Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Best Impossible Sports Stories (1)

It's a MiniBest!

February is known for three things:

1. Groundhogs.
2. Getting in the way of March's arrival, and
3. Me wondering what to get Sweetie for Valentine's Day.

Oh, and the end of football -- with the Super Bowl being played (starting at roughly midnight on Super Bowl Sunday, and ending the following Thursday), pro football comes to an end and leaves people like me staring bleakly at the cold, gray expanse of February, and thinking things like What are they going to talk about on sports radio, now? and I wonder if there are sections of the paper other than the sports page? and Who's the President these days, anyway? and Has it been Valentine's Day already, because I'm a little behind?

I like sports, is my point, here, and I especially like them because they help distract me from the fact that I live in the Arctic Circle (a/k/a Wisconsin) and that I have another three months of cold, wet feet and black snow.

Yes, it is black:

Anyway, to help ease me down from the highs of the NFL playoffs to the lows of whatever it is that passes for entertainment outside of football, I'm going to list, as the MiniBests for February, The Best Impossible Sports Stories.

These are stories that you'd have bet were impossible -- but they happened, and we all know that the impossible can happen -- and once it does happen, it's not impossible anymore.

Or, to put it as Dirk Gently said it: "I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible." And: "The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks."

So here's the Number One Best Impossible Sports Story:

Mutual Fund Executive Beats Michael Jordan In Game Of One-On-One.

Michael Jordan is the Greatest Basketball Player Ever. He has, what, six championships? He has more records and accolades than Dane Cook has synonyms for sex. He reinvented what it means to be great at things. Before Michael Jordan, we thought greatness was, you know, great. After Michael Jordan, greatness alone wasn't good enough anymore. We needed to invent a word that meant Greater than Greatness, and we didn't invent that word: We just, instead, said Michael Jordan.

In short, Michael Jordan is this:

If you look closely, you'll see the lady-reporter
in the blue dress is
not paying attention to the action.
Whose idea was it to let women report on sports?

Mutual fund executives, on the other hand, sit in small offices reading the fine print in the financial sections, the sections of the paper the rest of us skip desperately past so we can find out if Carolyn answered our letter because we really want to know if it was a good idea to sleep with him/her after only two dates (answer: Yes, but said in a too-hip kind of way). Mutual fund executives know what things like dividends are, and they know that because they spend all that time reading and investing and wearing suits bought at K-Mart.

Mutual fund executives, in short, are this:

Note the lack of Air-Ness.

But, mutual fund executives have one thing you and I don't -- lots and lots of money. (We might have money, too, if we knew what dividends were. But we can't be bothered with that, at least not until Carolyn answers our letter. Dang it, we sent it by email and everything! What's the delay?)

Enough money, as it turns out, to go to Michael Jordan's Fantasy Basketball Camp, or, as it should properly be called, "Michael Jordan's Fantasy Basketball Camp For Rich Guys Who Need Help Understanding What a Fantasy Really Is."

The problem with rich guys is that their fantasies are always something lame, like Basketball Camp, or Baseball Camp, or, in Bill Gates' case, buying the US government to get it to stop suing him. Apparently, becoming rich requires that one completely ditch their imagination, so that by the time you've got the money to do whatever it is you want, you can't remember what it was you wanted all that money for, and you go to basketball camp.

I've taken care of that, by the way: I've written down my fantasy, so that when I become rich/imaginationless, I can go to the vault where I've got my fantasy hidden, look it up, and become the first rich guy to truly live out a great fantasy. No basketball camp for me! (Mostly because I not only don't know what a dividend is, but I also don't know what a layup is.)

Here's my fantasy, which I will probably have to create a camp specifically to host, but it'll be worth it:

Wearing a jetpack, and leading an army of scantily-clad female soldiers armed with laser bow-and-arrows (It could be a thing!), I fly bravely into battle against an army of 3-headed dragons who are all fluent in French and who have used their charm to start their own TV show which is popular among 18-to-35 year olds, a TV show that is secretly being used to distract the masses while the dragons, when not filming the TV show, dig a giant hole in the Atlantic ocean in order to force the water to drain down to the earth's core, where it will be turned into steam and jet back out, resulting in the entire world being kind of like the inside of the bathroom after a hot shower, where it all feels wet.

... And also, I can eat pizza three times a day.

Whew! Where was I?

Oh, yeah: Mutual fund executives have the money to do that, but they don't. Instead, they go to Michael Jordan's Fantasy Camp, the highlight of which is that after a couple days paying Michael Jordan to show you how to play basketball -- or, more accurately, how you would play basketball if you're Michael Jordan, which you're not -- the highlight is that you get to play a game of one-on-one against His Airness.

Which is where John Rogers ended up: Having paid tons of money to go learn just how far away he was from being a pro basketball player, John Rogers, mutual fund executive and short guy, got his chance to play one-on-one against Michael. Let's see how it went (but you already know, since you read the headline for this Impossible Story:

You know what's the MOST amazing thing about that? That guy OWNED Jordan: He was up 2-0, and Jordan only tied it up by standing there sinking threes -- a tactic I use when I play one-on-one against The Boy, because I know I can't outdribble and outmaneuver The Boy. John Rogers didn't just luck out against Jordan: He beat him, handily, and the memory of doing so was probably worth every penny he paid to go that camp...

...until he got back home and remembered about the dragons and scantily clad warriors and all, and wished he'd written his fantasy down, like I did.

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