Friday, March 30, 2007

Sometimes it just nice to know that I'm not a jerk

Tonight I played some pick-up basketball at a church with a group of people, only one of whom I really knew previously. The group was pretty varied in their talent levels, ranging from a couple guys who were decently quick and could knock down a 3, down to a couple people who were really lucky to make an open lay-up. Of course, that latter group could include me since I missed what felt like at least 20 gimmes. Of course its been at least a year since I even laced up my basketball sneaks and played in even a pickup game. Oh, and I forgot to mention this was co-ed with two girls who could hold their own with this crowd, (one tall, one short) and two who really were overmatched for the most part.

Anyway, now that I've set up the scenario for you, let me just say that one guy who was there was a jerk. There are a lot of other terms that come to mind for what I'd like to call him, but they just aren't appropriate in this forum. But he was that insidious type of jerk who doesn't really ever quite cross the line. Just in the way he carried himself and some of the things he did, it was clear that he had some real issues. I'm going to list a couple examples of things he did that just really irked me, and unless you play pickup ball you might not really understand.

#1) He thought he was pretty much the shizz, and I'll grant that he was quick and knocked down a couple tough shots. He tried to take me one-on-one quite a few times when I was guarding him and he thought he had some nifty spin moves, but they weren't really all that nifty, because he could really only go right in the end, although he did make some fade-aways and got past me a time or two (I'm not the quick cat I once was). But a couple times I stayed in front of him and he tried to go up for a layup and when he missed, he had the audacity to say that I fouled him "with the body". I've played a lot of pickup ball in my day, but I've never heard someone call their own foul "on the body", i.e., I didn't hit him at all with my hands or arms, but because he jumped into me and then missed, somehow it was a foul on me.

#2) On numerous occasions when he had knocked the ball away from one of our players he claimed that it actually went off them out of bounds. I'm not saying whether it did or it didn't, but when you swat the ball away from someone, the odds are that it you hit it out of bounds, and in a pickup game if the other person doesn't come out and say, "No, its off me" then pretty much you just let them take it out up top. Remember that this is a co-ed game where a couple of the players have practically no discernable basketball skills.

#3) At one point, after a fast break that we had, he had the audacity, nay the gall, to claim that one of our players (who was just lucky to be standing up) had travelled while standing under the basket shooting a layup. I don't know that I've ever heard traveling called in a setting like this. I mean, I like to know that I'm trying hard and playing my best, and I like to win, but not to the extreme of calling a traveling violation, which I'm not sure even actually occured, on someone who isn't very good at basketball. I mean the guy I was guarding was camped out in the lane like it was the Alaskan frontier, but there's no way I'm going to call a 3-second violation in a church pick-up game.

Of the four games I played in, I managed to not be on his team ever, and that pleased me. I think I probably lost more than I won, but I'm pleased to say that we won the final game on a in traffic layup by yours truly, one of the few I actually made.

Its been quite some time since I really met someone who got under my skin like that, and I probably shouldn't worry about it too much, but in the end I was just glad that I'm not that kind of person.


Ju said...

no worries, jake. you are just about the furthest thing from a jerk that anyone could be.

Chip Chief said...

nice that you consider the internet a forum for decorum. you really are a nice guy.

j said...

I consider the internet a forum for whatever I feel like writing about. Today, its pick-up basketball decorum, but only as a way to talk about someone who is a jerk.

Kirsten J said...

I love talking about other people who are lamer than us! Thanks! I read it aloud to my husband, who is into basketball, and who is not into jerks, and we laughed out loud.

j said...

Glad to provide you with a chuckle, and that at least someone understands what I'm saying.