Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fan Appreciation Week Story (5th Place)

I realized yesterday that I failed to convey how I went about judging these stories. Some of you disagree with my rankings after only two stories, so I think I should explain how I ranked them so you have a little better of an idea. The first criteria I used was simply how well-written the story was. I’m not my 5th grade English teacher who gave kids a Stone Cold Stunner for every misuse of a comma, but I was looking for some sort of natural flow to the story. Secondly, I looked at the content of the story itself. Rather than publish seven stories about sitting the bench in high school basketball, I rewarded the people who had unique stories to share. Finally, and most importantly, I judged the stories based on how hard and how frequently I laughed while reading them.

In reality, the rankings certainly are arbitrary but are also entirely irrelevant. The winner of the contest, and thus the winner of a free t-shirt, was completely obvious to me which means those who were ranked 2-7 really don’t matter all that much since they are all getting the same consolation prize of being published. Whatever the case, the following is what I perceived to be the fifth best benchwarming story that was submitted for Fan Appreciation Week. If you don’t like it, don’t worry because there’s a better one coming tomorrow. If you do like it, be excited that there’s an even better one coming tomorrow. Either way, here’s a look into Seth Tommeraasen's life as a benchwarmer.


I've always loved playing sports, just never been any good at them. This fact is compounded once the sports are taken out of my, or friends', front yards or driveways and placed in an organized setting. It's a bit of a reality check to find that attempting sky hooks from anywhere on the court is frowned upon when on a school team. I mean, if Kareem could do it, why can't I?

I could go on about how humiliated I was at every single practice over the span of four years, but that'd just be depressing. Let's just surmise it with the fact that over four seasons, I amassed a career total of four points (one basket in sixth grade and one in seventh). I even had a breakaway layup once that I missed horrendously. Not a boost to a kid's self-esteem.

At one particular practice in junior high, our coach went so far as to yell at me and my friends (who were better than I at basketball, but that's not saying much), saying "I don't even WANT you guys on my team!" Seriously, if you're yelling that at 12 year olds on a team you coach, there's a good chance you might be taking junior high basketball a bit too seriously. For all I know she was actually Pete Rose and had money on the game.

My inefficiency on the hardwood resulted in my spending most games on the hard wood of the bench. Even at that early level, our coaches still wouldn't play several players if it was a close game. So that's where a 12 year old Seth and a 21 year old Mark share some similarity.

Since we never got to play and even when we did we knew we'd never be given an opportunity to score, my friend Curtis and I decided that fouls were more fun than points anyhow, so any game we both got into, we would try to out-foul each other before our coach inevitably took us out and yelled at us. Hey, we had fun though. I even got to hit some other kids in the face. I think I kicked someone in the stomach once trying to mimic a Dennis Rodman-style rebound. There wasn't a foul, though, as he was on my team.

So as far as luck with the ladies goes, I didn't have the athletic skills to lure them in. Factor in that I was the skinny tall awkward kid with huge wire-framed glasses and an enormous head (it's about a size 7 7/8 or an 8) and a former rocker of the mullet, I really had nothing going for me with the 8th grade honeys in our school.

Sidenote on mullets. Growing up in Baltic, SD (you're not the only one who has witnessed a party where the country music is being provided by a pickup with massive CB antennas. Note I said witness, I was never invited to the hicks' parties), we didn't know what a mullet was. We knew them as safety cuts. I have no idea where this expression came from nor how it relates to the mullet, but to me, they're safety cuts. Mine was a tri-fecta of safety. Not only did my luscious locks naturally curl upon my shoulders, but I topped this off with gel-spiked hair on top AND the ol' cat scratches/bolts/stripes/whatever you want to call them shaved into the side of my massive cranium. If you'd like, I can scan a family pic to send your way.

But anyways, I digress. We were talking about my poor basketball skills (despite my love for the game) and my lesser luck with the ladies. It should be noted also that my senior class was only 30 total students (including myself), many of whom I had gone to kindergarten with. So all the ladies at the school I had known for pushing 10 years by the time we hit high school, therefore it wasn't like they were going to suddenly forget what a horrendous dork I had been my whole life even after I finally got contacts in place of glasses, a decent haircut, and maybe some handsome looks. Sitting at home playing Dragon Warrior on the NES probably didn't help either. But someone had to save the Princess Gwaelin and defeat the Dragonlord after all.

So I did what any logical guy would do. I gave up on athletics and joined the Future Homemakers of America (FHA), which is now known as Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, or something to that effect. I went so far as to become our chapter's president my junior year. To this day I remain the only male president of the organization at my school (this is purely assumption that no guy has ran for the office since I graduated). The results of this were twofold: 1) all the hicks at my school that always assumed I was gay seemed to think this verified it (please note that all the accusing hicks were members of the Future Farmers of America, which is/was comprised of mostly males and actually have an event where they judge horses' butts); and 2) I became a hit with tons of ladies that didn't attend my school. Seriously, joining FHA was amazing for my self-esteem in regards to my sexual appeal to members of the opposite sex. At a typical statewide meeting, there would be about 2000 female students to about 100 males students. A 20:1 ratio of ladies to guys is a world that I can live with.

So there you have it, I have always sucked at athletics despite my love of them, so instead I became a Future Homemaker of America and became a hit with all the out of town ladies. Though most of the girls from my high school did the typical small town thing and put on weight, cranked out the babies and never left town, so I'm not too distraught that we never hooked up. Except for Michelle. We would have been a great couple.


Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by James M. There’s your shout-out, James. And here’s your video.

Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder