Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hillbilly Mom Harps Again

The #1 son raised $188 for his basketball team in the 99-minute game they played Saturday night. HooRah! An exemplary effort by #1, and kudos to his donators of Hillbilly Mom, Grandma, Mabel, Aunt, and two of #1's techy cohorts at church. THEY ROCK! And I'm not just saying that because I donated.

Here's the deal. Everyone on the team played in 5-minute shifts for a total of 99 minutes continuous clock-running. It was like a regular full-court game of 5 on 5. The teams were selected by the coaches to be competitive, with a mixture of varsity and JV on each side. Athletes garnered sponsors by the point, or for a set donation. For example, someone offered #1 a dollar per point, another dude gave him $2 per point, and my mom and I, loving the boy no matter how many points he can put on the board, agreed to $3 per point. That was a big mistake. We should have taken a page from the Book of Mabel and My Favorite Aunt, who each gave a finite donation. Donations that I told them at the time, "Oh, you don't have to give that much." Because I did not expect #1 to score more that 4 or 6 points.

That young whippersnapper scored 17 points. Or as my mom and I refer to it: 17 POINTS! What were we thinking? The good news is, each athlete owes $88 for shoes, and $27 for a hoodie, and they can pay that out of their fundraising money. The excess goes into a pot for team goodies. So I still came out ahead, since my donation was less than half of what I would have paid for his shoes and hoodie. If a kid did not raise any money, he still has to pay for his shoes and hoodie. No free ride here. No subsidizing the shiftless. The game was not the only fundraiser. They were also selling subscriptions to ESPN magazine, at a $30 profit per $40 subscription.

Here's the big deal about #1 scoring 17 points. It has given him back the confidence he had built by working out every day and being picked ahead of some of last year's starters for open gym scrimmages. The confidence that was stolen from him by a coach who shunted him aside to a side basket after two days of observing practice. The player who took #1's hard-earned, unofficial spot scored 16. The new kid who was thrust ahead of #1 on the first day the coach saw him walk onto the court scored 10. All I'm saying is...that coach needs to take a longer look at all these boys before he sets his top eight in stone for the next five months. Give a kid a chance to run the plays.

Of course, that's not going to happen. Guess who wasn't even at the 99-minute game? Sweet Gummi Mary! You guys must be psychic! That's right. #1's coach wasn't there. He won't ask or care that #1 scored as well or better than two kids playing ahead of him. He'll only care that Concussor scored 27 points. Not that #1 was the second-highest scorer of the freshmen. Nope. That won't matter to him. He filed #1 away in his mind as a scrub on the second day he saw him play, and that mind is now locked.

At practice Monday, #1 wants to call out to his replacement, "How many points did YOU score Saturday night?" I told him that's not a good idea. It will make his buddy feel bad. Better to announce, "Well, I guess those stitches in my head didn't slow me down too much. I still scored 17 points. Just think what I could have done if I didn't have nine stitches in my head." Actually, I told him the best thing to do was say nothing. It's not going to help, and is more likely to hurt, because he'll be seen as a malcontent. A malcontent scrub.

Who just happened to score 17 points Saturday night.


Kathy's Klothesline said...

It is so hard to see your children treated unfairly. He will be a better man for it. He might grow up to be a coach and this experience will make him pay closer attention to his players.

Still.... don't you just want to rub the coach's nose in it?

Hillbilly Mom said...

Today at practice, he jumped out to play defense on Concussor, the star of the freshman class. That new boy walked up and stood there like it was his job to guard Concussor. #1 looked at him and said, "What are YOU doing?" Coacher said, "Who's guarding Dingleberry?" That's a kid who plays the guard position. The new kid had to take him.

I told my boy to jump out there every time, and only get off the court if Coacher tells him.