Sports & Leisure

LAST HURRAH: Hoop Schemes

I coach kindergarten basketball, and I’m keeping score.

FROM: “Tim Rogers” <[email protected]>
DATE: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 09:37:30
TO: “Raptor parents” <14 recipients>
SUBJECT: rumor about staff and remainder of season

First, I want to say thank you to Jeff’s mom for dashing off during halftime of last Saturday’s hard-fought contest against the Tornado Panthers to buy Capri Suns and Ritz Bits Sandwiches for après-game snacks. At the risk of coming off like some sort of jackbooted snacks Nazi: the snacks list exists for a reason. Please use it. Do not forget the snacks. I’m talking to you, Tyler’s dad.

Okay, next, I want to address the rumor that has been floating around the sidelines at the last few practices. Yes, I do have a criminal record. I was very forthcoming about this when I filled out the coach’s application form at the YMCA. I don’t think it’s necessary to explore the specifics of each arrest, but let me assure you that the thing with the fire extinguisher was just a youthful indiscretion. And that deal in Oklahoma City was a harmless prank. Sure, I was charged with a felony, but I was only convicted of a Class A misdemeanor. Maybe my checkered past prevented me from being named head coach. Maybe that’s why Coach Steve got the nod and I’m just his assistant, despite the fact that I would absolutely KILL Coach Steve in a game of one-on-one.

None of that matters. What matters is the physical and spiritual development of our children. What matters is the Raptors. One, two, three—GO RAPTORS!

With that in mind, I’d like to offer a few remarks on how the team has played thus far and then outline my plans for the rest of the season. Let’s remember that we’re dealing with kindergarteners here. So I need help from each and every parent if we’re to achieve our goal of going undefeated. (The YMCA officially doesn’t keep score at this age group, but we all know, as parents, how many times the ball goes through the hoop, don’t we?)

Martin’s dad: Martin is the only Raptor who consistently shows up to practice and games wearing dark socks. It was cute at first. Now it’s time you invested in some white athletic socks for your boy. Have some pride.

Viagramonté’s mom: your son needs to understand that this is basketball. He cannot chop-block or shoulder-check or leg-whip opposing players. He should also refrain from stealing the ball from his own teammates. Please work on this with him.

Jack’s dad: lose the camera. Jack isn’t a particularly handsome 5-year-old. One day he might grow into that bulbous head of his. But for now, it would be best for Jack and for the Raptors if you’d stop yelling, “Jack! Look over here! Smile, Jack!” every time he makes a trip down the court.

Lilly’s mom: I know you have the best intentions. Putting Lilly on an otherwise all-boys team seemed like a wonderful idea. You thought she would learn to be strong and self-confident. And, really, she’s one of the better players on the team. The boys are so in awe of her flaxen hair and fundamentally solid shooting form that they stand slack-jawed and stare whenever she gets the ball. But when Lilly grows up, men will not appreciate the strength and self-confidence that she developed while playing kindergarten basketball with boys; they’ll be intimidated by it. To compensate for their feelings of insecurity, male co-workers will label Lilly a bitch and talk unfavorably about her behind her back. She’ll wind up with an eating disorder. Trust me on this.

All other parents: several of you have said that my son Burke is the best player on the team. Thank you. But let’s be honest. Burke hasn’t learned to dribble. And he falls down too much. No, Zane is clearly our franchise player. I mean, Zane dribbled between his legs in last Saturday’s game. And he scored eight of the 10 points we didn’t keep track of. I would appreciate it if everyone would tell his child what I’ve told mine: “Zane is better than you. Feed the ball to Zane.”

If we all work together, we can do this.

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