True Story©… The SuperFan

 


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     I don’t know who does or doesn’t know this, but in a past life I was pretty damn good at basketball.  My mom and uncle grew up with a neighborhood friend who went on to be an All-American at Virginia Tech and was drafted into the NBA.  With this connection, my brother and I spent a lot of our childhood summers in basketball camps.
The fact now, to be honest, is that I still am but I am just a lot less mobile at 43 than I was at 23.  My jumpshot it still lethal though.  If not for this cursed 5’8”-ness, something could have come of it.

     Nowadays, though, we are a bit too busy to get out on the court and break a sweat anymore.  We both have hoops in our driveways and we both spend time working with our littles on THEIR game(s).
While my now-sixth-grade daughter only took interest in hooping between the summers of 2021 and 2022 before her interest moved on to art and, next, music; my 4th-grader nephew has started playing organized ball with the YMCA.

     Of course since the buddy (yes, I called my nephews 'buddy' before I had dogs) is playing organized ball, the social director wife and I make a point of attending his games whenever possible.  Or should I say ‘made’ a point of attending.

“I’m sorry, what the fuck?” you ask?

     Let me first say that until you learn to be good at a sport, you’re pretty fuckin’ bad at it.  That said, 8-11 year-olds for the most part are not yet good at the whole sportsball thing.  Family in attendance are there to support their littles until such a time as they have practiced enough to be good at it and not to be entertained.  With that in mind, elementary basketball tends to be quite, umm…  low-quality.  Dribbling as per the rules is apparently optional.  Kids have apparently invested too much in what Steph Curry does, hoisting shots from distances not yet supported by their current level of arm strength.
And fouling…  LOTS of fouling, none of it being called.  It is almost as if they’re playing footsketball with the tackling going on,

     If nothing, my nephew is quick on his feet and is situationally aloof enough to normally avoid being tackled by simply being away from the scrum.

… "normally" being until last Saturday…

     Sitting with my brother at the game while the wife persons sat in front of us, nephew would turn to my brother for coaching instead of the actual coach.  My brother would correctly instruct him on what to do, usually involved with shooting the ball or going for the rebound.
On one play one of the above mentioned ill-advised jumpshots caroms off of the bottom of the backboard after missing the rim, through the hands of three kids who didn’t want to be there and into my nephew’s hands for a long rebound.  He begins to dribble and looks over to us, twin waves his arm and says “take it to the basket!”  Nephew dribbles one more time and the WHOLE other team was on his narrow ass.  All of a sudden, we'd gone from basketball to rugby.

I LOST MY SHIT.

     I forgot in the moment that I was watching children in a children’s basketball game.  I jumped down out the bleachers and stormed the court.  No way in hell I’mma let these little crotch goblins jump my little nephew like that.  No sooner than I got hands on three of them, OTHER parents came onto the court, ostensibly to stop me.  Well now we have a real conflict on our hands, because I started to fight with them too!
My twin being my twin, of course, is not going to let ME get jumped and came to my assistance in the whole ordeal and now the conflict has become absolute pandemonium as our wives sit in the bleachers with their heads in their hands because they can’t take us anywhere.

The overarching point here is that I WILL throw hands for mine!

     So once the melee subsided, the rest of the game was cancelled, as were the remaining games for that session.
In the aftermath, there are pictures of me in all four of the YMCA locations in my county advising that I am not to be allowed in.  My brother says that the coach was advised that my nephew’s only saving grace in his continued allowance to remain on the team was that his uncle was apparently a jackass whose actions were of his own volition and not acting upon anyone’s prodding.

     My brother is pretty sure that my nephew will end up preferring football to basketball.
My wife tells me that I have to keep my stupid ass home from those games when they start to play tackle.  She will just call me on Duo so I can see the games and that makes me very very sad.

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