Category Archives: Sports

Cashing In On A Pro Career – Part 2

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Posted as a Daily Prompt.

(Continued from yesterday.)

“We were bringing the ball down the court and I looked over at the scorer’s table and there’s five guys waiting to come in. I charged for the basket, stopped, and backed up to about 25 feet from the basket. I was wide open. I got the ball and didn’t think twice; I let it go.”

“Did it go in?” Millie said.

“You betcha,” Charley said. “And a minute later I was out of the game.”

“That night two of the reserves said they were ready to go back with the team,” Charley said. “They thanked me and gave me a check for $50.”

“What did you do with the money?” Millie said.

“Nothing,” Charley said. “I never cashed the check. I hitched hiked back home.”

“What ever happened to the check?” Millie said.

“See that book on my bookshelf,” Charley said pointing. “The middle shelf; the title is Basketball’s Greats. Get it down and look inside.”

Millie did as Charley said.

“The check!” Millie said. “It’s made out to you from the Rochester Royals.”

“I get that out and look at it every now and then,” Charley said. “Each time I look at it, it’s for 3 minutes and 17 seconds. I relive every second of that time. I never want to forget it.”

“That’s awesome grandpa,” Millie said.

“In the back of the book is the box score of the game,” Charley said.

“Why didn’t they give you another chance?” Millie said. “Are you bitter?”

“Never bitter,” Charley said. “I got 3 minutes and 17 seconds most men will never have. But if I could I’d sure like to have at least one more minute.”

“What would you have done with it?” Millie said

“I’d have faked the shot, dribbled right, and stopped about fifteen feet from the basket and shot another.”

“Why not go in for a lay-up?” Millie said.

“The Knicks had this big guy named Ray Felix,” Charley said. “He had arms like an octopus; I didn’t want to embarrass him.”

“I’m glad you never cashed that check,” Millie said.

“I cash it, alright,” Charley said, “every time I pick it up.”

The End

 

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I Had A Dream

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(Continued from yesterday.)

Quote from the movie Bronco Billy:

Bronco Billy McCoy: You should never kill a man unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Here is Louie’s dream:

The mob down at Billy Bronco’s quickly grabbed Louie. He struggled to try for the door. Someone slid a table in front of the door to bar his escape. They pushed him around in a little game of cat and mouse.

“Take that!” someone said.

“How does that feel?” someone said.

“Not so good is it?” someone said

“We’ve had it with you?” someone said

Louie cried out, ‘Is there not one of you with a sense of decency?”

“We’re a mob. We hide our decency,” someone said.

“He’s calling us indecent,” someone said. “You heard him boys. Lets string ‘im up.”

A rope with a noose was tossed over a beam. It dangled and swung ominously. A chair was grabbed and placed under the rope. Louie was hoisted upon the chair. The rope was slid down over his head and pulled snug around his neck.

“What did I do? What did I do? Louie cried out.

Everyone stared in sort of a gleeful trance.

“For what crime am I being hung?” Louie said tearfully.

“You mentioned Kellen Moore and an unspeakable term in the same sentence,” someone said.

“I never said ‘n-word.’” Louie said.

A collective gasp filled the room. Fright fell upon their faces. There were screams of horror. Some held hands over their ears. Some fainted.

“What is the ‘n-word?’” someone said temptingly.

“Noodle arm,” Louie said. “I never said Kellen Moore and noodle arm in the same sentence, ever.”

“Blasphemy!” someone said.

“Heresy!” someone said.

“Apostasy!” someone said.

“Sacrilege!” someone said.

“Profane!” someone said.

“Irreverent!” someone said.

“Disgusting!” someone said.

Louie begged. “Mercy, please.”

“No one ever says Kellen Moore and ‘BW’ (Bad Word) in the same sentence,” someone said.

“Is there need of any further proof?” someone said.

“Somebody kick the chair and let’s watch him dangle,” someone said.

“What if we just don’t pay attention to him?” someone suggested.

“We got another rope and more chairs for you!” someone said. “This is mob mentality, no one thinks independently.”

“Keep silent and do what the mob says,” someone said.

“But I didn’t know ‘noodle arm’ was a BW,” Louie cried out.

“Well, it is here!” someone said.

“Let him hang!” someone said, but they all kicked the chair.

Louie swung silent, alone, and a tear dripped from his lifeless body.

Louie awakened from his dream. Immediately he thought of names, words and phrases he should not mention in the same sentence.

“Grant Hedrick and happy feet.”

“Jay Ajayi and fumblitis.”

“Shane Williams-Rhodes and small.”

