Week in Review: Week 10

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!”

Full-Court Press:

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.

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New Basketball Crazy Weird in Good Way

Future

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.

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.

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