Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Harlem & Me

I remember when I was ten-years-old and I played basketball with my brother in our driveway whenever I could find time between flirting with girls on AOL and being very sexually confused thanks to a curvy Lorrie Morgan kinda looking like Macaulay Culkin in her “Something In Red” video.

MacLorrie Culkin

“Get down on your knees and tell me ya love me.”

After I would give my brother a steady dose of buckets and rainmaking with a few games of one-on-one, we would seemingly always decide to team up and act like we were the Harlem Globetrotters playing against a ghost defense.  This pretty much just consisted of us throwing behind the back passes to each other, but for those 30 minutes, we thought we were the best athletes in the world. Why did we do this?  Because we were suburban white kids, which meant that playing for the Globetrotters was an unattainable fantasy.  I was so convinced that there was a rule banning white players from joining the Globetrotters that I specifically remember thinking that “Harlem” wasn’t a neighborhood in Manhattan, but was instead a word used interchangeably with “African-American”.  At the time, I still thought I had a chance to play in the NBA, so when it came time for me to play out a basketball dream sequence in my driveway, I always chose the Globetrotter routine because it was the one thing I knew that I would never do.  Until now.

I’m sure most of you have probably heard, but I was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters about a month ago, which immediately prompted a couple of questions from just about anyone who heard the news:

  1. The Globetrotters have a draft?
  2. The Globetrotters have white people?

Apparently the answer to both of those questions is yes, although they both seem to be a rarity, as I was told that this is just the fourth draft they’ve had and I would be only the third white guy in their 84 year history.  As exciting as the news of being drafted was, the story behind how I found out couldn’t be more boring.  Unless, maybe, Ben Stein read it to you or something.

I found out about being drafted when I checked my voicemail after I got done rehabbing my shoulder one day.  A guy claiming to be with the Globetrotters informed me that I had been selected for their draft and he left a number for me to call. I naturally thought it was a prank, but I called back anyway and realized rather quickly that it wasn’t a prank at all.  He asked me for my address so he could send me a jersey (and a headband), and then told me that the next step is for me to come to training camp in New York in late September. That really is all I know.  I haven’t heard anything since and I have no idea of specific dates this training camp is supposed to take place, but when I find out more details I’ll be sure to let the Trillion Man March know.  I told you it was boring.

Even though I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to do next, I’m taking this opportunity very seriously, which is why I’ve begun continued mastering the half-court shot (hit four in a row the other day) and I carry a bucket of confetti with me at all times.  I already know that from the onset I’ll be faced with tons of pressure to turn the team around from their dismal 99% winning percentage, but as the franchise player it’s a challenge I’m ready for.  My theory is that their terrible winning percentage is a reflection of their entertainment-first attitude that features a little too much goofing off.  That’s why on the first day of training camp, I plan on getting into the triple threat position right before I punch one of my teammates square in the mouth.  Doing this will have a two-pronged effect. First, it will stress the importance of fundamentals to my teammates. But most importantly, it will also send the message that even though I may look like a marshmallow in a bag of charcoal, I’m not there to screw around. ___________________________________________________

Your awesome YouTube was sent in to my by Thomas from Bethesda. There’s your shout-out, Thomas. And here’s your video.

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

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder