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44 YEAR OLD MAN SCHOOLS 16 YEAR OLDS IN HOOPS!

Yep, it is true, True Believers!

At the park last weekend, day before Father's Day, shooting some hoops, doing some drills, working out by myself. About a half an hour in I'm done. No energy, general malaise. I start to gather my stuff and these two teenager boys approach. One of them asks if I'd mind sharing my basketball as they forgot to bring one. I say, "sure" figuring I'll do some stretches and cool down while they shoot a bit. Then the one kid asks if I "wanna play some one-on-one against him?" This kid is literally in the process of doing some serious "razzle dazzle" with the ball as he asks--some spin moves, some between the legs dribbling, etc. But I've got about a foot of height on him and 50 pounds (don't know whether that's a good or bad thing as of yet) so I say, "sure" and we shoot free throws to see who gets the ball first.

I win.

But I'm already tired and this kid's fresh--and I'm guessing 30 years younger than me!

So the first 3-4 minutes is frighteningly bad basketball as we both take terribly ill-advised shots and burn a lot of energy (of which I am quickly running low on). And then I hit my first jumper.

1-0 Old Guy.

Then, after taking several deep breaths, I decide to play smart and take advantage of the disparity in size and back him down to the hoop and try a hook shot. Make it.

2-0 Old Guy...we're going to 11 BTW. Don't know if I'll make it as the heart rate's already beating like a racehorse.

3-0 then 4-0 and I'm feeling pretty damn good! Get my second wind. The kid starts to push it and his shots get wilder. The look of panic sets in as I go up 5-0 then 6-0. He cannot believe this is happening to him! The Old Guy is crushing him! I actually start to kind of feel bad for the kid but, hey, I'm an "Old Guy" and I need the win more than this little twerp does! So I pour it on...now I'm hitting shots behind the arc, hooks, lay-ups.

9-0 Old Guy when he finally hits his first shot.

9-1 Old Guy. Okay, he made one so I no longer pity the punk and decide to put him out of his misery. My confidence sky-high now, I hit the last two shots in short order from the outside...

SWISH! 10-1! SWISH! 11-1 OLD! EFFING! GUY!

I seriously need to sit down and catch my breath so I let him and his buddy (consoling him now, "It's okay, dude, you didn't know his game...never played him before.") shoot around a bit.

And then the young kid challenges me to a game of HORSE against him and his buddy. I got my swagger on now so Hell Yeah! I'm gonna shoot some HORSE with these guys.

Yeah, Old Guy crushes them, you guessed it.

Okay, then the rest of his buddies show up at the park. A quick head count and I see we could play 4 on 4. I push my luck and suggest it. The new arrivals hadn't seen me shoot and I see a few smirks as they all readily agree--but who wants to get stuck with the Old Guy???

Team Old Guy wins game 1 by a score of 7-5. Old Guy dominates scoring 4 of the 7 points and hauls in about 10 boards.

One of the new arrival 16 year olds drops from fatigue. Mo mas! Done! Are you kidding me???

Game 2 is now 3 on 3. Team Old Guy wins another one with Old Guy, again dominating the points and boards, at one point ripping a board away from my first nemesis with one arm against his two! I finish the smack-down by hitting the game winning shot!

Now all but 2 of the 16 year olds have had enough. They are all gassed. I give them more than their share of well-deserved ribbing pointing out the fact that I am nearly TRIPLE their age and still running around. No mas, they don't care, they are done.

So I pack up my stuff and head home, head held high, feeling younger than I have in years! I'm seriously pretty damn stoked beating up on those fine young men.

I do the necessary recap for family and friends that night riding high on my triumphs for the next few hours. Ah, the sweet smell of victory! I am NOT an Old Guy! I am still young and virile and awesome by God! I sleep with a satisfied smile on my face and dream of flying.

Old Guy wakes up next morning, can't straighten out his right arm. Can't even brush his damn teeth because the arm hurts so bad. Can't even wipe his...the arm hurts okay! Talk about a buzzkill. Talk about a harsh reality check!

So here we are a week later and I still can barely lift my bowl of Crispix in the morning and have learned to go "lefty" for the bathroom stuff. And, would you believe it? This afternoon we're outside selling junk at our neighborhood yard sale and I see one of the 16 year olds from the week before. Of course I goad him and ask when we're going to play again. He's a good sport and says, "anytime." I nod, getting the confident strut again, puff out the chest a bit, and the arm winces, reminds me that I am indeed "The Old Guy."

Better put off the rematch until I can rehab this thing a couple months.

sigh...Word.

R

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