The Great Basketball Game
by Frank Lea
It started innocently enough during our recent reunion. On Saturday afternoon, a group of former cadets, mostly ex-jocks, were sitting in the hospitality room. As usual, they were drinking and reliving past athletic glories. With their judgement no doubt impaired by alcohol, they decided an intramural basketball game was in order.
One of the leaders of our reunion quickly secured the use of a nearby school gym. His desire to remain annoymous now will become obvious as this saga unfolds. In such games, it is customary to have shirts versus skins. However, some of the ex-athletes have the abdominal profile of a woman in late term pregnancy. For this reason, one team stopped at an Eagles store enroute to the gym. They all bought the same do-rag to distinguish them from their opponents. The wives went along to cheer their husbands on and to serve as impromptu cheerleaders.
In probably the only wise decision made that afternoon, it was decided to play half court basketball. The game was fast and furious for several minutes until two players abruptly and almost simultaneously vomited on the hardwood. There was a delay while towels were found to mop up the mess. It was a welcomed respite as the players were already wearing down.
By the middle of the second quarter, a portion of the players had gone into the sit-down-on offense-and-defense mode. Two players lay on their backs in the five second lane, heaving mightily for each breath. With great effort, one of those chaps managed to crawl on his hands and knees to the sidelines to avoid being trampled. This was prudent on his part as one overweight ex-lineman was running aimlessly around the court, seemingly oblivious as to where he was or why he was there.
Meanwhile, things were no better in the bleachers. One wife was on her cell phone, trying frantically and loudly to locate her insurance agent to make sure her husband's life insurance policy was paid up and in effect. Sensing impending widowhood, two wives were sobbing hysterically. Others had a dazed and incredulous look on their faces; while the rest had their eyes closed or covered, unable to watch the perdition being played out before them.
One of the spectators with some medical training realized the whole idea had been a poor one. He ordered a Myrtle Beach EMS vehicle to standby at the gym and told them to bring no less than six defribilators. Despite all, the game was played for all four quarters. The players gave their all as evidenced by the final score - Confederate Flag Do-Rags 6, Too Tight T-Shirts 2.
At the insistence of their wives, several players went by the hospital for EKG's before returning to the hotel. We are proud to report that all tests were good considering their ages and condition. That night at the banquet the few members of the winning team still ambulatory were presented a trophy. Actually, the trophy was an empty Wild Turkey bottle spray painted white and navy.
It is the general consensus that the basketball game will not become an annual tradition.