“Don’t confuse Petersen with Peterson.”

“Brotzmen and choked.”

“Billy Bronco’s and sense of humor.”

 

 

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Quarterbacks, Quiet, and Quenching At Billy Bronco’s

 (This is fiction. It didn’t really happen. Billy Bronco’s doesn’t exist. It’s a fictional place.)

Quote from the movie, Bronco Billy:

thIWJAW7O8Antoinette Lilly: What are you going to do?

Bronco Billy McCoy: I do the thinking around here.

Antoinette Lilly: I hadn’t noticed.

Now the story:

 

Louie walked into Billy Bronco’s without a care in the world. “Drinks on me!” he said with a lilt equaled only by his gait and smile.

Nobody bothered to thank him or even acknowledge his presence.

“I guess you guys are still… well, you know,” Louie said, “the Kellen Moore selfie thing. I know it runs deep.”

One person at the bar slid Louie’s beer on the house away.

“You know you guys were right,” Louie said. “There’s things that shouldn’t be mentioned.”

The bar remained quiet.

“Kellen is up to over a half a mil this year,” Louie said. “Probably the most underpaid player in NFL.”

“Quit trying to wheedle your way back into our good graces,” a voice said from a distant part of the bar. Along with it came murmurings of affirmation.

“This is probably one of the best years in recent memory that we’ve had really good depth at quarterback,” Louie said. “Hedrick had a strong year last year. Hedrick to Miller may be the ticket this year. Finley will be nothing but stronger this year. He’s had a year in the system and has talent, great vision, and poise. That Stewart kid put up some decent numbers in junior college. I know it’s a long way from there to here, but he’s got something on the ball. He’s a stout kid; looks like he can take a licking and keep on ticking.”

“Yeah,” someone said, “whatever.”

“We got that Ogle kid from Florida coming our way,” Louie said. “We’re doing pretty good down there. The state has a lot of talent. That kid reminds me of Ben Rothlisberger.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Someone skeptically said.

“Then we got that Rypien kid coming in,” Louie said. “That’s a lot of talent and competition for one spot. That’s what makes good teams; the competition within the team for the same spot.”

The only thing heard was some clearing their throats, maybe even a cricket.

“What kind of kid do you think Harsin was in his quarterbacking days at Boise?” Louie said. “Anybody remember.”

“Nice try,” a voice said muffled by a glass being tipped to their mouth.

Louie took a gulp of his beer and sat it down half full. “Well I’m going to go. Haven’t heard much out of you guys lately and just thought I’d check in and see how things are. See ya later.”

As Louie rose from his stool he called out, “Go Broncos!” (Normally it brings a “Go Broncos!” in return by at least a half dozen.)

All was quiet, so quiet the sound of gulping beer was heard up and down the bar.

One person at the end of the bar said to Louie as he was about to leave, “Thanks for the beer, Louie. You okay?”

“Yeah,” Louie said. “I had a dream the other night.”

“What was it about?”

“Not in here,” Louie said. “Let’s step outside.”

(Continued tomorrow.)

 

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The Kellen Moore Selfie At Billy Bronco’s

Things have been so quiet down at Billy Bronco’s you can almost hear the blue turf grow.

Kevan was behind the bar doing what he could to keep interest alive, but Billy Bronco’s hasn’t been this quiet sense the Nevada loss or the Northwest Mortician’s Casket, Hearse, and Embalming Convention in 03.

Louie was at the bar and has been nursing the same Guinness for three days. It’s about as tasty as warm mug of spit. He was just itching to say something outrageous and set everybody on their ear.

“Okay,” Louie piped up, “whose gonna be the first Bronco to come out?”

“Man!” Blue said. “Everybody knows D-Law came out early. He had another year of eligibility.” Blue headed for the restroom. “Hold that thought. I’ll be right back.”

“No, no,” Louie said. “Like out of the closet.”

“Let’s have that discussion when it happens,” KC said.

“I got a better idea,” Sailor Sam said, “Let’s not even discuss it if it does come up.”

Nobody was in the mood to mix it up.

“I heard Boise State ordered rainbow Astroturf ,“ Louie said, “and it will be installed during the summer. Every ten yards will be a different color of the rainbow.”

“Will you stop with the coming-out stuff,” Sailor Sam said. “It ain’t got no traction here. We just don’t care.”

“Hey, it‘s what I heard,” Louie said.

“And where did you here that?” KC said.

Louie squirmed in his seat and sipped his warm Guinness.

“Well,” Blue said. “Answer the man.”

“I made it up,” Louie said. “I just wanted to start a dialogue.”

“Conversations start naturally,” Broadway said. “They don’t have to be forced. You can’t go making up crap and expect people to take you seriously. Before long nobody will believe anything you say. Haven’t you ever heard about the fable of the little boy who cried wolf.”

It got deathly quiet.

“You guys wanna here a story?” Louie said.

There was a collective “NO!”

Louie continued as if everyone was waiting with bated breath. “I was pumping gas at a Jackson’s. Guess who pulls into the handicapped spot in a big hurry?”

KC rolled his eyes. “Chris Petersen.”

“Close,” Louie said.

“Steve Georgiou,” Sailor Sam said. “Now, there, if I buy you a beer will you shut up?”

“Well I’m not telling,” Louie said.

Kevan sat a Guinness in front of Louie. “Now, tell us.”

Louie was about to latch hold of the Guinness shaking like a BSU field kicker down by two with 3 ticks remaining. Kevan pulled it away. “Tell us who you saw going into Jackson’s”

“It was Kellen Moore,” Louie said.

There was a collective groan and Kevan pulled the beer beyond Louie’s grasp. “I’m pouring this down the drain.”

“No!” Louie said. “I got it all on my phone.” He pulled out his cell phone, reached across the bar, and showed it to Kevan.”

“That’s a guy taking dump,” Kevan said and passes the phone around. “His hand is over his face. We can’t tell who it is.

Everyone agreed with Kevan.

“Look here’s the story,” Louie said. “I was pumping gas. Moore drives up like he’s chased by a blitzing safety. He gets out of the car and runs into Jackson’s. I count to five and go in after him. I held my phone under the commode door and snapped the picture.”

“That ain’t him,” Blue said.

“If it is him,” Sailor Sam said. “That’s voyeurism.”

“No it isn’t,” Louie said. “It’s photo journalism.”

“That’s paparazzi,” KC said.

Everyone ordered up and the discussion ensued.

Louie leaned over to Broadway. “Is that how you start a discussion? Sailor Sam said it starts natural.”

Broadway smiled. “Who is the picture really of?”

“It’s me,” Louie said.

“Why did you take a picture of yourself taking a dump at Jackson’s?” Broadway said.

“It wasn’t taken at Jackson’s,” Louie said. “It was taken here about 15 minutes ago. My wife called and accused me of hanging out with the lowlifes at Billy Bronco’s. I snapped a selfie and told her I was at Jackson’s and had sushi today and it didn’t settle well.”

“That’s disgusting,” Broadway said.

“What’s disgusting is things like this starts conversations and guys drink to it,” Louie said.

“Won’t your wife smell beer on your breath?” Broadway said.

“The natural carbonation settles the stomach,” Louie said.

“That’s not true,” Sailor Sam interrupted.

“Then come up with something better,” Louie said.

“I got it!” KC said. “My dog hangs his head out the window with his mouth open when I drive. He’s got good breath after that.”

Blue came back from the restroom. “How did we get from D-Law coming out to doggie breath in one pit stop? And by the way, who wrote Jackson’s above the commode?”

 

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The Daily Prompt and a Short Story: Family Baseball Legends

If I Had a Hammer

If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?

Actually over my lifetime I’ve done a little bit of all of them that are mentioned in the prompt. I never built a house but did enough remodeling to build a couple. I built an apartment from nothing but four walls; performing all the building skills. I had some help with drywall, though. I built a garage from bottom to top. When it comes down to it, carpentry would be the trade that I would have liked to have been really good at.  And I suppose many might feel the same way.

When I was a boy I wanted most to be a major league baseball player. Here is a story of what happens to nearly all dreams of little boys.

 

Family Baseball LegendsthRHMERKHM

Joey looked at an old tattered glove hanging on the wall of his Grandpa’s den.

“Grandpa, why don’t you throw that ball glove away?” Joey said. “It’ looks like it went through the war.”

“What! Throw that glove away,” Grandpa said. “That glove is a part of baseball history. They Baseball Hall of Fame has offered me big money for it. I’ll never give it up. In fact some day it may be yours.”

“I don’t want that ole thing,” Joey said. “You cant’ catch anything with it. It’s about to fall apart.”

“Come here and set down.” Grandpa said.

Joey sat on a chair next to Grandpa’s desk. Grandpa handed him the glove.

“That ole glove has been everywhere,” Grandpa said. “It was in the 1961 World Series. I made the winning catch with that glove.”

“I didn’t know you played baseball in the majors,” Joey said.

“Mantle was at bat,” Grandpa said. “Two down and two on; the score tied. Mantle hit shot to left center. Nobody thought it could be caught. They were already popping the corks on the Champagne in the Yankee dressing room when ole Grandpa ran the ball down, dove, and caught it.”

