The score was 54-0 when I decided I would coach Boy The Younger’s basketball team the next season. After all, there wasn’t much room for me to do any worse. Still, this was a bold decision, considering the entirety of my team basketball experience came in one 3-4 season as a high school freshman on my town’s rec team — a season, I must add, that ended with a 123-3 loss, and no, that’s not a typo.
I’ve now coached six seasons of basketball — two each year — and watched some of my core players grow from little kids into tweens. There’s Zach, who, through sheer determination and hard work, became my premier point guard and team leader last season. There’s Caden, my bespectacled center who scored 29 points in a game. There’s Lindsey, who’s also named Caden but we’ve got two of them, Lindsey sometimes forgets he’s not playing football, his natural sport, but no one tries to drive the lane on him twice. Levi’s hair color changes frequently. He’s quiet but a fierce competitor who glides gracefully up and down the court. There’s Grayson, who’s never passed on an opportunity to put up a shot.
And of course there’s Boy The Younger. It’s hard being the coach’s son. They tend to get held to a little higher standard than the other kids just so their dad can’t be accused of favoritism. BTY weighs all of 80 pounds, but if I need someone to set a screen to get a shooter open, he’s my guy. To coach him has been a joy and has made memories for both of us.
We went 0-6 in our first season and improved every season since then, ending 4-2 during a crazy pandemic-influenced season that saw the boys playing in masks a few times. We never got beat 54-0.
And now it’s time for me to decide if I’m going to coach again this coming season.
It’s not that the boys are a huge time commitment. It’s one practice and one game a week. But I’m hugely competitive and spend more time than I should trying to figure out ways to help the team improve. I don’t know jack about how to do that a lot of the time, so I watch YouTube videos and try to determine if my kids would be able to implement what I’m seeing. And for the first time this season, defenses will be able to implement the full-court press. The last time I was involved with a team that played such a defense, I was on the losing side of the aforementioned 120-point defeat, a game I don’t remember too well because I was knocked unconscious in the first half by an inadvertent knee to the back of the head.
The reality is, I have no great ideas on how to beat a good full-court press, and my boys aren’t athletic enough to implement it ourselves. We can play one helluva 2-1-2 zone, but we’re not gonna do any 40-minutes of hell.
And here’s another reality: I’m tired. Very tired. I have been through a lot in the past year. Last season was extremely tough. I was battling Longhaul COVID and sometimes paid the price for leading the boys on a Saturday by being knocked out for the next three or four days. We had a little boy from Africa staying with us who demanded a ton of time and attention while receiving medical treatment here before returning home just more than a month ago. I’ve got a new job, and we live in a new house that still needs to be unpacked and spruced up.
So I’m conflicted. I don’t want to let the boys — or their parents — down. I’ve been blessed to have such amazing support from the kids’ moms and dads, and a few have already asked if I’m coaching again this year because their boys want to play only if I’m at the helm. But I know I’m not in a good place right now to add much of anything to my life.
And I have to make my decision soon.
Beauty and a Beast
There are no real objective measures of beauty, but I think most rational human beings would agree that Charlize Theron is not ugly. Wifey Poo and I had our weekly date today. Boy The Younger went to some huge Fortnite event online, and Wifey Poo and I watched “Monster,” the 2004 movie about serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Theron won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the teeth-first murderer, To think that the people in the pictures below are one and the same is amazing. Theron was awesome in the film. If you haven’t seen it, watch it.
The ‘Don’t Blame Me, I Didn’t Say It’ of the Day
Uh…. yeahhhhh… that happened.
Ahhh, the opening weekend of the NFL season — my annual reminder that I chose very, very poorly when, as a little boy, I decided to become a Jets fan.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I finally took Woo-Woo (my car) to be cleaned and detailed, so I want to stick around to enjoy her fresh-from-the-shower scent.
- To continue receiving praise from my son when I grill food.
