Saturday, April 25, 2009

Great moments in Bone sports history

I believe it was William Shakespeare who wrote: "Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." (Actually, I thought it was Kennedy. But evidently not, according to Google.) But I am here to tell you that deep down, most men measure their own greatness by athletic achievement.

Why else would aging athletes keep hanging on or coming out of retirement for one more year? What else could drive men to bowl in a league every Wednesday morning until they're 80? And why else would Huey Lewis & The News have released an album entitled Sports, when none of the songs on the album have anything to do with sports? (Seriously, I really would like to know this. Wikipedia doesn't say.)

With all that in mind, today I will attempt to countdown the top four moments of Bone's athletic career. I was gonna do a top five or ten, but I didn't want the post to be too long. Plus, I could only really think of four. So come along on a magical journey through some of the greatest sports moments you've never heard of. I have a feeling this post will help explain so much.

4. Scoring 26 points in a basketball game - It was my senior year of high school. And what a way to go out. A career-high 26 points. I was en fuego! OK, so it was a church league basketball game. Actually, a preseason church league game. But still, everyone was trying their best! Also I should get bonus points since I did it in those frighteningly short Larry Bird shorts, which were still somewhat prominent in 1991.

3. The race - As some of you know, I am a bit of a runner. How one determines what classifies "a bit" of a runner, I do not know. But nevertheless. How successful has my running career been? Suffice it to say that I've gotten my name in the paper a few times.... along with everybody else who finished the race.

But it all started in middle school. It was the Presidential Fitness Run. The distance was one mile, which was four laps around the orange cones that Mister Stanley, the PE teacher, had set up on the playground. I was running a solid third the entire race--not showing off, not lagging behind--and was pretty much resigned to finishing there. But as I approached the start/finish line to complete my third lap, I saw the two guys ahead of me inexplicably slow to a walk and then a complete stop.

As I zoomed by, I glanced back at them, wondering if they were tired or if maybe I had miscounted the laps. I could see Mister Stanley say something to them, then they started to run after me. I hadn't miscounted, they had! Buoyed by my unbelievable luck, I could not be caught. I won! And from that day on, a myth began to grow about my speed. OK, not really, but it's a great line.

2. The big mud volleyball tournament - In olden times, my friend Ben would attend church from roughly March through July so that he would be eligible to play on the church softball team. Well, one of those months in one of those years, some people from his church decided to get up a team and enter a local mud volleyball tournament. Needing one more player, he gave me a call and as fate would have it, not only was I home, but I didn't have any plans.

The other teams were about equally made up of guys and girls. But our team was composed of five guys--none of whom had ever played organized volleyball--and one girl, who happened to be the volleyball coach at the local high school. It was kinda like a bad volleyball reality show, but with the attractive scantily clad female aspect of Dog Eat Dog.

We came. We played. We got mud on our face and on our clothes. In our hair and in between our toes. And our team finished second. That was out of four. But finishing second alone would not have made this one of the four greatest moments in Bone sports history. Oh who am I kidding, sure it would have. But what elevates it all the way to number two status is what happened next.

A girl on the team we lost to in the finals was standing there talking smack about their victory. So I crossed under the net and proceeded to tackle her gently in the mud. Then some of the girls led us into the woods to a creek where we all hopped in. I had never played mud volleyball before, and never did again, but to this day that still might be the most fun I have ever had.

1. Bone on ice It was my very first time ice skating. I was in high school. What, I was a late bloomer, OK? Anyway, I wasn't doing so well. The first trip around the rink, I must have fallen at least twenty times. Every time I'd let go of the rail, down I went. About a quarter of the way through my second lap, I had just fallen again. Before I could get up, I heard this angelic voice ask, "Need some help?"

I looked up and saw two girls standing there smiling at me. Or giggling at me, whichever. They helped me up and with one girl taking each arm, proceeded to skate me around for the rest of the night.

Can there be any doubt that was the greatest moment of my athletic career?

I would like to be able to tell you that I got their numbers. But it was not to be, for I did not ask. (This was pre-What Would Brian Boitano Do, so I was lost.) That's what makes this such an inspirational, yet tragic tale. It's kinda like in The Natural when Robert Redford hits the homerun, then dies at home plate. Or am I remembering that wrong?

