(This story kind of lays the groundwork for a larger story…)
There is nothing worse when someone insults your intelligence and you just have to sit there and take it because there is nothing you can do about it. My junior year of high school I moved back from California to New York so I could graduate with all my friends that I grew up with. That winter I decided to try out for the Varsity Basketball team. Now I never really play organized basketball except for one year in eighth grade, growing up I played ice hockey but as I grew older the sport became way too expensive to play. While I was out in California basketball was pretty much the only sport I played. I was playing in a lot of pickup games and in some summer leagues so I started to develop into a passable player.
When I say passable I mean it as in “he looks like he knows what he is doing”. You have to understand that my basketball highlights in California were when I broke a window at my friend’s house with a no look pass and when I hit a jumper in a summer league game that banked in. The shot was so ugly that the referee turned to my team’s bench made a “bitter beer” face and said, “that was horribly ugly”. My friends believe that I was the first person to be publicly insulted during a game by an official, I wonder if that is something I can put on a resume?
So I tried out for the team in NY, which was a pretty small school that didn’t have a ton of basketball talent at the end of the bench. I figured that I had to be better than at least the last three guys on the bench. If I made the team I knew I wouldn’t play at all my junior year but hopefully with real coaching and practice I could come off the bench my senior year. Personally I felt like I had set realistic goals and had a realistic chance. Basically I just wanted to sit at the end of the bench and stare at our cheerleaders, I don’t think it was too much to ask for.
I didn’t make it. It was explained to me that I didn’t know “the system” and he didn’t have time to teach me all of this when everyone else on the team did. If I would attend the coach’s basketball camp next summer I had a really good chance to make the varsity team next year as a senior. Seemed like a logical explanation at the time even though it was probably completely bullshit and the coach just wanted my signup fee.
What bugged me though wasn’t the camp comment but that he showed me a depth chart (which ranks each player by position) on the depth chart he had me ahead of a few people but the entire area was erased and rewritten. He told me that I was the first person cut and it was a hard decision all while showing me this depth chart. At first I thought he really had to put a lot of thought into it and had to write it and rewrite it in order to decide who was going to make the team and who wasn’t. Overall though something didn’t feel right to me.
After my meeting with him I ran into another kid that was cut and was a senior. I didn’t particularly like this kid and thought he was kind of a spaz, I knew I was a better player then him because he could barely dribble a ball and was considered by everyone there to be the worst player. But this kid had a big mouth, he informed me that he was cut but was the first person cut and ranked ahead of me and three other people on the depth chart. My head exploded, I went and asked some of the other people that got cut and they all told me the same thing. The basketball coach told us all the same thing and just erased our names and re-ranked us before each of our meetings. This made everything 1,000 times worse, not only was I cut I was lied to. The guy didn’t have the balls to just tell me that I didn’t make the team and instead decided to blow smoke up all of our asses.
Not only were we cut we all were made to look like idiots. Thanks for the life lesson of, “sometimes you just have to sit there and swallow your pride when someone lies right to your face.”
This was just the tip of the iceberg in my dealings with the coach.
Have you ever had your intelligence insulted?