This is the proverbial question of the day is how will I possibly embarrass myself? Now many say that I do that on a day by day basis when I open my mouth, but of course I disagree with that....Somewhat. But anyway, as I have been known to do, I digress. Alex Wolff of the Vermont Frost Heaves gave me a call last week wondering what my schedule was for the weekend of November 3rd and 4th. After going through the book, seeing the Middlebury football game and nothing on Sunday, relayed that in which Alex said, "How would you like to suit up for us?" I told him that well, I don't think I can play pro ball, my wife would kill me, in which he cut me off and said, "Well, we are doing a fan fest that Sunday in Burlington and are inviting members of the media to play in a scrimmage." Ahhhhhhhhhh, yes, now that I can do.
The Heaves, who are the class organization of the train wreck known as the American Basketball Association, are holding scrimmages, three point contests, and slam dunk competitions in preparation for the season. This is great PR, and a great way to get the fans involved in what has become one of the biggest draws in Vermont sports. The team is classy, its owner is classy, and the staff is one of the best in all of minor league sports. What they do is to have a member of the community, or in this case the media, be the "13th man" and actually play in an ABA game. This is one of the better league rules, and rewards those who are active in the community, or are former players/coaches and allows them to show off their skills.
Now what skills I have left are debatable at best. I played in high school, had a decent jump shot, could drive to the inside, and was a bit of a pain in the butt on defense. But, it has been quite some time since I have actually played in an organized game. I would love to be able to play more than once every five years, but this annoying thing known as my blown knee tends to get in the way of such endeavors. Sometimes breathing sets the thing off, and Lord knows the steep steps in some press boxes tend to make it scream things that are just not suitable for the FCC, or for that matter, my mother and nieces.
But, do you think I am going to miss this? Heck no. I actually went out the other day and started shooting some jumpers and did a little bit of light running. The knee screamed, but it was a good scream. The threes started coming back to me, and I actually hit four or five in a row. Not too bad for a radio guy who is just a wee bit out of shape.
Now, the big question will be, how bad will I do in the game? I know full well that Coach Voigt will laugh hysterically when he puts me in the game, and anyone who has seen my writing on the ABA will start drooling at the thought of a hard foul on me that may put me into Lake Champlain on the fly. (I have insurance, so it is all good.) Now, if Jeff Mongeon is one of the officials, he will probably call a foul on me for something like sweating on the ball, or some other foul that isn't even in the playground hoop rule book. Do I care? Heck no. This is the one chance to play in an actual game in front of actual fans. Media types don't get this kind of chance. We just babble on and on about the sports we cover and rarely have the time to actually play.
This will be FUN, and I can't wait to suit up. Sunday the fourth at Burlington's Memorial Auditorium for what will be a great chance to see the ABA champs in action.