Thursday, February 24, 2011

Great Moments in Sports

I have waited agonizing months to shine the spotlight of acclaim on one of the greatest athletic achievements in my sports-recognition-starved life. I take you back to Thanksgiving, 2010. It happened in my brother-in-law's basement, where there stands a basketball shootout game, my instrument of glory, my vehicle to infamy.

As we basked in the afterglow of turkey and brownies, this machine beckoned me. I answered its call. And for two days I gave myself completely to the dream of domination - a shimmering jewel of bragging rights to dangle above the heads of my father, two brother-in-laws... and my children. With a fixed gaze, and stone-like resolve, I entered the zone again and again. Time and time over I raised the bar for a 60 second score. First it was 60. Soon I was breaching the 70's. It wasn't long before I shattered the 80's. The 90's, however, took some time. But that, too, was a milestone I claimed for my own, reaching a score of 94 in just 60 short seconds. That's 47 buckets in a minute!

But 60 seconds is for boys. Last time I checked the dictionary, I'm a man. It was time for me to compete in the man's game: a five-minute round. Or as some have called it, The Widow Maker. This is where winners become champions, where mortals become giants. This was my destiny.

With blisters on my fingers, and stuffing in my stomach, I stepped up to the shootout and picked my poison. The Widow Maker awaited. "5:00" appeared on the clock, and the signal sounded. Furiously, I sent those miniature basketballs to their netted hoop home. Five minutes went by like mere seconds, and my round was brought to an end at the sound of the buzzer. I looked at my score: 450.

That's an average of 90 points per minute. Those who dared to witness this feat informed me that I hit 96 in one of those minutes. This is truly a monumental achievement of athletic prowess. Did it happen over night? Actually, it did. Nonetheless, it's a record that has stood the test of time.  Now I know exactly how Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, and other legendary champions feel. And it feels good.

But I've said too much.

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