Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Do they still play nerf basketball?

We had high ceilings. High ceilings can make a house cold, but they can also provide for excellent nerf basketball. My first experience with nerf basketball came when we lived at my grandfathers. My parents had a big room and we set it up in there. It was the kind of hoop with the suction cups to hold it up and light foam ball. There was glass above my parents bedroom door so we had a nice glass backboard.

My uncle bought it for my older brother. We also had a program on our Apple II that would count down time. My older bro probably programmed that shit. So we played with a clock a few times. It made a primitive noise when it was done. It didn't count down like a real scoreboard. This was a BASIC program that counted down, probably from 10,000 or something. That was fun and gave a sense of urgency to the game.

Our family moved up the street and the new house provided for even more excellent nerf hoops on the first floor. My dream was to start a league with all of my friends. While they were committed to this, they weren't as obsessed as I was. My team was the Running Rebels, named after UNLV (they were later put on probation for violations). Their coach was a nut.

I remember buying CooperBlack font for my mom to iron on my uniform. I had good taste back then, but mother had to execute the design.

The area in our new house had wooden panels (which are no longer there). The panelling allowed for the suction cups to stick the hoop up. We had a wall you had to take it back to. My friends and I decided we wanted more fast breaks and dunks so we made a rule that the defense had to take it back too. Sports among kids is great as it allows them (us back then) to work out problems and come up with our own regulations without any outside authoritarian prescence. We knew what was best for our games and while fighting occaisionally existed we managed to work it all out on our own. All we wanted was a good game and good competition.

<<<I would even play on one foot hopping around on a cast but they never called me for "up and down.">>>

Games often got heated. We took out our anger on each by dunking on heads. Yes, we even had slam dunk contests. I stole my dunk from Spud Webb. The old toss it up against the backboard, catch it in the air, then dunk. To give the foam ball a little weight we wrapped duck tape over it.

It was nice a space with a wide enough opening under the hoop that we didn't get hurt or run into the wall after a lay-up. Most of the time it was only one-on-one, but occasionally we'd get two on two.

Me and my gradeschool buddy organized a tournament for my younger brother and his friends. We had brackets and everything. Everyone competed and no one got upset. It was a good time. My brother won. I was rooting against him but I remained a fair referee. I think.

I guess those hoops are still around. Later we evolved to the Jordan Jammer, which had it's own backboard which was velcro-ed to the wall and thicker break-a-way rim (which would break off it you dunked too hard, but you could just snap it back on). When my parents were away, we nailed velcro to the big livingroom wall and played a couple nice two on two games. The ceilings were even higher in the living room and we moved the furniture out of the way for ample space. We could almost run a pick'n'roll. This might have even been around 8th or 9th grade.

I think I want to purchase one again. Am I de-evolving?

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