Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Game Log 1/14/09: Thanks, coach

Just what I needed. A smooth, easy boys' JV game to get me out of my recent minor funk. Never felt out of it; always felt confident, and had my partner say to me a couple of times "Thanks for that get--I missed it!" No issues at all--save the losing team's captain.

He was carping and bitching at one point early in the third quarter. He believed he was being hand-checked. Neither partner or I had it, mostly because it wasn't happening. "Call it both ways," he yelled at me from about 15 feet as I was about to inbound the ball.

Since he's captain, I decided to approach him before inbounding. "Captain, I'll talk to you, but you can't talk to me like that." As I did this, he rolled his eyes and started walking away.

"No, captain, you need to stay here. If you want to talk, you can't bark at me like that."

I cut my losses (in retrospect, I think the "you need to stay here" was a high-risk statement...what if he hadn't?), and headed back to the sideline. As I did, I looked up and saw a sub coming to the table.

Loudmouth captain was out.

Coach is a stud...and yet he was about to grow even more in my estimation.

I was right in front of his bench when one of captain's teammates was taking the ball across halfcourt. An opponent was right there on him. He briefly put a hand on him...not even any pressure, really just a couple of fingers. Captain yelled: "Call him for the hands!"

Coach turned to him and said: "It's called good defense. Have you heard of that?"

Loudmouth captain said, in that inimitable 15-year-old sarcastic know-it-all voice, "No."

After the game, I told the girls' head coach, as he let me into the locker room, that I'd appreciate him passing on my gratefulness to the JV boys' coach. He asked for the story, and when I told him, he said "Let me guess. Short kid, dark hair, point guard?"

Apparently refs aren't the only people this kid gives trouble to!

Anyway. Awesome game. Minor complaints from coach, both of which were factually accurate and which I was able to explain. He wanted an "over the back" call on rebounds where the opponent was jumping straight up behind his player and plucking the ball from the air above him. I said to him: "Coach, I just see him jumping straight up and reaching over." He said, bafflingly, "Yeah! That's right! Reaching over!" My response: "Coach, if there's no contact, there's no foul." He had nothing to say back to that.

Great night. Tomorrow, I have the same team that didn't like me the other day, but I feel all fresh and new. Looking forward to a great game.

THINGS I DID WELL: Call selection, coach management, didn't get beat
THINGS TO WORK ON: Captain management? Maybe try a slightly different approach next time, even though this one went well. Also, my partner apparently wanted me to bail him out of a bad out-of-bounds call he made, but I was running downcourt and couldn't do it. Stay around for that.
NEXT UP: Boys' freshman game tomorrow.


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