Humor from on High

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The FYU (Adventures in Juve Hoops)

So, this fall, lacking much to soothe my competitive Jones, I'm co-coaching a 6th grade boys basketball team. Coaching 12-year olds is, to put it mildly, an experience. (Especially considering that my previous 'coaching' experience has consisted of calling subs for college kids and yelling at people to get out of my way at the Rec...) They have the attention span of a gnat. On meth. Many of them have just started growing, so body control is an issue. Judging by the amount of times they've come up to me at practice and said "Coach Pooh, (they don't actually call me Coach Pooh, behind my back I'm pretty sure its some derivation of "Coach Asshole"...) why can't we play 7-on-7," basketball is not their first love. But they're good kids when their parents keep them away from the pixie stix.

A-NY-WAY, before our first game, the coaching staff realises that the team does not have a name. We get the uniforms, and they are bright yellow. Actually, maybe more bright yellow. So, in that spirit, we let the kids come up with their own team name ideas and then we'll vote. Of course, the "Yellow Jackets", the "Honey Bees" (danger...) and the "Golden Bears" all get suggested (as did "Pee", but that was quickly vetoed). Finally, perhaps the goofiest kid on the team (we'll call him Will, because that's his name) has a stroke of genius:

The BIG Bus

No, not "Jerome Bettis". Simply, "The Bus". The team unity displayed by a name in the singular. The sheer variety of the cheers we can teach the parents. The stories we can tell about the wit and wisdom of 12-year old 'burb kids. And when we vote, "The Bus" makes the final two.

Where, to the horror of the entire coaching staff, however, the final vote is 8-4 against "Bus" and for...the "Fighting Yellow Unicorns"*. Not that there's anything wrong with that. (One of the four dissenters was overheard as saying "that name is so girly."** Indeed son, it is. At least it's not "My Little Yellow Ponies" or "The Hoopin' Cabbage Patch Kids".)

After the game, (where, sorry to pile stereotype on top of thinly veiled, sports-related homophobia, the team of 'city' kids beat our South Ancherburg (read: rich kids) youths about 70-30) the father of our 4'4" point guard comes up to speak to the coaches. He's got the typical look of an Alaskan redneck. Beer gut. Facial Hair. Keys to the family dogsled. (Not to mention a fabulous Bagdhad Bob t-shirt). Thanks us for coaching the team. Says, "but the name..."

"Yeah, we know it sucks. We vetoed worse." Such as 'Pee'.

"Well, there's that. But, and I don't know if you know this, but unicorns, and rainbows (uh-oh, uncomfortable conversation alarms going off...), are symbols of gay pride - "

"Really? I mean, I know about rainbows, but I've never heard that about unicorns."

"Well, it's true, it is. Big time. And I don't have any problem with those people, (this is now officially my most akward moment since showing up at a job interview without functioning vocal chords due to an errant (accurate?) elbow from my esteemed co-blogger the day before) but I don't think we should support that with this team."

". . ."

Uncomfortable silence.

"Well, we can't preach democracy if we don't practice it."

He was less then satisfied with that remark. Thankfully, the gun rack was empty. This time.

* Update: I have been informed by my co-coaches that the name is in fact "FLYING Yellow Unicorns." I disagree, since my head would have exploded on the spot had that happened.

** Ok, so he actually said "That name is embarrassing. It's fruity." I santized it because my Grandma might read this blog. If my Grandma could work a computer or stop her VCR from flashing 12:00 .... 12:00 .... 12:00 ...


At 11:44 AM, Blogger Frankie said...

Obviously they should have been named The Golden Showers, so they could rain a...reign of terror on their opponents.

I think it's cute that you're coaching kids :-)


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