This concludes our countdown of the greatest moments in Bone sports history. I hope these memories have helped to entertain and inspire each of you. Until next time, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Unless you're like in a planetarium. That would just look stupid.

"Glory days, well they'll pass you by. Glory days, in the wink of a young girl's eye..."


  1. It does explain much. especially the two girls anecdote, or maybe the mud vollegyball one

    Another laugh out loud Bone post

  2. I didn't really feel inspired but I was entertained...but then again, that could be only because I don't have ESPN and can't watch the Lions waste 41.7 million dollars on a 22 year old Southern boy (albeit quite a yummy one). *sigh*

  3. I think your post is inspirational to young middle school boys everywhere. ;)

  4. "In olden times..."

    I've got to remember to use that the next time I'm telling my daughter a story about when I was a kid.

  5. But it is unlikely to be a sports story, because I can only think of 2 right now. I'm working on getting up to at least four though.

  6. Pia - Thanks. I figured it would explain a lot, though I'm not exactly sure what.

    Murf - Maybe if video cameras had been more popular then and YouTube had filmed one of my exploits, you would have been more inspired.

    Yeah, I hope Stafford works out for you. Those first round QB's are a crap shoot sometimes. Not that I've ever played craps.

    Renee - LOL OK, that may be one of your funniest comments ever. And also a little scary.

    Susan - Yeah, it took me awhile to come up with four. Of course, then I remembered other things. Like time I hit my only homerun in softball but it didn't count because our team had already reached it's homerun limit for that game.

  7. Bone I loved the skating moment. When I was a kid in Yankee land girls would travel in packs to the roller rinks (we had outdoor ponds for ice skating) to meet boys. We would look for a boy that could not skate so we could "help" him. If that didn't work we pretended we couldn't skate so a boy would "help" us.

  8. No golf or tennis stories? I'm surprised.

  9. Loath as I am to write LOL... LOL!

    I have two such great moments in my sporting career:
    1. I managed to get the girl who I didn't like out in dodge-ball (I think this was the only time I managed to get anyone out in dodge-ball).
    2. I broke my arm in a hurdles lesson which got me out of PE for the next 6 weeks!


  10. " if video cameras had been more popular then and YouTube had filmed one of my exploits..." I would have paid to see that! lol

    Ty for your comment yesterday. Its interesting that when I wrote that post about her I thought of a post of yours from 'the olden times' when you discussed remembering your Mom being 35 and riding her bike... and how you could really see her aging now... Not sure why, but that post stuck with me.

    I suppose I will be that way with my family too at some point, but I really hope that its not to the extent of my Mom. She had little life of her own (that she coveted at least). I want to have a big fat full life to the end... whenever that may be!

    Oh wait, right, this was a sports post... Go Flyers!

  11. All of my great sports moments involve Madden NFL!

  12. So I crossed under the net and proceeded to tackle her gently in the mud. Then some of the girls led us into the woods to a creek where we all hopped in.I was afraid we were gonna have to start making you give ratings for your posts when you got to that line! Here I always thought this was a family-friendly blog ;-)

    I have been trying to think of my greatest sports achievement, and I've decided that it's really just that I haven't died. Blunders, now I've got a lot of those, with tripping, falling and sliding before I got to first base being the number one thing that comes to mind. (No, I won't be blogging that story so don't ask.)

    Murf: A 22-year-old yummy Southern boy? Any chance you'll please post pics on your blog? I've been a little busy lately and missed all of this coverage completely!

  13. TC - You cougar you. :-) Gladly!

  14. Bone - As with most things Lions related, it probably won't. He'll get traded and then win a Super Bowl with that team.

  15. Indeed, it's from Twelfth Night and it involves love, so it isn't really what it seems - the quote that is.

    I can picture all but the skating. The little bit of a runner is something I can identify with - I wonder if you are more of a little bit of a runner than I?

  16. Who cares if it was a church league?! From one former basketball player to another, 26 points is impressive no matter what league you're in!

