Like many white, undeveloped, and shockingly average athletic young boys, I spent my childhood dreaming of a career in professional sports, while my parents and other adult figures in my life quietly stood by and held their tongues. I played just about every sport as a child, and found more success in some than others. Besides the normal sports that every boy played, such as soccer, basketball, baseball, and hockey, I also ventured into some more non-traditional sports.
I did karate for a couple weeks, but quit after quickly realizing how sad the whole operation was. The class was taught at a store inside a sketchy mall, so I put that on my parents for even signing me up. Quite irresponsible if you ask me. It’s like they were reading a manual on how introduce your son to as many pedophiles as possible. It was like an AIM chat room before AIM chat rooms. Also look back and think of the kids in middle school who had black belts, and ask yourself if you were intimidated by any of them.
I also had a short stint with gymnastics, which I’m honestly hesitant to even put into writing. I’m not sure who’s idea that was, but I think my parents were really pushing for a gay son at that point. They probably thought they could write it off on their taxes or something. I respect it. Money never sleeps. As most of you could predict, I didn’t exactly thrive in that sport. I was the only kid in the class who couldn’t do a basic somersault, or anything else that had to do with gymnastics. The only positive was that I was the only boy in the class, so I spent most of the class giving girls daddy issues at the age of 6 (jk I was scared of girls and still sort of am).
Despite having every odd against me when it came to succeeding as an athlete, I somehow managed to be a 3 sport varsity athlete in high school. Typical comeback story your girlfriend dreams about. Sadly, those days are long gone, and the only competitive sports come in the form of pick-up games with my just as white, and just as average friends. It’s all I have at this point, and I feel that some of my readers can relate. Because of that, I’ve configured a guide on how to thrive and prosper in your next pick up game:
Lie about your high school stats more and more as each year goes by
This is something I recently noticed that myself, and everyone else does. With every year that passes, I tend to exaggerate my high school accomplishments more and more. I was a bench player in high school basketball, but as I get more and more distant with my old teammates, I can stretch the truth more. Also, time is a great excuse. I’ve been out of high school four years
Stretching is for cowards. My favorite part about playing pick-up, is doing way more exercise than I’m used to, than being shocked when I wake up the next day sore.
Refuse to put any effort in on defense
There’s nothing worse than the guys who insist of playing lock down defense the entire time. For some reason, some people insist on doing their best Allen Iverson or Darrell Revis impressions on me while I’m hungover on a Saturday sweating alcohol. Chill out, dude.
Don’t be afraid to call for a substitute
One of my biggest assets is my self awareness. I know my limits. Nothing gay about taking a water break once in a while.
If you’re playing basketball, blame every missed shot on the rims
Over the years, my jumpshot has gone a bit downhill. Because of that, I like to put most of the blame on whatever rims we’re playing on. Are the rims too stiff? Are the rims too soft? Make sure everyone knows.
If playing football, always volunteer to be auto QB
Auto QB is the best position in sports. If you don’t know what it is, it’s basically having one person play quarterback the entire game because there’s an odd number of participants. It basically just consists of throwing deep the entire game. Whenever I auto QB, I aim endzone every time, which isn’t a great tactic since I struggle throwing a football 20 yards. Whatever. Play to win.
Try your best to not get stuck covering the sweaty guy
I don’t know why, but the math works out somehow that there’s always a guy there that sweats way too much for the situation. Like he’s already standing in a puddle of sweat when you’re shooting for teams. Everyone knows that’s the worst guy to cover. You get his sweat all over you, and it’s impossible to feel clean for the rest of the day. Avoid covering this man at all cost.
Have an excuse ready to leave early
There’s nothing worse than meeting some friends for a little pick-up, then ending up being there for 3 hours too long. I’ve made that mistake too many times, so now I always come with an excuse in my back pocket.
Convince everyone to quit early and start drinking
The only real reason that people play pick-up sports is to feel less shitty about yourself when you drink later. It’s give us a fake allusion that we earned this beer, and that playing a couple games of 3v3 will cancel out a night of drinking. The earlier you can accept that, the earlier you get to Coogans.
Don’t wear a professional jersey
If any of your friends show up wearing a professional jersey un-ironically, delete his number immediately. Jerseys are only acceptable if you’re under the age of 10 and at a summer camp. Even then, sort of a narc thing to do. Never trust someone who wears a jersey while not at a day drink of professional sporting event.