Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Relationships: Girl's Ain't Nothin' But Trouble

Interesting situation at Ohlone Park the other day. My team is playing against a team with a couple of young (17-19yo), but very talented, players. The girlfriend of one of the young guys is watching the game. I'm guarding the other young guy.

From the start, it's clear that the guy with the girlfriend is gonna be playing mainly to impress her. He barely plays defense, and shoots every time he touches the ball. His teammates are getting irritated. His girlfriend, meanwhile, is completely oblivious and text messages the whole time. Every time Boyfriend scores, he runs by Girlfriend with his chest puffed out; she could care less. In the end, they lose despite being the more talented squad. I think that they would have won if Boyfriend had been playing it straight. A telling moment: Boyfriend has a fast break opportunity (he never came back on defense), gets overexcited and botches a dunk. I turn to his buddy and say, "if his girl wasn't here, that woulda be a layup." His friend nods and frowns.

So what of this? It's tricky, but I feel that these situations can be manipulated. For example, you could funnel the ball to Boyfriend and force him into tough shots. But you don't want to go too far with this strategy because he might legitimately go off and score all the points. And the last thing an aging baller needs is to be near a young punk who's all smiles because he just won the game in front of his sweetheart. Your thoughts? Other strategies? Similar experiences?

9 comments:

Old School said...

Jeff's post reminds me of an article by one of my old professors, Jeff Goodwin (an excellent shooter who plays in Kurt Rambis goggles). In The Libidinal Constitution of a High-Risk Social Movement: Affectual Ties and Solidarity in the Huk Rebellion, 1946 to 1954, he finds that male Huk guerillas who had sexual attachments outside the movement were less willing to take risks in battle and had less solidarity with their comrades. Along with the original post, we have two examples in which sexual attachments screwed up the performance of men. There's also the advice that Mickey gave Rocky to avoid Adrian before the big fight because women turn the legs to spaghetti. But I have a counter-example. In eighth grade, I was playing ball with my buddies in the school gym when the object of my affection, Ramie, started watching us. I was immediately transformed into a hustling, alpha maniac--which was just what my game needed. I went on a tear and my friends, who didn't know of my secret crush, never knew what hit them. So it's hard to say if "girls ain't nothing but trouble". I guess we need to examine Tony's stats when Eva is in the house.

For myself, if I had been in Jeff's situation, I would have whipped out my cellphone, called my wife to the court, schooled my opponent, and blew kisses to all women in the vicinity.

CJB said...

i made the mistake of bringing my (then) girlfriend to the court once. It was during the days when I was self deluded enough to think I actually looked good playing basketball (or doing anything else for that matter). Nothing can actually be further from the truth, so I think I did more harm than good to my own cause.

Jeff said...

Cary,
Wasn't there one time you brought your girl to Bergen St. when Ben knocked her down and made her bleed? Was this the same time? Now THAT'S gotta be the worst. You bring your girl to play, and one of your friends caps her in the mouth.

Old School said...

Damn! Ben knocked me down and made me bleed too! Or are you trying to tell me that you think of me as Cary's girlfriend.

Juice said...

I was there that day, but don't think it was Cary's girlfriend. I do know that Jeff (or the pavement) broke Julie's arm, right?

Jeff said...

Jesus, this is like the freaking telephone game. Actually, Ben injured Julie too. She landed on his foot and broke her ankle. And now I totally remember the time that Ben made Old School bleed! Old School had to get stitches in his face! Ben was a menace!

Ben said...

Ahem.

First of all, I didn't injure Julie: if anything, she traumatized me by stomping on my foot with her scary broken ankle. And while I was in the vicinity when Drew's face was split open, it was the fence that actually did the cutting, I believe.

I don't remember this thing about Cary's girlfriend. I thought she just watched? Surely I didn't injure a spectator.

CJB said...

Sorry, Ben, but if I recalled correctly you sent Rika to the pavement on Bergen St. accidentally once. If I recall correctly, she was wearing some Prada style leather boots, and I think she hit the deck on a loose ball play where you were going for the ball. But then again, I was known to take a puff or two of the 'intangibles" before playing so my memory could be distorted a bit.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Ben, but if I recalled correctly you sent Rika to the pavement on Bergen St. accidentally once. If I recall correctly, she was wearing some Prada tplay style leather boots, and I think she hit the deck on a loose ball play where you were going for the ball. But then again, Nikos T. Plakas I was known to take a puff or two of the 'intangibles" before playing so my memory could be distorted a bit. Jesus, this is like the freaking telephone game. Actually, Ben injured Julie too. She landed on his foot and broke her ankle. And now I totally remember the time that Ben made Old School bleed! Old School had to get stitches in his face! Ben was a menace!