Joey examined the glove closely and saw everything in his imagination that his Grandpa just told him.

Grandpa smiled. “Mantle was number 7.”

“The next year I was moved to third,” Grandpa said. “They tried to make me get a new glove. There was no way. We were in a one game playoff in ’62; tied for first at the end of the season with the Giants. Mays is on second. Cepeda at the plate. Mays lead is almost a half-way to third. He’s gone with the pitch. I’m playing the line at third. Cepeda hits a liner right over the bag. It sinks and takes a hop and squirts down the foul line. I dive for the ball. If I don’t get it, it goes to the corner and Mays scores the winning run. I snag it. Get to my feet; there’s no time to get Cepeda at first, but Mays is rounding third and heading for home like a mad bull. He thinks the ball got by me. I throw a strike to home and Mays is tagged out.”

“Wow, Grandpa,” Joey said. “This glove has a lot of history. I can see why you want to hang on to it.”

Joey’s dad, Mike, walked in the room. “Careful with how you handle that glove, Joey. Grandpa gave that to me years ago.”

“Yeah,” Joey said. “He told me all about it.”

“Did he tell you about the diving catch of a line drive by Hank Aaron that kept the Braves out of the ’63 World Series?” Mike said.

“No,” Joey said.

“Well I bet he told you about the time he made a leaping catch off the bat of Ernie Banks in Wrigley Field in ’60,” Mike said.

“No,” I didn’t hear that one,” Joey said.

“Well,” Mike said and winked at Grandpa. “Grandpa gave me that glove and that’s the very glove I caught a line drive from George Brett that was going over the bag at second. I made stumbling catch, KC lost the game, and Brett‘s average dipped below .400.”

“That glove has too much history to be thrown away,” Joey said.

“I think it’s time we give it to you,” Mike said. “I think it still has a few good catches left in it.”

“This has got to be the greatest glove ever,” Joey said.

“Let me tell you one more thing about that glove,” Grandpa said. “My dad bought that glove for me. He didn’t want to buy it, because he said I’d never use it. He said I’d loose interest in baseball and go on to something else. I told him, ’Daddy, if you buy me that glove I promise I’ll be a big league player someday.”

Grandpa went to the window and looked into the backyard. “Look Joey, Cabrera is coming up to the plate. You got get out there. I’m putting you in the game.”

Joey grabbed the glove. “Cabrera has to be stopped and I‘m the man to do it.”

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Subliminal Messaging At Billy Bronco’s

Subliminal Messaging At Billy Bronco’sth[9]

Kevan, in order to keep the conversation rolling about the new Boise State coaches, made a roster of them on a chalk board that hung over the back bar. The chalk board usually consist of what is the kitchen that’s about to go bad. Instead the list of coaches were printed on the board. “Mike Sanford, Marcel Yates, Kent Riddle, Steve Caldwell Junior Adams, And Avolos, Julius Brown, Elijah Drinkwitz, Scott Huff, and oh yeah, Bryan Harsin.

Well, all was going fine. There were good and lively discussions, no disagreements, and the beer flowed, which made Kevan happy.

Kevan made a check mark beside the coach to be discussed for the night. He breezed right through the first five and then slipped all the way down to Scott Huff. This did not escape the notice of Dawg Breath.

Then one night it happened the most furious exchange at Billy Brono’s since “taste great, less filling.”

“Kev, man,” Dawg Breath said. “You can’t do that.”

“What?” Kev said.

“You can’t go out of order,” Dawg Breath said. “It’s list. Lists have to go in order.”

This guy named TommyT from nowhere, his face buried in the mug of beer. With his face still dripping of suds said, “Hey, if it ain’t numbered ya don’t have to go in order.”

Dawg Breath was in no mood to give in. “It’s still a list. You start at the top and work your way to the bottom, one name at a time. That’s the only way.”

It wasn’t this quiet since Broztman’s missed field goal at Nevada.

“Whoa,” Louie said. “Let’s say you go to a grocery and you make a list of what you need; milk, beer, eggs, chips, salad dressing, ham, beer, and laundry detergent. You don’t get the milk and go over and get the beer because it’s next. You pick up the eggs because it’s close. You don’t crisscross and zigzag all over the store to get things in the order you have them on the list. It’s what ever comes next. Doesn’t that make sense?”

At this point Kevan is happy for somebody defending him bypassing a couple of coaches on the list, but more importantly another round of beers had been ordered to further fuel the discussion.

