in hopes of encouraging more participation. So John came through on barely 10% of the goal, but really more like 0%. Better luck next year, John.
  • It is hard to believe, but Matt (aka “2 Shins”) went a full year and did not dislocate any of his shoulders. At least not on the court. Well done Matt!
  • Erik (aka “Gumby”) had been asked to curb the spending on his footwear, and success was a shoe-in for him! Stomping a foot on the accelerator early, Erik paid $1 per shoe for a pair of kicks from Goodwill in January, and when those burned out, he finished the year wearing the best available unclaimed shoes he could find in the office from day-to-day. For the price of a set of LeBron XI’s, Erik could play basketball for 100 years. Good on ya, Erik!
  • George’s goal was to average 1 Lunchsketball post per week. It just happened. This is post number 52 during 2013. That total does include some that were mostly written by Gary or Kerry, and it also includes a couple of “Sorry there won’t be a post this week” entries, but technically, mission accomplished.

In Memoriam:

And now, a moment to remember those dear to Lunchsketball, lost during 2013:

Under Armour Spongetech

Under Armour Spongetech

Caltrans Shoes

Caltrans Shoes

Beloved Wavey Ball

Beloved Wavey Ball

New Year’s Resolution

Lunchsketball has a resolution for 2014. It is time for a group resolution – Lunchsketball should come together as a team. Literally. The New Year’s Resolution for 2014 for Team Lunchsketball is the following: Challenge an outside organization to a game.

This resolution is inspired by none other than St. Katherine College coach Scott Mitchell. According to this U/T article, when Coach Mitchell happened upon the opportunity to meet the coach of the #20 nationally ranked SDSU Aztecs, he challenged them to a showdown against his St. Katherine College Firebirds. There are just over 100 students attending his school. The Aztecs accepted, and the result was an amazing 118 -34 final score. It will be left to your imagination as to who was on what side of that score.

If Steve Fisher will bring his team out to play against the Firebirds, then why can’t Scott Mitchell answer the call to scrimmage Lunchsketball?

The game would be played on Lunchsketball’s terms:

  • Tip-off at 12:20 pm on a weekday.
  • Lunchsketball has home court.
  • 4 on 4, so that Gary has enough room to shoot.
  • No refs.
  • Game to 50 by 2’s and 3’s, change direction at 25.
  • Kerry is allowed to slap.
  • Back court rules only apply to the other team.

Lunchsketball will be reaching out to Coach Mitchell in the near future. Look forward to an open letter on the blog.

Expert Roundup: Ball or Way?

Baller Way

Every game begins with this question: “Ball or way?” Get the ball first, or take your choice of hoops to defend? And who decides which team gets the ball first or which direction they will be bringing the ball?  From the mysterious process by which the tribe nominates a player to “shoot for outs,”  to the scientific method approach for choosing ball or way, this pre-game decision has become wrought with an interesting mix of customs, traditions, debates and theories.

In a search for a final answer, this question has been brought to a panel of Lunchsketball experts, but before we get to their responses, keep in mind that in a game which is often decided by a basket or two, taking the guaranteed one extra possession that comes with “ball” looks on paper to be the obvious safe choice; but what about the other factors that may or may not make going one way on the court advantageous to the other in deciding “ball or way”:

  1. Is the sun more in the eyes of players facing the West end of the court?
  2. Do the trees, fences, landscaping embankment, and bushes behind the East hoop provide points of reference to improve depth perception and FG%?
  3. Is there anything to Erik’s theory about over-use of the East basket leading to softer rims, favorable to shooters?

Without further ado, here are the experts:

Kerry (aka “Kracker”):  Ball. Erik’s brain is softer on the East end of the court. Both teams will get equal time going each way. If you’re behind at halftime you have the possibility of starting out with ball in both halves. Play the odds…

Erik (aka “E-machine”): Way, for sure. Offense is a more controlled, precise game. For the first play of the day I’d rather be on defense. That way by the time it’s our ball, my team’s more fully in gear and warmed up.

Gary (aka “Original Gary”): Ok….this depends on the weather as far as I am concerned…..if it is hot outside and the sun is a factor, then way is the important choice…that way you finish the game going the way you prefer…..whether it be because of sunlight interference or the basket you prefer….if weather is not a factor and it is overcast, little or NO sun or raining…you ALWAYS want the BALL in your hands first!!! That is my take….G$

So the answers are varied: ball, way, and “depends”. This article has gone nowhere. Your thoughts?