Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Dean's Court

TB and I played basketball on the driveway/court this past weekend. He's involved in a local kids' instructional league, where they do a lot of drills and a few scrimmages, and he loves it. Although he didn't have practice this weekend, we had some relatively decent weather, so I decided that shooting some hoops with him myself would be a good idea.

Normally, it's fine. We just take shots from wherever, running only when we have to go after the ball as it heads towards the road. Not a problem.

This time, I made a decision and forgot a key fact. I decided that I should play a little defense, to help him get accustomed to taking shots on the run and from awkward angles. And I forgot that I'm forty.

A brief excerpt of the conversation between my brain and my knee, as I played defense:

Brain: Left!

Knee: Left!

Brain: Right!

Knee: Right!

Brain: Left!

Knee: Fuck You!

Apparently, at a certain age, the knees decide that There Will Be No More Quick Cutting. And they make the decision abruptly, and without warning.

I didn't want to upset TB, so I changed my plan to what I like to think of as a narrow zone defense, which consisted of me standing with a Buddha-like stillness under the basket and catching occasional air balls. He didn't seem to mind or even notice, even as I occasionally swung my one leg out, ramrod-straight, pivoting on the other when I wanted to turn. I moved like a Buckingham Palace guard, except that I replaced “quiet dignity” with “suppressed whimpering.” That, and some free throws.

Luckily, my long-term nerdiness has kept my knees' exposure to this sort of thing fairly minimal over the years, so I was reasonably functional by the end of the day. I like to think that this is why we nerds age better than most. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

And The Boy will have to settle for playing against a narrow zone defense.