Dawg Breath is not one to toss in the towel. He tossed down the bottom of his glass and motioned for Kevan to replenish. Then he retorted, “What good is a list if you don’t go in order.”

“The purpose is to get everything done,” Louie said, “Not necessarily in order.”

Dawg Breath completely ignored the counter argument. Something said earlier wrestled his attention. “Wait a minute some one said zigzag. Why are we talking about pot?”

“Because it’s legal in Colorado and Washington,” some guy named Blue said.

The next thing you know the whole place is into a discussion about marijuana legalization.

Kevan filled Dawg Breath’s tankard and along with everyone else whose a part of the discussion. Kevan smiles because he knows where now the discussion is going. It now has left football. He’s in for a long night of drawing beer and wrangling about natural selection and quantum physics – and more beer.

Kevan started to draw another one for Louie.

“No thanks,” Louie says.

“Shhh,” Kevan said. “It’s on the house.”

“Some other time,” Louie said.

“I noticed when you gave the example of the list you mentioned beer twice,” Kevan said.

“It’s called subliminal suggestion messaging and positive reinforcement,” Louie said.

“I think it’s working,” Kevan said. “Dawg Breath’s glass is empty already.”

 

 

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A Night At Billy Bronco’s

thH6YOQQNPBilly Bronco’s is a bar where all the faithful Boise State fans on the east side talk about their passion – Boise State football, wet their whistles, talk about their passion – Boise State football, fill their bellies, and talk about their passion – Boise State football.

February is the worst time of the year for college football fans; the previous season has been replayed hundreds if not thousands of times, there’s not much to speculate about on the upcoming season, and National Signing day occurs the first part of the month leaving nothing new for a beer to wash down.

One of the bartenders, Kevan, likes to toss a bone out there every now and then, if you know what I mean; something for the boys to chew on. The more they chew the more they drink. It’s called job security. Anyway, it’s mid February and beer sales are as low as cleats on natural turf. Kevan thinks it would be a good idea to start a conversation about each of the new coaches. This is perfect. Nobody really knows anything for sure about the new coaches so it’s a time to let the creative juices flow and nothing lubricates creativity like beer (so I’m told).

One night everyone is settled into there favorite hitching post and Kevan says, “What do you guys think of Caldwell?”

Butch (he’s a little thick) says, “I got ran out of their one night.”

“No,” Kevan said. “Steve Caldwell, the Broncos new defensive line coach,” (And it’s a good thing he said that, conversations have a way of going astray. One night he said what do you guys think of Harper and the first comment was about the writer Harper Lee. What ensued was a literary discussion comparing Harper Lee to Margaret Mitchell. Well whose going to drink beer over that? But they did.)

A guy named Reno says, “I think the first order of business is move Horn to stud.”

There’s some agreement noted by a simultaneous lifting of classes and the sound of them placed back on the bar with the same precision as a Marine honor guard.

There’s silence.

There’s this guy they call Jittery. (Here’s his story: Some accuse him of inviting the regulars over to his place to have a beer, but he says, “I can’t hold that much beer in my basement and besides my place don’t have near the ambiance.”) Anyway Jittery pipes up with, “I think the second order of business is to not listen to fans.”

Reno can’t let this go. So he fires back with, “Hey if you don’t like this place and the diversity of opinions go home.”

Jittery waits in silence. He seldom has supporters. Everyone is suspicious of his motives, not withstanding his comments are usually stupid.

Then from nowhere a guy known at Trav says, “Hey, that is diversity. Yeah, he gets under my skin, but maybe he makes sense this time, not really, but maybe, so don’t quote me.”

“Reno,” Clever Clyde says. “It was tongue in cheek, chill.”

“Hey, Reno,” Jittery says. “I was trying to be funny. I meant no offense. You offered an opinion, I offered one. You drink Bud Light, I drink Guinness.”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Reno says.

“It means if you drank Guinness it would cost me more to buy you a beer,” Jittery said. He looked over at Kevan. “Get Reno a beer on me.”

“Nah, nah, Jittery,” Reno said. “Let me buy you one. Kevan set one in front of Jittery.”

“I got the next round,” Trav says.

“Don’t forget me!” Clever Clyde says. “The next round’s on me.”

Kevan smiles. He’s drawing beers faster than a one handed diary farmer at milking time.

“Now this is fun,” Reno says. “I ain’t had this much fun since that discussion about Harper and Mitchell. Didn’t Mitchell go to California and set the bench until he got busted for possession?”

Kevan smiled. “Yeah, I guess you could say he was gone with the wind.”

(Posted as a Daily Prompt.)

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