Dribbling - Not Just For Babies
October 31, 2003
by Sean Mullin
“What? You’re writing a column about basketball?” my friend Bernadette said in disbelief when she found about my new gig with The Commish, “You don’t even like basketball.”
It’s true: anyone who knows me wouldn’t call me a big basketball fan. But it’s not so much that I dislike basketball, it’s just that I’ve never really gotten into it, nor is it a game that I’ve really ever understood. That said, never in my life did I dream I’d be writing a column on the NBA because, hell, a person like me is just not qualified to do that sort of thing.
The bottom line is that I’m basically ignorant—and, no, I’m not proud of it—which is why I decided that I’m going to learn all about basketball this season. Hey, it’ll give me something to do until the Red Sox come back (without that [expletive deleted] Grady Little!) and win the World Series next year.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not a total idiot (at least I don’t think I am—and, for you cynics, being a Red Sox fan doesn’t count). I get the general concept behind the game, although I’m probably oversimplifying it: put the ball in the “your” basket and prevent the other team from putting the ball in “their” basket. Whoever succeeds more often is the winner. (Is that basically it? That is how you win a basketball game, isn’t it?)
I also know about dribbling—you bounce the stupid ball up and down while moving toward “your” basket. I get the concept. It seems kind of stupid to me… but that’s probably because I just can’t do it. I’ve tried—I really have—and I suck at it. Strom Thurmond could out dribble me and—the last time I checked—he’s dead! But I get the idea of dribbling.
I also understand shooting. (You’re right: a blind man could shoot better than me; I’ve never made a shot in my entire life—but all I’m saying is that I get the damn concept, ok?)
And I get the idea of passing—although when I play, I pray that no one passes the ball to me because then I’m faced with a decision: either dribble or take a shot and, as you already know, I can’t do either. (Passing is out, of course, because if anyone were open, I never would have got the ball in the first place.)
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “This dope just isn’t athletic!” but that’s not entirely true. (The “dope” part is right on target; it’s the athlete thing that’s a little off base.) Yeah, I’ll freely admit I was never a great athlete— but I’m not a bad little baseball or tennis player and I have a curve ball in whiffle ball that’s virtually unhittable. (Am I jock or what? Come on, you know you’re afraid.)
At any rate, I’m at war with ignorance and this season is definitely going to be a learning experience. I’m looking forward to it… as long as I don’t have to dribble.
The Rook originally hails from Boston and currently resides in Kansas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.