Sunday, March 27, 2016

Celtics Halftime Show 2016

G's Town travel basketball team is a very good team.  Winning the league against much bigger towns in 2014 was matched by winning the State Championship in 2015.  Although we were unable to match those feats in 2016, we were able to participate in a Celtics halftime show.  Willie Maye, the Celtics dancers and some surprise special guests were in store for us this year.  Not only that, but the Celtics were playing the Oklahoma City Thunder, so there was a reason to watch the game too!

Butler (in Red) needed his bodyguard
As we did last year, at the start of the Second Quarter, we went down to the tunnel underneath the stands to wait for our turn to play basketball.  Willie was getting all of our names and was giving the boys the rules.  Make sure everyone scores.  Pass the ball.  Play defense like you would against a toddler (meaning no defense).  I then overheard one of the assistants tell the boys' coach - who is also a C-level executive with the Celtics - that the special guest would not come over until his bodyguard was ready.  Really?  I mean the boys look pretty tough, but he could probably still handle them.  But as the bodyguard came down the tunnel with him, I could see why he was needed.  If I had a lot of money, I would hire this guy too.  To say that this guy looked the part would be an understatement.  Sadly, I did not take a picture of him as that would have been a risk to my legs, arms and face.

After we shared that laugh, the boys started buzzing around.  Malcolm Butler and Dion Lewis (who seemed ready to play next year) finally came over.  They started playing basketball with the boys.  We got a couple of pictures and shared another laugh when Dion Lewis told us not to put him net to our Center, who at 11 years old probably had 2 inches on Dion.

G Winning the Tip
After the pictures, and the Celtics dancers coming over, we got ready for our 8 minutes of glory.  The boys were again told to not play defense (taking us back to the time last year when G blocked a kid's lay up) and to move the ball around.  I also implored the boys to use "whatever move they use in Rec Basketball."  I was also curious to see if G did his Kevin Durant impression with his between the legs, behind the back dribbling move where he ends up farther away from the basket than when he started.

No such luck, as the boys seemed too nervous to do all that fancy stuff.  They were going up and down the court a couple of times and no one could make a basket.  As he is wont to do sometimes, G finally calls for the basketball.  Surprising us coaches, instead of launching an NBA 3, he takes it down the lane and his a little floater.  The crowd cheered and all the kids seemed to relax after that.  Scoring went up and down.  G took that ill advised NBA 3 pointer (hit iron but bounced harmlessly away).  That's my boy!

Although we weren't keeping score, it seemed like everyone scored and had a good time.  I will not bore you with the cliche that everyone won and that it ended in a tie.  But let's just say that we had a better night than the Celtics who got their butts kicked by the Thunder, losing by 26.

See you next year (hopefully).

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sport of (Bowling) Kings

I grew up with ten pin bowling.  I was even in a sports league on Saturday mornings and won myself some trophies.  But that was in Connecticut.  In Massachusetts, the sport is different.  Now instead of ten pin bowling with big pins and big balls, we were relegated to Candlepin bowling.  The bane of my existence really since Candlepin bowling is tough to bowl well.  Numerous splits, missed spares, infrequent strikes.  It just sucks really.

Well after numerous times trying to make a go of Candlepin bowling, we finally found ourselves staring straight at a ten pin bowling alley.  Kings is about 45 minutes from our house.  It features numerous bowling alleys, a game room and a big bar.

1pm.  Monday afternoon.  Although it was a holiday, we figured that it was not a major holiday so a lot of people would be working.  This, we thought, would be a great way to get some bowling in and spend time with the kids.

"The wait is about two and a half hours." the hostess explains as she hands us one of those light up buzzers.  The vacant look on her face matched ours.  Two and half hours to play a couple of strings?  Really?  But we have the JMR Rally to play.  This is too long!

Luckily, after LC calmed me down, there was a Yardhouse right next to us.  We figured that we could wait for an hour and a half to eat, drink beer while we were waiting and then head over to Kings when we were done.  It seemed like a perfect plan. 

And it worked to perfection.  We ate, and then rambled on over to Kings.  No sooner than we got our beers and sat down to wait then we were called to the alley.

"Wait, there are no guard rails?" my FOURTEEN year old son asks.  This might be a lot longer than I thought.  I think that on the inside as I give him a 12 pound ball to try on.  Give this a try, I think, as I shove the ball into his midsection.

The five of us would bowl two strings.  G would struggle falling behind the rest of us.  C would be right in front of him, although he was focused more on the speed of his delivery than pin dropping results.  DLG surprised us by showing poise and determination as she consistently scored 6 or 7 pins every time.  LC and I would battle it out to see who won the JMR Rally.  While my spin was still trying to find its way in Game 1, I dominated Game 2 - winning by 40 pins.

Although the kids were a little upset at how poorly they thought they did (although they didn't), we had fun.  Maybe I'll even give Candle Pin Bowling another try.