Tuesday, July 1, 2014


There are few things that make me remember my dad more than shooting hoops.  He had a backboard mounted to his garage in Peoria and we’d spend hours playing Horse and Around The World with my brothers.  I view a basketball hoop as quintessential dad equipment. 

And two Father’s Days ago Diana bought me one.  A fancy number with shatterproof fiberglass and one of those orange circles with the net and stuff.

And there it sat, for two years, gathering dust.  I asked Diana from time to time if she could get her dad or our handyman to put it up.  But finances and laziness kept it rooted inside, but on our garage.

After our successful construction of the APTBWSS 2, my brother and I decided to put up the hoop ourselves.  This coincided with the hottest Sunday of the season thus far.  But we were men.  And we had beer. 

Steve and I parked the family SUV under the open garage door in lieu of owning an actual ladder.  Steve nimbly hopped up on the roof and I handed him four beers, a handful of random tools and the crinkled instructions. 

I realized two things almost immediately: 1) I am not as good at climbing onto garage roofs as my brother.  2) I am afraid of heights.

Steve hoisted me onto the roof by my belt and we rolled onto our sides, sweating and panting.  It was at this point that our four beers side off and smashed onto the car and then the cement below.  I envisioned our blood pouring out of our bodies like the foamy beer.

Eventually, we got new beers and managed to attach the hoop to the roof.  As I drilled screw after screw into our newly leaky shingles, Steve was adamant we make sure the backboard was level.  Its levelness consumed him.  I just wanted to get off the roof.

We hopped down and realized while the backboard seemed level on the y-axis, it seemed very un-level on the x-axis.  My heart sank.  There was no way that backboard could be moved.  But after a recheck, we discovered it was our roof that was wildly un-level.  The hoop was a good foot and a half below regulation height, but it was level and attached, damn it.

Steve handed me the basketball and said, “You do the honors.  It’s your house.  Your hoop.”

I replied, “You know, in order for this to be a good blog post, the backboard will come down as soon as I shoot this.”

I shot and the backboard remained intact. 

The actual hoop, however, bent down as if Shaquille O’Neal just dunked on it at his most chubby.  Steve burst out laughing and I cursed James Naismith.

After another hour of me fiddling with the god forsaken springs under the hoop thingy and throwing two separate wrenches, the hoop went back to its normal place and I fetched the boys.

They each took one shot and then commenced a violent fight over whose ball it was and I went inside to lie down.

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