Exhibit 1.3.11

Thesis Defense

It suddenly occurs to me I stopped updating you on the exploits of Thesis Defense, our Creative Writing Program intramural basketball team. If only there was some way I could sum up our loss in the playoffs in one humiliating photo. O, there is? Great:

In my defense, we were in a zone so, really, it could have been any of the opposing players scoring on me. Not in my defense: my defense. Hands up, Peterson.

Photo thanks(?) to Karyna McGlynn whose book you should pick up here. Pick up and destroy probably.

Comment / Posted in Basketball, Defense, Sports

Exhibit 1.2.16

Thesis Defense

(Look, I’ve been sick and grading and writing and watching Castle. No excuses. In return for you not saying anything, I thought I’d offer you this picture of Thesis Defense. It’s funnier than anything else I could think of. Also, I plan on writing a Royals preview this weekend so look out for that).

Yes, we made our own t-shirt uniforms. No, no other teams have these. Yes, I put mine on a pillow and hug it while falling asleep.

Other things of interest:

* The font is Futura Bold. We spend a lot of time telling people that.

* My number is 4. Alex Gordon’s number. Like Alex, I’ve spent the spring working on my game in the hopes of turning my career around. Unlike Alex, I’m not actually going to do it.

* I cropped off my legs though you can get a general sense of their color by looking at the white on my shorts. Those aren’t stripes, those are view strips.

* Or maybe you don’t know which one I am. In that case, assume I’m the one who looks like Running Scared-era Billy Crystal.

* Yes, I’m drinking a Guinness. I don’t know what it is about strenuous activity, but all I want to do afterward–once the vertigo has slowed–is drink the thickest beer I can find. Usually it’s a Boddington’s.

* You’d think this would cause me to realize that there aren’t any good British basketball players and that this might be a sign, but no, it does not make me realize that.

* It does make me hum “Live Forever” and want to smoke, however.

* We’ve got a week off for spring break and playoffs start Tuesday night. Between now and then I’m going to work on my shot and font selection.

3 Comments / Posted in Basketball, Crystals, Fonts

Exhibit 1.2.15

Basketball Stats

Thesis Defense vs. the Refs

(Our team had gotten some low sportsmanship scores from the referees of our last couple of games and so we were in danger of being held out of the playoffs for being jerks. Apparently some players argued a call or two. Not me. If the refs even look at me, I feel chagrined and immediately want to hand the other team the ball. Thankfully, I never have the ball so this doesn’t really hold us back).

50 some hugs we gave the other team, the refs, random passersby
Condescending the level of nice we achieved by the end of the game
1 shot attempt during warmups where I missed the hoop
1 girls that shot attempt hit in the stands
1 dribbles
0 points scored on me due to my stifling defense
7 players we had which made it much, much better
40 seconds left when the game was mercy ruled
35 seconds of running I had left in me when this happened
More than 85 utterances of good game
5 fans in attendance
Reclined my demeanor on the bench according to fans
18 the number of the player who said he was going to guard me
0 the number of minutes this player spent guarding me after he put it together that I wasn’t going to shoot, move, or generally try to do anything other than rest when our team was on offense

Thesis Defense is 4-0 and, assuming our performative fawning didn’t upset the refs, on our way to the playoffs.

Comment / Posted in Basketball, Mercy, Sports

Exhibit 1.2.11

Basketball Stats

Thesis Defense vs. [I Have No Idea What Their Name Was and They Were Mostly Memorable for Being Incredibly Ethnically Diverse As if They Met While Filming a Public Service Announcement about Tolerance]

.2 meals eaten the day of the game
1 sub for our team
30+ minutes played because of this
30+ times I thought I might die
1000 times I shuffleran down the court like a wounded Shaq
0 times died
1 very self-conscious use of “Infinity” by a teammate
1 alley oop thrown to me (no, really. Sadly, the pass hit the rim)
1 shot made
5 teammates who spontaneously cheered when this happened
Mixed my feelings on making a shot but having it universally acknowledged to be such an accomplishment that it needed to be celebrated as if I’d just learned a very valuable lesson about tolerance

