Gut Rumbles

January 28, 2006

the goat

I watched Quinton play another basketball game last night and in the end, I walked away hurting for my boy. Bejus. I really wanted to talk to him after that game, but he hauled ass with the BC and her next victim just as soon as the ritual line-up-and-shake-hands-with-the-other-team act of good sportsmanship was completed.

The game was a thriller between two evenly matched teams, which kept the score close all the way. With 30 seconds remaining on the clock, Quinton's team had the ball out of bounds at mid-court with the score tied 32-32.

Quinton handles all of the inbounds passing for his team. He's usually pretty good at finding the open man and delivering a good pass, too. Last night, as the referee handed Quinton the ball, the gym was packed, the crowd was screaming, the other team was swarming on defense and I was so excited that I almost pissed my pants right there in the stands. It was a tense, noisy, pressure-packed moment, with the game on the line and the ball in my boy's hands.

Quinton looked off a defender with a good ball fake, then threw a perfect pass to an open man. I saw it before I heard the whistle. I cringed.

Quinton had his foot on the sideline when he threw the ball.
He turned possession over to the other team.

They inbounded the ball and Quinton, probably trying desperately to make up for his mistake, FOULED his man while attempting a clumsy steal. The kid went to the free-throw line and swished two in a row. End of story. Quinton's team lost, 34-32.

I've never before seen my boy look so dejected as he did after that game. I know it's a pissy cliche, but I felt his pain. He screwed up in a clutch situation and he knew it. He let his team down. I believe that he thought he let ME down, too. He wouldn't look up in the stands at me and he got the hell out of that gym as quickly as he could. I went outside to look for him, but he was long gone.

Just damn!

I wanted my Ward Cleaver moment with him. I wanted to put my arm around his shoulder and tell him that it was okay. Everybody makes mistakes. Chalk this one up as a hard lesson learned. I'll bet you won't ever do THAT again, will you? You'll watch where your feet are next time, right?

See? Good players get BETTER from making mistakes. Those kinds of lessons stick with you. Now shake it off. That's all blood under the bridge. You still played a good game.

That once was my job. I want it back.

(UPDATE: I wrote the above last night but didn't post it. Quinton played another game this morning. His team won big, 36-24, so I believe that all is well...)


Looks like he did learn! He whooped them!

Posted by: Cythen on January 28, 2006 01:56 PM

Sorry you didn't get your moment. There will be other chances, I'm sure.

Posted by: Libby on January 28, 2006 06:20 PM

Sorry you weren't able to be there for him -- I know it is something you would have liked to have had the opportunity to handle.

But I'm glad he got it back together for the next game . . . wish my boy would.

Posted by: Anne on January 28, 2006 06:28 PM

I coach my kid's teams. When something like that happens to any of my boys and we talk about the game afterwards I always talk about another play in the game. Not the obvious point of reference. Your boy probably had a good overall game but made a mistake at the end. Treat that play like the thirty other plays he was involved in and his understanding of the game will grow.

Best thing you can do is just be there every time you can. He'll remember that more than that play.

Posted by: Dishonorable Schoolboy on January 28, 2006 10:38 PM
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