Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's deep how you can be so shallow

I am partly responsible for this hurricane of hair.

While in college I landed an internship with the Washington Wizards for the 2000- 2001 season. I was constantly given busy work, like any other internship, but one of my assignments spawned a legend. I would walk around the arena (MCI Center) all day doing ridiculous things like stuffing kiosks with advertisements for monster truck rallys, help the mascot get his gear together and I was once summoned to measure Dikembe Mutumbo's cock when they were playing the Sixers. It's 74 inches.

The All Star game was being held in D.C. that year so I was especially busy getting ready for the star studded extravaganza. I was excited for this event until they dropped a bomb on me. There were no interns allowed on the premises for the whole All-Star weekend. How could they do this to me? I had to measure Dikembe's cock! I needed to put my stamp on this thing somehow.

How did I get involved? I had the wonderful job of punching out the little holes on All-Star ballots for about 2 weeks straight before the game. They wanted Wizards on that All Star team so they had me sit alone all day long and punch ballots. Six out of my eight hours at the job were consumed by punching holes in paper cards by myself in a dark empty arena. I would sit on the courtside seats with a trashcan below to catch the confetti that was created by picking your favorite NBAer for the All-Star game. They expected me to pick all Wizards, but I couldn't sleep at night knowing that I had been punching holes for Jahidi White at Center for the Eastern Conference All-Star game. This was the year Jordan came back with a puffier face and I didn't vote for him either most of the time. Seeing Jordan in a Wizard's uniform took away from the mythology. The Jordan I remember is flying off the charity stripe with his gold chain flailing in the wind.

So as you can guess from above I voted for Nash....about 17 trillion times. Everyday I would come into that arena sit on my foldout chair and poke my ballpoint right through the perforated circle next to: STEVE NASH, G DALLAS MAVERICKS. This was done every day for what seemed like an eternity. I would become delirous and have visions. I would see myself on the free-throw line at the MCI with millions of holes that I punched out of those damn ballots falling from the sky covering the top of my head and shoulders as I hit game winning free throws against the Utah Jazz and Atlanta Hawks. I would see Nash in the late night emerging from the trees in my backyard as I was walking into the house thanking me for voting for him. Voting for Nash became part of my soul, and I made it a point to tell everyone that he would be on the Western Conference All Star team that year. I was going to singlehandedly give him the respect that he deserved at that point in his career.

Did he make the All Star team? Of course not. It was nearly impossible even with my 17 trillion votes for him. The fans pick the starters and coaches pick the subs. Kobe and Jason Kidd were the starters at guard that year, and Gary Payton came off the bench for the West. Whoever was collecting those ballots might or might not have notcied the plethora of votes for that white ball of hair. My constant Nash chatter combined with my strengthening of finger muscles from punching ballots for him started the revolution. I am (partly) the reason that white journalists wrote articles claiming racism when he won back to back MVP awards. I am (partly) the reason why you have been emailed pictures of him trashed and showing random females his nips and chest hair. None of us are that far apart. We are all connected somehow in this wild land of ours. I may never meet Steve Nash, but if I did...he should thank me.

A word that MUST be used more:

Word of the Day
billingsgate \BIL-ingz-gayt; -git\, noun:
Coarsely abusive, foul, or profane language.

Chaney would yell at him in his own particular patois -- an unapologetic stream of billingsgate far more creative than Marine drill instructors or master rappers. (the end of that sentence is amazing.)
-- George Vecsey, "Learning at Temple: Se Habla Chaneyism", New York Times , March 19, 2000
Its style is an almost pure Army billingsgate that will offend many readers, although in no sense is it exaggerated: Mr. Mailer's soldiers are real persons, speaking the vernacular of human bitterness and agony.