    I think I only went ice skating one time, and that was enough for me. The occasion was a girl's birthday party in seventh grade, and I hadn't really cared too much for the girl. I found out quickly why the party had to be at an ice skating rink: The girl had been taking professional lessons and wished to show off. I hung by the rail the entire time, cussing her out underneath my breath, swearing, "I will not fall down for your amusement! I already brought a damn present!"

    Ok, so maybe it wasn't completely out loud and all in my head, but I definitely sent that vibe out to her. Is it wrong that I still remember her name and the mad skill pirouettes she did in the center of the ice? No, I'm not bitter...

    Like my brother says, Bone, "If you don't think you're number one, no one does." This post is all about that and then some! ;)

  17. PennyCandy - LOL I love that you put "help" in quotes.

    Xinh - Well, I've blogged a couple of the golf stories previous--my first birdie, for one. And my tennis success is somewhat unquantifiable.

    J. Adamthwaite - Well, I'll definitely take that as a compliment then :)

    Ooo, I forgot about PE! I once got hit in the head with a flying deodorant can in the locker room.

    ArtistFormerlyKnownAs - I re-read this post twice to see where I said that, then I realized I'd said it in the comments.

    I have no doubt that you will. Sometimes just reading about your life and how busy you are makes me tired :)

    Mama Zen - That was a great game! I tended to have my most success at Tecmo Super Bown and Mike Tyson's Punch Out.

    TC - Nah. You should know by now that I'm a good Southern boy O:)

    Sliding into first isn't so bad... unless you didn't mean to slide.

    Um, should I put a chat box on the sidebar for you and Murf?

    Murf - Well.... ummmm... I hear good things about their stadium.

    Cooper - You're probably more than me. I ran three times last week for a grand total of about ten miles. I ran two races last year--a 10K and a 5 mile. I'm shooting for three this year.

    Marina - Oh man, I never could stand those kids who could spin and skate backwards and stuff. We used to skate really close to them to try and make them fall. I mean, some people did.

    Thanks! You're right! I am proud of my 26 points. I must be to remember the number for 18 years.

  18. Church Mud Volleyball, only in Alabama! Don't feel so bad, I was a senior in high school before I got to ice skate--but we did grow up below the frost line! I was on a debating tournment in either Charlotte or Greensboro, which had an ice rink.

  19. I love this post! ESPN Ocho (name the movie that phras came from) should do a story on you. HA!

    I might steal this someday.

  20. ohmyword. this is probably why you love Alabama. such athletic prowess has no choice but to follow and love other sports powerhouses. so much just explained.


  21. A chatbox on the sidebar would be great, thanks :)

    (Seems like you've threatened - err, volunteered - to do that a time or two in the past and haven't done it... no?)

    Sage: I have never been ice skating in my life... and I grew up north of "the line."

  22. Champions are made to impress the girls!
    way to go Champ!
    Very entertaining.

  23. TC- No ice skating? Really? When you move to OKC I'll take you ice skating. During Christmas we have a place where you can go ice skating outdoors. Sometimes it melts, but only sometimes. :)

  24. OK Chick: Really. Sad, isn't it?

    Have we found a job for me in OKC? I'm ready for a big move.

  25. TC- I'm working on it. My office is hiring a new receptionist???

  26. Sage - Now you have me wondering what other things might fall in the "only in Alabama" category.

    OK Chick - I have no idea what movie that came from. It's definitely not "You've Got Mail." :)

    Cami - Good point. I demand excellence from myself in the sporting arena. How can I accept anything less from my favorite teams?

    TC - A chatbox, baseball scores... anything else I could do to make things more user-friendly for you?

    Also, find a pond.

    Daily Panic - Thank you. When I think of how far each of these events got me with the girls, I am befuddled.

    OKC & TC - OK, now I just feel like I'm interrupting.

    And still, no answer to the Huey Lewis question.

  27. anything else I could do to make things more user-friendly for you?Now that you mention it... 'nah, that's just being greedy. The scores and a chatbox will be plenty, thanks!

    OK Chick: I can answer phones!

    Bone: Never feel like you're interrupting. Feel like you're giving us a wonderful space in which to talk amongst ourselves freely :)