I was unable to watch any of this weekends Tigers series because me and a couple of my friends, Tizzy and Arnie, were playing in the Gus Macker tournament, down in Taylor, Michigan. I don't care much for writing about my personal life in these posts, because......well whoever is reading this doesn't know me, so why the hell would you care about my day to day activities. Anyways I feel obliged to share the tale of the beatdown my friends and I, Tizzy and Arnie (pseudonyms of course........I've never been a fan of nicknames amongst friends, because it approaches a level of intimacy that I don't really care to share with my "friends", also friends is in quotations because as my one college roommate, the aforementioned Arnie, once said, "we don't have friends just close enemies.")
Forget the parentheses, I feel the need to expand on this topic a bit. Me and my friends have an interesting group dynamic, which can probably be gleaned from my room mates comment. The majority of my friends and I grew up in the same town, well practically the same neighborhood. From the beginning none of us really cared for one another, but we all shared the same trait, which forced our bond and in turn formed the foundation for our friendship. That trait was laziness. None of us wanted to really give the effort to forge friendships with people outside the area of a two minute bike ride, or short walk. Therefore our relationships with one another were based on a sense of proximity more than, shared traits, common interests, etc...... all of the things which, normal and I assume healthy friendships are built on. There is no sense of trust or interest of the general well being of other members of the group, and we try to discourage and bring down anyone that we feel threatens the stability of the group by actually achieving something that they may be proud of or make them stand out amongst us. However this is probably pretty common for most people growing up, where they befriend a neighbor, until high school and drivers licenses and all that cal and then slowly drift apart. My group was no exception to this as upon entering high school most of us from the neighborhood branched out into different social groups and friendships. However after a short time we drug our newfound friends into our same miserable group mentality and effectively ruined their social lives, which they in turn resented and hated us for. For example if a couple of my friends started to hang out frequently, they would be referred to as lovers and ridiculed mercilessly until they stopped. If one got a girlfriend the single ones would become antagonistic and subconsciously and covertly try to ruin their relationship through repeated barbs and the enticement of Nintendo, a very powerful weapon. This is not to say that my group of friends are a lot of dropouts, burnouts, ne'er do wells, in fact its quite the opposite considering our hometown, in the fact that we almost all went to college, received degrees, and are on the verge of decent jobs or grad school...........and this is a long drawn out reason for why I don't like nicknames amongst friends.
The fourth man on the Macker team was a big burly guy who used to live in the neighborhood, and whom we befriended, but mostly out of fear because he was older then us, twice our size, and a little bit mental. His name is Rob, (not a pseudonym). I was a late addition to the Macker team because last year I bailed on them to go on a trip to New York, which was about the easiest decision I ever made, but apparently upsetting to the team. I brushed it off and likened my behavior to the immortal Cedric Ceballos, I mean I just needed a vacation, who cares if its in the middle of a basketball season, or in this case local, crappy, 3 on 3 tourney. However they were a wary that I would go AWOL again so they didn't ask me to join until they had decided on a team name, which was (ugh) D-Unit. I would have called our team "Don't be a faggot", but it wasn't my decision to make. Also against my protests we made t- shirts just like a JV girls soccer team, complete with nicknames on the back. I was half expecting my friend Arnie to put something ridiculous like Short Stuf (yes with one f) and number 1/2. However much to my chagrin I was the only one to go with a nickname, I chose Dr. Thunderfoot, and number 00 of course (representing Benoit Benjamin).
We arrived in Taylor early Saturday morning, we consisting of my team already mentioned, and my teammates three girlfriends, which made me an unprecedented seventh wheel. Im not sure if an occurrence like that has ever happened before but I now hold the record unofficially until proven otherwise. I had to room with Tizzy and his girl, who Id never met but who I immediately knew was on her period, not because of her attitude but because of a smell, an uncanny and unfortunate attribute that I have. Apparently when God was handing out talents, me and Sasquatch were on the short end of the stick. Because if youve ever watched Unsolved Mysteries you would know that Bigfoot is attracted to menstruating women. But enough of that. The first team we played was the Seven Mile Doggs. There were two possible scenarios regarding this 7 mile team. 1) dorky white guys, with a tongue in cheek street cred name or 2) 4 tall black guys who were in the No Experience bracket because apparently The Michigan State Penitentiary Basketball team does not qualify as an Experience league. Unfortunately it was the latter. You can guess how that turned out. 15-4 Doggs, only made close because they were determined to score their last 3 points by each dunking on us. The next game we played against a team named Spiced Lightning, a team we should have beat and were beating until midway through the game I landed on someones foot. POP! I now know what it feels like to have no foot, to have your tibia and fibula touch the pavement, and it is not good. I immediately hopped off the court and watched Arnie, who was completely outsized by the guy I was guarding, get killed on the offensive glass, and eventually lose the game.
Anyways I'm really not going to post much more regarding the Macker weekend, except that after the game my friend Arnie proceeded to drink heavily for oh.........about the next six hours. So the next morning we found him comatose on the hotel room bed. Of course he was to hungover, (or would it be hanged over?) to play, and I already had an ankle with a baseball growing out of the side of it rendering me almost completely immobile. Still though, with essentially two and a half men, we almost won our third and final game, even though my first step on defense was as quick as that of an uninjured person wearing cement shoes. Hopefully Greg Kelser hasn't copyrighted that saying yet. Speaking of Pistons broadcasters, I wonder if any one has ever had the heart to tell Fred McLeod that he probably shouldn't refer to shots that bounce around the rim before going in as "rubber rim jobs". Ive always pictured the situation as McLeod being really proud of creating that little phrase and a conversation going as follows:Kelser: "Hey, Fred you know that rubber rim job thing you always say?"McLeod(cutting in): "Yeah isnt it great, I remember it just came to me, just a catchy little somewhat alliterative phrase, just kind of rolls off the tongue, Im really proud of that one. So whats up Greg?"Kelser: (being polite as he seems he would be) " Oh nothing......err do you think Rips gay I was gonna ask him out, you know just to make Zeke jealous and all."They need a drunk and belligerant Mark Champion to break it to McLeod, have him fill in for Kelser one day and be like, "You know Fred a rim job is when you get your asshole licked". Now that would be color commentary. Anyways my team was eliminated from the Macker after playing the bare minimum of three games. Pathetic, yet fun.