Thesis Defense is 3-0

Comment / Posted in Basketball, Deaths, Sports

Exhibit 1.2.9

Basketball Stats

Thesis Defense (Us) vs. Some Law Students

14 minutes
0 shots missed
0 shots attempted
∞ claps
8 attempts to give myself the nickname “Infinity”
1 rebound
1 steal
1 assist
4 times asked if everyone wouldn’t just rather play halfcourt
18 unfair jokes about the other team’s LSAT scores
18 number of those jokes made safely from the bench
0 minutes of practice or cardio work before next game
2 beers immediately after the game
6 times got confused which way we were going but it didn’t matter since I didn’t have the ball and no one was paying attention to me so it was totally cool

Thesis Defense is 2-0

2 Comments / Posted in Basketball, Infinity, Sports

Exhibit 1.2.2

Re-signed for 2011

I have once again made the foolish decision to play in a basketball league. On the roster I’m listed as G/F which I’m pretty sure is some kind of joke. As you can see in the picture above, I play in jeans and a polo. At half-time I take tea and ask after the wickets. When I do get in the game, I wear a prescription motorcycle helmet.

But I’m going to try to improve this year so I drew up some plays.

This one is called “Isosceles.” It’s where I sort of walk in a triangle around the three point line so that my own teammates are confused enough by my movements to not pass me the ball.

This one is called “Why is the whistle lady counting at me?” No, seriously, why?

This one is called, “Free Throw.” It’s where I stand while someone else makes free throws (not able to be expressed by diagramming: me clapping furiously).

This one is a defensive play called, “I Try to Have a Conversation with a Teammate While My Guy Scores.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go practice the most important play of all, “Signaling for a Sub When Too Winded to Speak or Move My Arms.”

1 Comment / Posted in Bad Ideas, Basketball, Sports

Exhibit 24.24

Basketball Team

Those are The Amateurs, the basketball team I was a part of this spring. We lost in the third round of the playoffs after going undefeated in the regular season. You can tell I had nothing to do with these accomplishments because I wasn’t even given a uniform. I did, however, manage to make my own out of a similarly colored shirt. After that, they had to let me play.

It’s called team spirit. I never want to have it again.

I stuck with jeans because I thought they looked cooler when I was sitting on the bench or looking confused whenever the ref said something. Mostly I was hoping that at some point I’d fall down and tear holes in the jeans organically so I would have something to nonchalantly mention at coffee shops. This is what coach told us to do. Unfortunately, I never fell down or jumped up so now I’ll have to cut out squares myself with scissors. Everyone will know. My decaf extra-whip caramel macchiatto will go cold as I try to make it last long enough for someone to ask me about my cool uniform…

Or something. In any case, it was fun and, while I really am terrible at basketball, I’m sorry it’s over.

2 Comments / Posted in Action Teams, Basketball, Shirts

Exhibit 24.20

Basketball Coach

UH Hires James Dickey as New Basketball Coach

I honestly went to sleep thinking UH had named a deceased poet their next basketball coach. No, somehow they did worse.

These Dickey lines seem to sum up the situation:

To be dead, a house must be still.
The floor and the walls wave me slowly;
I am deep in them over my head.

Comment / Posted in Basketball, Jims, Poetry

Exhibit 24.15

Bracket Math

So, I entered two NCAA brackets yet watched zero college basketball games this year. That’s okay because I have a complicated formula for determining what percentile of basketball success I will experience. First, I determine how many points I scored in my 20 most recent basketball games. So, Zero. Then, I calculate my approximate number of turnovers per 10 minutes played. So, Three. I simply add those numbers together then multiply by the number of games watched.

0 + 3 = 3 X 0 = 0

Okay, so then I divide that number by the number of brackets entered.

0/2 = ERROR


Comment / Posted in Bad Ideas, Basketball, Sports

Exhibit 24.11

What It’s Like to Have a Student Conference with Me, Pt. 5

You: When are we going to get our essays back?
Me: I think maybe I talk about the basketball team too much.

Comment / Posted in Basketball, Conferences, Teaching

Exhibit 24.5

Better than Me at Basketball:

* A short barrier you’d have to walk around like in American Gladiators

* Skee-Lo

* The basketball itself

* A robot designed solely to turnover basketballs built by Steve Guttenberg’s character from Short Circuit

* Colicky babies

* An idea to start a coffeeshop

* Waiters or anyone else who brings things to tables

* Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

Comment / Posted in Basketball, Circuits, Sports

Exhibit 23.26

Things I Want You to Remember About Me After I Die Playing Basketball Tonight

1. I thought playing full-court was a dumb idea
2. I never would have died if I’d been playing small forward
3. My favorite team name was “Poetry in Motion”
4. My only heart condition was team spirit
5. Also, enlargement
6. I died the same way as William Blake–playing a zone defense
7. I would have appreciated my team using my death as a distraction to run a fast break which would have led to a foul and our team making one of two freethrows
8. My only regret was once saying I’d play basketball
9. My last thought was to wonder if Gatorade would have prevented this
10. In the movie, I want to have a kid who overcomes his fear of basketball to come off the bench for Division II Fort Hays State University

Please feel free to forget everything about me unrelated to basketball.

