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Blue Balls in the Hospital
Competitiveness in sports, and heart attacks.
Someone needs to explain to me, human nature in regard to competitiveness. I just don't get it.
I've been playing racquetball with a guy for 20 years. He has this subtle way of being competitive. For example, if he hits a shot that doesn't make it, but is a close call, he'll claim he didn't see it, so he doesn't have to admit it was short.
Another guy I've been playing with for five years, is a screamer. He screams at himself for missing shots. He screams at me for...well, everything. There was a time I pushed him in the chest I got so sick of his yelling. And we almost came to blows.
When I played basketball 6 days a week, I could never understand the guys on the other team cheating and making bad calls. All it does, is make OUR TEAM do the same. And then the game deteriorates.
I saw a documentary on Michael Jordan that dealt with his hardcore competitive nature. He'd punch teammates during practice if they stole the ball from him. He made another player stay after practice for an hour, to have a shooting contest (while others had to stand around waiting). But then, maybe that's what made him one of the greatest basketball players of all-time (I still say Wilt was better, but that's another argument for another time).
Recently, my racquetball partner had a heart attack 30 minutes after we played. I had noticed the two previous days, he seemed out of breath a bit more than usual. And, I was winning a few more games than I usually do.
He is going to live. He's got stints and other things going on with his ticker. But, I made the mistake of telling a female friend of mine "If he would've had a heart attack on the court, I would've still served the ball to him as he was on the ground clutching his chest. After scoring that point, then I'd call 911."
She lectured me on how horrible that was. I had to explain, that every 8 months or so, I'll slip and fall during the game. And, he thinks nothing of continuing to play and not stopping to ask if I'm okay. It would be my way of getting even.
She said, "You are no better than him."
I told her she's wrong.
But that night, I had an overwhelming desire to go to his hospital room, and start serving to him. The thought of watching those blue racquetballs whiz by his head as tubes were plugged into every oraface of his body; careening off the bed pan, hitting the IV...it made me smile.
Okay. Maybe I am as bad as him.
More like this:
- Idiotic Athletes -- The Michael Jordan and Serena Williams Editions — Sept. 15, 2009
- Men vs. Women in Sports — March 20, 2009
- Shake it Up -- A great local band, crazy animals attacking — Jan. 13, 2009
- KISS, Scrabble, and Competitive People — Nov. 30, 2008
- A Basketball Jones No Longer Jonesing — Sept. 18, 2007