My son had a game this morning in his summer basketball league. It was the first game of the morning and we were there fifteen minutes early. Neither coach showed up on time, and my son's coach didn't show up at all. And that isn't even what this blog is about. The not-showing-up isn't strange, sadly; I wish it was. That's the reason this blog isn't about that, because as you have noticed, this must be strange, at least in my opinion. This is neither here nor there, but we tweaked my son's free throw, changed it a little during basketball day camp last week, and it paid dividends today. His team did win, but, alas, I digress. During this game, the official warned one particular player to "pull his shorts up."
Now, before I talk about this event, I should define "shorts." "Shorts" aren't really that short any more. I am not advocating the circa 1970-85 length of basketball trunks. Those seem grotesque in a completely different way. Shorts have been long since the U of Michigan fab five and then Michael Jordan took on that style. (I thought shorts were supposed to be, well, short.)They were long and loose. They are even longer and more loose today, more culotte like. Yes, culottes. And I mean the standard American understanding of culotte, not the one in Quebec and the Maritime provinces, where the culotte is something entirely different. Culottes have been an exclusively female garment, but again, I digress. Shorts are are an article of clothing worn on the legs and hips that are shorter than pants.
When I played basketball, and we surrounded the center circle for the opening tip, we were making sure our pants were pulled up. I've recently noticed that many modern players, especially the younger ones, are concerned with their pants being pulled down. That would distract me, but I digress. During the game, the referee made the above mentioned warning to a player who, upon entering the basketball court, tugged his already very low-riding shorts, a little lower. These culotte-like shorts were almost hanging to mid-calf. In my opinion, he was drawing some unfavorable attention his way from many of the spectators with his fastidious lowering of the waistband. My thoughts were, among others: "If he would only put as much effort into his actual basketball play." He was on the other team, so this distraction did not hurt our cause, but I digress. He did brick quite a few free-throws perhaps bothered by some subconscious thought of a sudden gravitational shift.
Mr. Low Rider did not just get warned once. After the first public warning, he disregarded the referees instruction. The second warning was a private conversation with his coach, who then instructed some upward lifting of the waistband. The player did pull his shorts up around one inch. I'm not kidding, and then as he ran down the court, perhaps bothered that they were still five inches below normal, he pulled them back to their original low position. I laughed in a sort-of incredulous fashion.
Yes, all of this is a strange symptom of the culture in which we live. My father, sitting next to me, asked me what this style was all about. I attempted to provide history. At juvenile hall, the one-size-fits-all could be sued for false advertising, so the baggy jump pants sag around the waist. A trip to juvi-hall is a badge of honor making the clothing worn there fashionable. Things have devolved from that point, including the boxer short accessory. I can't keep talking about this, but hopefully this blog will help lead to the demise of this particular fad by way of ridicule, even if it won't heal the heart that wears it, but I digress.