Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shouldering The Burden of Boredom

For the past few years, I’ve been told by various people throughout the Ohio State basketball program that I “don’t do anything”, and by various people I obviously mean Evan “The Villain” Turner. This idea stems from the fact that I’m not called upon to stay after practice and shoot extra shots, I don’t have to do all the drills the scholarship guys are required to do, and I’m really not expected to contribute in any way. I see where The Villain is coming from, but still, I like to think that putting up 19 points in a 90 minute practice last year counts as me doing something, not to mention the various other instances over the past few years in which I’ve been virtually unguardable. On many occasions I’ve been money for entire practices, to the point that coaches have drawn up plays for me during scrimmages. If Vinnie Johnson was “The Microwave” because he could score a lot of points quickly, then I’m “The Slow Bake Oven” because once I get hot, I stay hot for an extended period of time (plus I’m slow, which makes that nickname even better).

Now that I’ve torn the labia in my left shoulder and will miss the remainder of this season/my career, though, The Villain’s opinion of my productivity is actually pretty accurate. I’m more of a mooch now then I’ve ever been. I show up to practices ten minutes before they start, do my rehab real quick, and then walk around and bother people who actually have jobs to do during practice. If I choose to watch practice, I almost always end up absurdly reacting to every crossover or no-look pass like I’m a loser at an And1 Mixtape Tour game who covers his mouth with one hand and fist pumps with the other, all while yelling, “Oh no he dih-unt!” in reaction to all the moves that are clearly illegal in an actual game. It gets pretty boring otherwise.

To make my boredom worse, I’m not allowed to exercise unless I ride a stationary bike or use the elliptical machine (I guess running on a treadmill would create to0 much stress on my shoulder). The bike doesn’t cut it for me because I don’t see the point in riding a stationary bike if I can’t hoist shots as I’m riding. As for the elliptical, I don’t like to use it all that often because it is kind of like the Target of exercise machines. Target is labeled as a chick store, but if a guy wants to buy an XBOX game from there, it’s not all that big of a deal. When he starts telling his friends that he’s going to “swing by Target to see what kind of deals they have on curtains and drapes”, though, a serious problem exists. In the same way, the elliptical is a chick machine that guys can use every now and then to change up their cardio workouts. But when a guy starts using the elliptical on a daily basis because it “tightens my buns and thighs”, it’s time for him to get help. I’ve already done far too many workouts on the elliptical and I really don’t want to become one of those elliptical guys, so I’m trying my damndest to stay away from the thing. Even though my buns and thighs do feel noticeably tighter.

With all this sitting around and waiting on my surgery day to get here, it almost feels like I’m on death row and I’m just waiting to be executed (not that I’d know what that feels like, of course). The only real difference between death row inmates and me is that they are held prisoner by steel bars and some guy named Horace with a handgun on his hip and an outrageous number of keys on his keychain, while I’m held prisoner by my own body. I guess another difference between us is that I’m not a pedophile/rapist/murderer, even though I choose to look like one most of the time. The only crimes I’m guilty of are murdering the confidence of my teammates and raping their zone defense everyday in practice with my silky smooth jumpshot. But I don’t think I can even be prosecuted for that in the state of Ohio.

Mentally, it’s been a very challenging past few weeks for me because I truly “do nothing” just about every day. I can’t exercise because I would either injure my shoulder more or look like a chick (hard to say which is worse). Even if I could exercise, I don’t have any motivation to, because it’s not like I need to stay in shape for basketball. After I get my surgery and fully recover, my career will be over, meaning there’s no need for me to stay in basketball shape (I’m already in much better shape than 99% of the players in the church league I’m going to dominate in a couple years, so I can take it easy for a little bit). I have already felt like a lame duck for most of this season, but the past few weeks have left me feeling lamer than ever.

The fundamental aspects of being a walk-on that have made this blog as fun as it’s been have been stripped away from me. I can’t make it rain in warmups anymore, or even slap boards for that matter. I can’t outshoot The Villain in practice and then rub it in his face that even though he’s going to be the National Player of the Year (By the way, there’s no reason he shouldn’t win this year. I’ll legitimately be upset if someone else wins. This is coming from his sworn enemy. That should tell you how good he’s been), he’s not as good of a shooter as a walk-on who plays basketball solely because he hit puberty before his peers. I can’t blare country music in the weight room because I don’t lift anymore. Sure I still get all the perks of playing college basketball, like a front row seat to all the games, admiration from people on campus, and a free Cadillac from a rich booster (just kidding, compliance!), but it’s hard to enjoy them when I can’t even make it rain anymore. I never thought I’d see the day when I would complain about how much it sucks to not do anything, but then again I also thought I’d never see the day when Britney Spears would shave her head and vandalize a car with an umbrella. I guess I’ll just try my hardest to enjoy the free clothing, meals, and travel that comes with playing high level college basketball, even though I do nothing to deserve them. Life isn’t always fair and I’m learning that the hard way.

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I was originally planning on bringing back The Cage with this post, but I’ve decided to push it back to the next post. For those who don’t know, The Cage is my version of a mailbag, where I post e-mails from the Trillion Man March and provide some juvenile commentary about each one. If you’ve got something to ask me, send an e-mail to ClubTrillion@gmail.com. If it doesn’t suck, I just might publish it.

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Don’t forget that Club Trillion Shirt Day is less than a month away! On March 2nd of this year, members of the Trillion Man March are being called upon to wear their Club Tril shirts as a way to celebrate all the fun we’ve had together in the past 15 months (or however long you’ve been reading the blog). If you still don’t have a shirt, click here and get one before people start questioning how big of a loser you really are. All the proceeds from your shirt purchase will be donated to A Kid Again, a local charity aimed at enhancing the quality of life for children with life-threatening illnesses.

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We played one game against Iowa since you last heard from me, but tragically I received no one armed embraces from their team.

One Armed Embraces: 18 to date (0 last game) ___________________________________________________

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




Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder