Monday, January 12, 2009

The Greatest Sport In The World**

**You've never heard of. By Moose.



"There was a time in America when contests of athletic prowess were a metaphor for the nobility of man. Historic moments forged by the love of the game celebrated the human potential to achieve excellence. But as time passed, and the country neared the millennium, something went awry…The ideal of sportsmanship began to take a back seat to excessive celebration. The athletes caring less about executing the play than planning the vulgar grandstanding that inevitably followed even the most pedestrian of accomplishments. The games themselves became subordinate to the quest for money. Stadiums and arenas became nothing more than giant billboards to promote commercial products. Players sold their services to the highest bidder, much like the hired guns of the Old West.

"Soon it was commonplace for entire teams to change cities in search of greater profits. The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles, where there are no lakes. The Oilers moved to Tennessee, where there is no oil. The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City, where they don’t allow music. The Oakland Raiders moved to L.A. and then back to Oakland. No one in Los Angeles seemed to notice. The search for greener pastures went on unabated. Continued expansion diluted the talent pool, forcing owners to recruit heavily from prisons, mental institutions, and Texas. Fist-fighting and brawling permeated every sport, overshadowing any evidence of competition. As the problems mounted, the fans became less and less interested. To reverse the trend, major sports started interleague play. When that novelty wore off, they tried intersports play. But no matter how far the major sports went, it wasn’t enough to bring the fans back." (Source: BASEketball script).

But there was one that could.

The ball takes to the air, rocketing off the bat of slugger Reggie Jackson, flying out to the stands to throngs of screaming fans. It is game 6 of the 1977 World Series, and Reggie has just hit his third home run of the night. The ball is caught by an eager Joe Cooper, a young boy with a glove a size too large for his hand, and he boldly proclaims after the catch to his best friend, Doug Remer, "One day I'm gonna be a big sports star."

Flash forward to twenty years later. Doug, known as "Remer", and Joe, known as "Coop" walk down the street with a six-pack of beer, and Coop says, in rhyme with his childhood aspiration, "One day I'm gonna open a big sports bar." The two haven't accomplished much during their lives, pretty much doing nothing but "sitting around and playing Nintendo" and living together with bills to be paid.

They go to their high-school graduation party, which they were on their way to, and they enter to see all of their old friends from "back in the day" . . . except they are married, have steady jobs and are able to pay their oil charge. After acting crudely at the party because of their boredom, they are kicked out of the house at the party to play basketball on the outdoor hoop. Coop takes a few shots, and he discovers that they can play basketball--without the dribbling and passing and all of that.

While they shoot, a pair of athletic and reverse-dunking players walk over and challenge Coop and Remer to a game for 50 bucks. They accept, but after seeing what their opponents can do while they warm up, Coop stops them and says, "No, no, no. You thought we meant real basketball? No, this is a new game." They say that they picked up the game "In the hood". The challenge the two guys to the game that was clearly made up on the spot, and they win. The new wave of sport then arrived.

After being discovered playing in their driveway with an audience of hundreds against opponents not worthy of Coop and Remer, they start the National BASEketball League, or the NBL (sorry, Hursty). They start their team as the Milwaukee Beers, playing against teams such as the Miami Dealers, New Jersey Informants, Roswell Aliens, San Francisco Ferries, Detroit Lemons, L.A. Riots, Dallas Felons and San Antonio Defenders.

I am referring to the 1998 film BASEketball, starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone as Coop and Remer. Oh yeah, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are the creators of South Park. It is directed, written and produced by David Zucker ("Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun"). While this slapstick comedy is a great movie, I want to zero in on the game, one that I have been playing for about two years now.

The rules to BASEketball are simple-- it is basketball with baseball rules. Well, it's not quite that simple I guess. Here're the rules to a game that will change your life and your overall enjoyment of it. Here's the scoop on this groundbreaking ultra-sport.

Offense:
There are squares on the basketball court, indicating how many bases they have of value. If you shoot from the free throw line it's a single, from the top of the key it's a double, from five feet behind the three point arc it's a triple, and from half-court it's a home run. There is also a fifteen-footer from both wings for a single, a three pointer on both wings for a single, and there are bunts on both blocks. Perhaps I didn't do the best job explaining it. Here's a picture of the field:



Once you shoot from one spot, you can't shoot from there again for the rest of the half-inning (barring bunts and home runs). If you miss a shot, it's an out, and, naturally, three outs end your half of the inning, baseball-wise. If you make a shot and there are runners on base, the players who are already on the basepaths advance however many the shot was worth, for example: If there is a runner on second and there is a single, the man on second goes to third. If there is a runner on first and there is a double, the man on first moves to third, advancing two bases. It is advisable to have runners on the bases, but if you don't you must keep track. It is scored like a baseball game, there are nine innings as well.

Defense:
Defense might be the most entertaining part of BASEketball. Two players are on the court; one standing near the shooter and one away from them. Perhaps the best part of the sport, the psyche-out, is used by the person standing near the shooter. Psyche-outs are diversionary tactics used by the defense to try to break the shooter's concentration and make them miss, be it by using humor or by saying something weird. In the words of Remer "For a psyche-out, you need to say totally fucked up shit so that the shooter misses."

Some psyche-outs included in the movie are crude, some are funny, some are just plain weird. Usual ones gross the person out, make them mad or make them laugh. But usually they are insults, to throw them off. You can do anything you want for a psyche-out, those are the times to get your creative juices flowing and let you do your stuff. BET, you'd shine here. Also, touching them and physical contact is forbidden.

If a shot is attempted by the offense and it caroms off the backboard or rim, the ball is still in play. Provided that there are runners on base, the defense is allowed to tip it in for a double play, in which case the runner the farthest along would be out. If the defense misses a shot and the offensive player tips it in for the conversion, it counts, but only after the defense misses. It must be a legal tip in, when they are in the air and jumping. The ball must touch the back board, and once you've attempted a tip-in, you can't do it again until everyone has, then it's a free-for-all. Kinda complicated, but once you've played it's easy.

Miscellaneous:
There are generally three players on each team, two starters and a DS (Designated Shooter) but it easy very easy to play with two as well. Props for psyche-outs are allowed, such as music or a mega-phone. There are extra-innings as well. *****If there are any questions on gameplay, leave them in the comments section*****.

The movie is very funny, although the humor is more often than not crude (R-rated). Cameo appearances were made by the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Costas, Dale Earnhardt, Reggie Jackson, Kenny Mayne, Tim McCarver, Al Michaels, Reel Big Fish and Dan Patrick. I gave the beginning to the story above (and I quoted the intro), so I didn't give away the whole thing, so if you guys haven't seen it, go out and get this movie. It's some great stuff. And get some friends, make a court (chalk works) and play some BASEketball! Be sure to credit me with the tip (just raggin'.)


--Moose

18 comments:

jameyburke said...

Good stuff Moose...I might have some more tickets in those 1st row seats for the Celts later in the year. I'll let you know. Is that the same Betcats that's on SLAMonline alot..?

Moose said...

Jamey, he's not just on SLAMonline . . . he's a co-writer of this blog. Along with Hursty, RV, DP and me. You might wanna add this link to the list . . .

Moose said...

And Money Bill Williams as well. Sorry about that, MBW . . .

B. Long said...

....

BET said...

what type of sh!t is this? Never in my life have i read so much about so little.





















j/k although i dont know wtf you speak of.

BET said...

who the hell is this Jamey Burke character? And yes i am on SLAM. I also have wrote 2 things for SLAMONLINE and had my own site. Gangsta Grillz you bastards!!!!

Hursty said...

Aright, well I thought it was funny. If a little bit obscure. I like how I get mentioned first *I feel all warm inside now* by Moose.
B is too hardcore to right anything. How suave.
Bet- thats kinda how you write haha. A lot about a little lol. jks.

BET said...

yeah but im famous for that. Moose is suppose to be a 'budding journalist'. I am just the dude that writes whatever the hell he wants to write whenever he wants to write it.

jameyburke said...

Yeah, he's kinda obnoxious. AnyHOO..check out this site Moose. www.lebron2010.com Not a big 'Bron fan, but interesting site with pics of him in full Cleveland Browns uni, including helmet. Gnite and great win for Celts tonight.

Moose said...

Hey, guys, just wanted to share a funny 'lil game and movie if you hadn't known about it already. I do write the serious pieces because I am an aspiring journalist, but I like to keep it light sometimes, not all complicated.

jameyburke said...

I feel ya' Moose...

Eboy said...

Fucking Moose.......I would have rather read something about South Park if you're gonna talk about Trey and Matt.

Eboy said...

And you didn't mention the Steve Perry psyche out did you?

B. Long said...

This article gets one Mooseknuckle and 2 and a half Bullwinkles.

Moose said...

Sorry about your disappointment at the article, guys. I'll perform better next time.

Hursty said...

Don't take it too badly Moose. You'll bounce back.

Moose said...

I will, hopefully. I got some other stuff coming later this week.

Eboy said...

I really wasn't dissapointed, Moose, i just love South Park.

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