July 06, 2009

Basketball 101: Drive, Pass, Shoot... Quit?

My apologies to all my conservative readers for the slew of politics-related postings. Wait. That's right, they all stopped reading this blog awhile ago, so scratch that apology. Anyway, in case you haven't turned on your television since last Friday, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is resigning her position to pursue a "higher calling". My guess is there's a phat TV show contract with the Faux News Channel. Or maybe there's a game show in her future? Coming this fall: Decipher - See if you can figure out what Sarah Palin is saying, and win a million dollars! I'm just happy the Gov continues to keep herself in the news because it provides me with the opportunity to resurrect the picture of Momma and Stew in their Halloween costumes from last fall (Joe 6-Pack and Sarah Palin). Stew wanted to go as Joe-the-Plumber, but he couldn't figure out how Joe still manages to breathe with his head shoved so far up his own ass. But I digress... During her Friday news conference/incoherent babbling, Governor Palin made a basketball analogy that stuck with me:

"Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me - sports... basketball. I use it because you're naive if you don't see the national full-court press picking away ri
ght now. A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket... and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN."
--Sarah Palin, announcing her resignation as governor, July 3, 2009

So she's likening her resignation to being a point guard advancing the basketball to the hoop by passing to another player? Ok. I guess I'll buy that... for now. But, since I'm no basketball authority, I turned to my three resident experts for clarification on this point guard thing. Claire, lacking the ability to dribble or pass effectively, is still considered a "shooting guard". She can drain set shots into her mini-basketball hoop from just about anywhere in the basement, but since she has no understanding of the term "point guard", she's pretty much useless in this regard. So next, I turned to Momma, a three-year starter for the Herreid Lady Yellowjackets (Buzz! Buzz!). Well, it turns out the only reason she started was due to a shortage of girls in town. Momma's graduating class totaled 12 pupils, five of which were girls with Momma being the only one to join the basketball team. And after she started to inquire "why do you want to know about my high school basketball background?", I got scared. You see, she doesn't like me talking about her on my blog. So that lead me to Stew...

As Stew likes to remind me - and anyone else who will pretend to listen (aka "Momma") - he was a two year starting guard on the Pierre Governors varsity basketball team. And to honor the mighty Govs, I've remodeled my blog to the Governor green and white colors (Go Govs!).
Stew was considered the "off guard" or "shooting guard" because, much like Claire, he lacked any ability to dribble the ball effectively. In fact, he tended to run in the opposite direction of the ball whenever a full-court press was put in place by the opposing team. That is, unless the Govs were playing the Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles, in which case Stew could drive past his much slower defender (Chad Small) with the greatest of ease. [note to Chad: Stew says "Hi!"] Anyway, Stew was more of a shooting ace, particularly from the corner of the lane, and he managed to sink more than 45% of his shots throughout his illustrious, non-award-winning career. Regardless, Stew fully understands the role a point guard plays on a team, yet he refuses to comment on this matter. I think it's because he has a secret crush on Sarah Palin, plus he still can't seem to let go of his conservative Republican upbringing.

So, I was forced to use the Google for my research, and I came across a 1980 audio recording of basketball play-by-play coverage of the final seconds of a close game between Sarah Heath-Palin's Wasilla Warriors and the Kenai Central High Kardinals. Unfortunately, I lack the technical skills to upload an audio file to my blog, so I'm providing the following transcript:

[December 4, 1980 - Wasilla High School Gymnasium]
We've got a real nail biter here tonite, folks. The teams are heading back on court after Wasilla called their final time-out. Down by one with only 20 seconds remaining, the Warriors need a basket to win the game. Taking the ball out of bounds for the Warriors will be #31, Senior Guard Heather Heath, who will most likely be inbounding to her little sister, #22 Sarah "Barracuda" Heath, who has played an outstanding game so far. She sure has been chattin' it up with the opposing team... I don't know what she's been sayin' to 'em, but they all have confused looks on their faces and can't seem to figure out how to slow her down. No doubt Kenai will have its tenancious full-court press on, so let's see how Sarah Barracuda handles it. Here we go. The referee hands the ball to Heather Heath... Sarah Barracuda breaks to the corner to receive the inbounds pass... she's immediately double-teamed... she puts the ball on the court and dribbles around the defenders only to have her path cut-off by another defender... she reverse pivots and heads the other direction... into another double-team trap. What's this?! She's dribbling backwards now... I've never seen this before... she's actually running backwards while dribbling while still trash talkin' to the opposing team. It's working! She flies by the defenders and heads toward halfcourt. With only 15 seconds remaining, she has to get the ball across the time line before the 10 second count, but she's run into yet another double-team... now she's pointing up at the rafters which seems to have the Kenai players momentarily frozen... that's your classic Sarah Barracuda "look over there" distraction technique... nobody does it better, folks! With the ball across the time line, Wasilla only has 10 seconds to score! Let's see what play Sarah Barracuda sets up for the offense... we're down to six seconds... [awkward pause]... that's odd... [awkward pause]... this is unbelievable, folks... [awkward pause, followed by the sound of the final buzzer]... Oh my gosh, I can't believe what I just saw! [awkward pause] You won't believe this, folks! Sarah Barracuda, with only five seconds on the clock, headed off the court to the sidelines with the entire Kenai team in pursuit... as if she was giving up and quitting the game... but at the last second, just before she stepped out of bounds, she threw the ball to another Wasilla player standing under the basket who put the ball in the hoop as time expired... an amazing, yet bewildering, play by our hometown hero, Sarah Barracuda Heath! Wasilla wins by one, and the crowd's going wild, folks! I tell ya, this Sarah Barracuda is going places... even if she has to dribble backwards to get there!

The rest of the audio recording is inaudible except for chants of "Sar-ah! Sar-ah!" that can be heard in the background. But I really didn't need to hear anymore. I get it now. I totally understand how Palin quitting her governor's job is actually not quitting, and I'm ashamed for having doubted her. I wish her all the best in her non-pursuit of stuff she's not pursuing that we're not supposed to know she's actually pursuing because she is sort of, but not really, saying she's not pursuing it. Don't worry. If that last sentence didn't make sense to you, rest assured it does to Sarah Barracuda.


Mike Rios 5:29 PM  

I've played many years of basketball in my day. And you are NOT supposed to dribble out of a press!!!! The only way to effectively beat a full court press is to pass. Never put the ball on the floor. Go Roseville Raiders!!!!!!!

Bogart 6:21 PM  

Yes, Stew learned that the hard way in high school... consistently putting his head down and dribbling into double-teams. He eventually learned to just immediately throw the ball back to whoever threw it to him and run away in the other direction.

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Commentary from a stay-at-home dad on daily happenings and misadventures while helping raise a wonderful little girl. The goal is to employ wit, sarcasm and/or humor to make the blog pseudo-entertaining. Then again, setting goals never really worked for me, but maybe you'll chuckle anyway.

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