- I figured out my new photography lighting kit for work, so I gotta stay alive to use it.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CrytpoStupidity ₿Coffee Seltzer ☕Chicken Update🐓 I like to make fun of Matt Damon. I know this comes from a place of deep-seated insecurity because Matt Damon is, well, Matt Damon and I am not. Yet it’s fun to make fun of Matt Damon, precisely because he is Matt Damon — all […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Meatloaf🦎Ugly Fish🐟Chicken Update🐓 You can buy insurance for many things. Your car. Your home. Your boat. Your health. Your eyes, teeth or brain (which, for some reason, is separate from your health). And now, according to a Missourah court, you can buy insurance that pays you if you contract a sexually […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Kentucky Fried Idiot 🍗Johnny Boy Marketing✏️Airplanes!🛦🛦🛦🛦🛦 There’s a scene in the 1979 film Rocky II in which the titular character (sorry, I’ve always wanted to write that …) is tasked by his trainer Mickey with chasing a chicken. Rocky was pummeled into oblivion — though somehow managed to eek out a […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Rogue Golfers 🐝Nay Voters🐟Chicken Day🥤 Golfers are known as being a genial sort. Whereas a basketball player could maul an opponent driving the lane, leaving him bloody and unconscious, and still complain about the foul called on him, golfers actually call fouls on themselves! Yet the world of professional golf is […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bees Suck 🐝Bees As Fish🐟Cup O’ Pee🥤 I hate bees. Yes, I know they’re somehow the lynchpin on which our species’ survival will turn, but seriously, if we’re so fragile that we’re depending on a stinging invertebrate to keep us going, well, perhaps we’re not really so special after all. My […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poultry Responsibilities 🐔Fine Dining🥩Crappy Year For Music🎵 I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a marketing guy, a storyteller, a jokester, a damn good parallel parker and a guy who played on a basketball team that lost 135-3. What I am not is a farmer. I left my […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩NASCAR President ₿Creepy Coffee☕Chef BTE 🍖 We all know that just about every politician at any level is, in some way, bought and paid for, right? I mean, perhaps your local school board representative isn’t (though she might be owned by her kid), but when you reach the state and national […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dessert, Not Desert 🍨Happy Belated Birthday, McLovin 🎁Men Kissing 🏳️🌈 I started out my career in the news business and quickly learned that people suck. I mean, back in the mid-1990s, the internet was just becoming a thing — we even capitalized it … Internet … and wrote “e-mail” instead of […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩New Job🧑💼Happy Times🤗Small World ⚾ Buckle up. It’s story time. Today I made a reservation for Ruth’s Chris steakhouse on Sunday for me, Wifey Poo and Boys The Elder and Younger. The Core Four is getting dressed up. Keep in mind, we are not Ruth’s Chris people. It’s not that we […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pants on the Ground👖Pimp Slap✋Pissin’ in the Wind🌬️ I had occasion to wear a suit yesterday. This was notable because I evidently hadn’t worn said suit in about a year. Over those 365 days, I’ve lost roughly 30 pounds. Thus, I showed up to the engagement necessitating a suit looking like […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chainsaws Suck🪓Early Arrival✈️Shrimp on the Barbie🦐 I awoke bright and early this morning, kissed Wifey Poo on the forehead and went outside ready to put chainsaw to felled tree. I live far enough out in the country that crankin’ up a chainsaw at 6:30 a.m. on a holiday morning isn’t a […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Racin’🏎️Heat☀️Gorilla Guy🦍 When I was a small boy, the Indianapolis 500 was must-see TV. I’m not sure exactly how it started, but it must have been around 1978 — when I was a 4-year-old boy who loved Matchbox cars and big wrecks. It was around that time that Pops brought home […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩My Fullback 🚑Sicky Poo 🤒Helium Shortage 🎈 I don’t get paid anywhere close to enough to deal with St. Louis traffic when it rains. Not that St. Louis drivers are uniquely bad. I would imagine large swaths of drivers in other cities react just as poorly to the presence of moisture […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Taking Toys Away 🔫Checked Out ✈️Windsurfing Kid 🌬️ Many moons ago, I had a toy rubber snake. That my parents would have allowed such a purchase is shocking, given that Mother Dearest was terrified of anything remotely reptilian and Sister wasn’t that far behind. Yet there, in the depths of my […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shut Up🤫Waffle House 🧇Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes🤗 So here’s something I don’t quite understand: Why is anyone, especially our political leaders, expressing “shock” over what happened in Texas yesterday. Dude … the sun rose yesterday. The sun has risen every single freaking day for the course of humanity. The sun will rise tomorrow. That’s […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Subway Obsession😞Guard Dog 🐶Chainsaw John🪓 Every child is peculiar in his or her own way. It’s an early indication we all should recognize that none of us is normal. We’re all weird. And that’s OK. Boy The Younger has always had his peculiarities. As a small child, he was fascinated with […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Musical History🎹Why Write? 🖊️Loser Level😔 We finally have only one piano in our house! Now, don’t get to thinking we’re this uber-musical family. We’re not. Wifey Poo, from what I hear, was a helluva clarinetist back in her day and did, indeed, take piano lessons. Boy The Elder is really good […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beyond Tired😫Busting Ass 🐝Covid Sadness😔 Everything is knowable. When I look back at the pace of change in my life, I think that’s the biggest difference between my life as a child and my life as an adult. Back then, if you wondered something, you just … wondered it. I mean, […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sad Anniversary😞My Back! 😳Dachau😭 Thirty-five years ago today, my first grandparent died. Grandpa was my favorite grandparent, and in looking back, I think it was because of his willingness to join my world. Grandpa played games with me endlessly. He taught me how to play rummy. He would spend hours on […]
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bye-Bye BTE✈️Rival Riot Rumble 🤼♂️Old Man John🤕 In a few hours, Boy The Elder will board a plane headed for Germany. He just completed his sophomore year at Mizzou, and now he’s going overseas for a two-week study-abroad session in which he’ll allegedly learn more about food science and fermentation and […]