Saturday, August 19, 2006

Strange Symptoms

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.


Ed Schlimmer said...

Pastor My wife can make the teams culottes if you like????????

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Ed for the offer, but, um, no thank you.

Kent Brandenburg said...

We are praying for you Schlimmers and good to hear from you.:) Keep being faithful to the Lord.:)

Cathy McNabb said...

Just say No to Crack should be taught at home ;P

Throwback 13 said...

* Basketball has not been a sport since Chick Hearn died.

Michael McNeilly said...

Why are you ripping on my team? I detect a tone that is unexceptable in this line of thought and reasoning. I am going to draw the attention of the administration for this and get you banned. Thread closed.

Jeff Voegtlin said...

No kidding!!

but I digress....

Anonymous said...

The illegitimate shorts are simply a continuation of the lifestyle we have allowed our children to adhere to in order to be socially acceptable. Most parents have a double standard for their children depending upon where and with whom they are around. I am occasionally required to attended juvenile court. I never cease to be amazed at the excuses the parents can give for their childrens behavior/attire. Ultimately we are responsible. Not having children makes it even more difficult for me to understand. My question is always the same, "Would you, Dad, go to your office with this type of attirw? Or, Mom to the Bible Study class?"
Again, it is the parents that show up in juvenile court with the children.....but I digress.....


Kent Brandenburg said...

Cathy, it took me a moment, but then my mouth cracked with laughter.

Throwback 13, you show some basketball knowledge.

Michael, Thanks for the good work with you do with over-privileged kids.

Jeff, it was all true and no names were changed to protect the innocent.

ILA, I too never cease to be amazed. I love amazement, but this is going too far.

Throwback 13 said...

* Pastor Brandenburg said, "Throwback 13, you show some basketball knowledge."
* If anybody really cares, I remember when Richard Neismith replaced peach baskets with hoops with nets. I expected they would change the name of the game to "Netball" or "Hoopsie-daisy." That was back when I attended third and fourth grade in Worchester Mass.
* In truth, Wife and I got to go to several L.A. Lakers games when Wilt and Elgin Baylor and Jerry West were playing their chanpionship years. I even got to park next to Jack Kent Cook's Rolls Royce. (They hadn't set aside any VIP parking spots for Yamaha 650 motorcycles.)
* Some of life's great secular lessons learned from Chick Hears (Lakers play-by-play announcer):
... No harm, no foul.
... The top tip for defensive play: Fake 'em into the popcorn machine.
... The basketball court really looked small and insignificant from the back row of the Forum.
* Lakers owner, Jack Kent Cook, sold the Lakers and bought the Washington Redskins football team. He was rumored to be real, born again, Christian. He made a real pile of money, but one day he just up and left it all behind. (He died, don't you know.)
* Talking through my hat,
* ... Joel