Vol. 1, No. 4: Shammgod Unbound photo

The Sports Andrea Krause

B-Baller 

I was not what they refer to as a natural.
My lack of hand-eye coordination
was apparent, well-known to myself, 
at least. Clavicles hunched, imploding 
shoulders providing ample hiding space 
for fumbling. I held my fresh perm high, 
spherical volume, showy bangs winning
Best in Show, headband a staunch fabric 
leash. My DIY uniform: cut-off stretch pants, 
Hard Rock t-shirt (Bahamas, knockoff), 
makeshift jersey of a pre-pubescent jester.
Deranged couture was my sixth-grade forte.
It was certainly not the traveling league,
but my teammates still knew more than 
just what a basketball was, the extent 
of my knowledge, and really, my skills.
But for an instant, I was the Big Dog 
in the grip of talent. An open shot. Possible 
glory. Dashed—valiant miss, my first 
open-mouth kiss of the rim. I grabbed 
the rebound, fueled only by imminent 
swish. I would not be slowed by the odd lack 
of defense. I would not be slowed by 
confused faces, as the ball flew askew 
to another miss. During the hang time, 
I realized—this was my team’s hoop. 
Having racked up two assists and two 
rebounds, (best game of the season), 
I blamed the perm chemicals for my 
apparently low IQ. I ran away fast 
and far, to join the cross country team. 

 

The Slap Shot and Its Many Lessons 

Someone, somewhere, probably said 
that possibility is a slapshot to the face. 
Too bad possibility doesn’t miss 

at least some of the shots it takes. 
In 8th grade gym, an adult with a degree 
thought giving pubescent payphones 

hockey sticks and a plastic puck was a valid 
learning endeavor. My parents should 
have rescinded their property taxes. 

           FULL STOP. 
The wince of lip into braces, more shock 
than blood, more rage than bent metal. 

I’ll never forgive name redacted
25+ years later, earth still orbits 
my zeal for revenge. Given the imaginary 

chance, I biff 100% of the shots 
I pretend to take. You may be tempted 
to describe my technique as mentally sloppy, 

but I rollerblade religiously 
and huff a daily multivitamin, 
so your assessment of my acumen 

would be very wrong. What is the lesson 
in all this? That there’s a person 
out there I never think of, who is 

taking metaphorical slapshots 
of non-forgiveness at my face? 
Because that’s pretty fucked up.