2 Comments / Posted in Basketball, Sports, William Blake: Dead

Exhibit 23.23


Yesterday I watched a great talk about Camus and Derrida (Grad School!) but I was so worried about having joined the department’s basketball team (Grad School!) that I kept seeing everything as basketball plays.

The Algerian Conundrum

It’s More Bent Than You Realize

The Power of His Silence

Defending de Man

Attacking the Anti-Dreyfusards

Comment / Posted in Basketball, Play, School

Exhibit 17.9

My NCAA Tournament Bracket

Yes, I have the tiniest bracket in history. It was part of my strategy. I figured small fonts…no one can read it…who’s to say what is actually North Dakota State winning it all couldn’t be North Carolina…

Basically it’s the same strategy that allowed me to pass college algebra at Mid-Plains Community College.

(Brief aside: I’m sort of maybe not joking about this. When presented with a problem like this: i = √-1, if 3i (2 + 5i) = x + 6i, then x = ? My “work” would be me listing those letters and numbers in increasingly obfuscated patterns before finally ending up with something arbitrary like X=2√. This was the strategy that allowed me to score a 30% on a test where most of the credit was for showing your work.

By the way, I got a better grade in that class than my brother who I believe had already taken college algebra and was, you know, actually in college. In my brother’s defense, I don’t think there was a mathematical explanation for my C+ but neither of us were going to ask a lot of questions about it. In our mutual defense, we had to leave for that class at something like 6:30 in the morning).

Or you can click on the bracket to make it bigger and follow the misery. Turns out this also works for grading college algebra tests.

So I know nothing about college basketball that I didn’t learn last year during Drake’s improbable run. This means I only know not to mess with Western Kentucky and their Grimace-like mascot. Look, here he is eating a baby:

As you can see, I learned my lesson. So did that poor baby.

Despite being in last place, I’m–shockingly–doing fine. None of my losses extend past the first round and I’m one VCU jumper from having nailed the first day’s two biggest upsets. Mostly I did this using a complicated algorithm involving effenciency ratings, strength of schedule, and assist averages. Here, let me show you:

i = √-1, if 3i (2 + 5i) = x + 6i, then x = ?
(2i+5i2)+12ix/3i(2+5) = 3i√
√+1 (10i+25i)+4i(2x+5xi) = 9i
(15)7x+2i/√)+1 = 9/√
x = 2√

2 Comments / Posted in Basketball, Math, Sports

Exhibit 10.23

I don’t have a favorite professional basketball team, mostly because I don’t like the sport. While this small handicap has never kept me from casually following a team before–hello, Chicago Blackhawks–I’ve begun to feel like I need to hop on a bandwagon lest I find myself alone with Spike Lee and, faced with a dearth of other conversation topics, have to talk about Crooklyn.

So I’m thinking about jumping on this new Oklahoma City team’s bandwagon, but I can’t decide if it’s worth it. The case:

Kevin Durant
Good G.M.
What is sure to be an ecstatic fanbase
Closest team to Lincoln (well, more or less tied with Minnesota anyway)

Team did more to destroy Seattle than the movie Singles
Will undoubtedly choose a horrible name/color scheme
No history at all
All the players are going to hate OKC

Those are some pretty daunting minuses. I know we’re all thinking this, but rooting for this team will be a little bit like rooting for the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. It’s a compromise solution springing from tragedy, nobody inside or outside the organization wants to be there except for a select few, and there’s a distinct feeling that sooner or later everyone is going to come to their senses and we’ll all go home.

That said, it’s a pretty compelling opportunity to grow with a new team that isn’t going to have the collection of stiffs and bad contracts of an expansion team. This whole thing might come down to the mascot. If they pick the Thunderbirds, I’m out. If they pick The Fabulous Thunderbirds and feature Jimmie Vaughan on their jerseys, I’m back in.

2 Comments / Posted in Basketball, Sports, Who's Next? Minnesota.