“Oh yeah buddy, yeah you missed it!! Oh you sure missed that one! What are ya, blind?”
Down on the junior high basketball court the referee turned to look at the man. We all turned to see him standing up in the stands and yelling quite loudly.
“Yeah buddy, I’m talking to you. You missed that call and I’ve got it on tape.”
“Shut up, honey” the man’s wife hissed under her breath. “We’re winning by 21 points.”
The stands were full of people voicing their opinions about the players and the coaches and the referees. You couldn’t escape hearing the comments and accusations. Apparently, this game that the teenager’s team was playing in was a complete mess.
According to the people watching the game, the players were incompetent. Their passes were inaccurate. Their shots were pathetic. They were too slow. They were too fast. They were too cocky and selfish. They were too meek and insecure. They didn’t think before they dribbled. They thought too much before they shot.
The coaches didn’t play the right players. One coach put up with too much backtalk from the superstar player. Another coach was too hard on the sensitive player. One coach let one player play too much but never let another player play enough. One coach had the nerve to stand up while he was coaching, temporarily blocking the view of a spectator. The other coach had an ugly shirt on.
The referees were complete bozos. The referees favored one team. The referees favored the other team. They apparently hadn’t visited the eye doctor in a long time. One referee forgot to bring his glasses to the game. The other referee forgot to bring his rulebook to the game. Both referees forgot to bring their brains to the game.
Even the woman running the scoreboard and shot clock was a complete idiot. She was always too slow to buzz the substitutes in. Apparently, she needed to get her hands out from under her…um…behind, so that she could hit the buzzer a bit faster.
I watched with great fear as the teenager was finally put into the game. She was safe from the opinions of the crowd when she was on the bench. She was safe from the harsh swarm of negativity if she didn’t play. I was nervous for her. Little did I know, however, that it would be the teenager that would cause the crowd and their comments to finally take a positive turn.
The teenager proceeded to play her usual form of basketball which is something like 80% true basketball, 15 % tackle football, and 5% nervous panic. She spent almost as much time sprawled flat on the court as she did upright. She plowed right into large, scary, manly looking girls. The manly girls pummeled the tiny teenager to the ground.
After a few minutes the referee blew the whistle and the game came to a screeching halt. The referee walked over to the teenager and pointed his finger right in her face. “Number 24!” he yelled for the entire crowd to hear. “You’re outta here!” The teenager turned white with fear and embarrassment.
“What did she do wrong?” her coach asked as the crowd hushed for the first time that night to hear what the referee would say.
“She didn’t do anything wrong.” the referee answered. “But she is bleeding quite badly all over my court. Someone should really take care of her.”
As the teenager limped off the court, blood running down her leg, the crowd began to mumble to itself. Then they began to chuckle. Then they began to clap in honor of the teenager’s ability to tackle in a basketball game and still walk off the court unassisted. And then the loud man stood up and started yelling. And for the first time that night, he yelled something positive. He yelled in support of the teenager.
“Blood on the court!! That’s fantastic! Now that’s what I call playing some good basketball! Can’t get any better than that!”
The crowd chuckled and the teenager’s teammates gathered around her somewhat in awe of her blood.
But the loud man wasn’t done yet. After a brief pause he continued yelling.
“Hey ref! When are we gonna start this game back up? Have you had a long enough rest yet?”
Check This Out!
This week at Slightly Exaggerated, the husband is recommending that you check out his favorite car of the week: the 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. The boy is recommending that you get your own Nerf basketball hoop for the back of your door. I am recommending that you plant your blueberries, raspberries and strawberries pretty darn soon. And the teenager is recommending that you always carry a few extra band-aids with you. You just never know when you will need one.