Sunday, March 2, 2014

Scrambling with the Dexterity of a Lizard

We've all fantasized about triumphantly being carried off the field on the shoulders of our teammates or getting to taste that warm moist passion of the prettiest cheerleader as reward for winning the game...
haven't we??

Of course we all have!

Making that last second shot.
Delivering that knockout punch in the 16th round inside the squared circle before a frantic Madison Square Garden crowd!

It's in our fucking DNA to be...
that person!

But... as we all know by now, this far into our lives, that not many of us ever get thrust upon those shoulders, taste that unmistakable cheerleader moisture, or deliver that punch for that frantic
Garden crowd... do we??

And ya know what??

Who the fuck cares
about that shit anyways!!
Well I'm sure that cheerleader moisture would have been pretty tasty, but other than that,
who gives a fuck!

These 2 quick stories sum up my entire organized sporting career!

Reality sucks doesn't it... LoL

Oh the horror... LoL

Scrambling with the Dexterity
of a Lizard

Cool title huh?

((I must say though that I got it from an episode of the Odd Couple.
One of the greatest shows ever on TV!
At the 6:25 mark.))

Okay, I’ve got just two quick embarrassingly funny moments to tell you about
of a sporting nature.

Oh, but don’t worry, it’s not like I accomplished some kind of greatness or anything silly like that. Not even close dude.

The first one happened during my short-lived C.Y.O. (Church Youth Organization) basketball career. It was pretty cool. I was in my mid-teen years at this point. Probably 14 or 15 years old.

CYO Center in Port Richmond, Staten Island, NY

I played on the St Roche’s team with two friends, John and Ray. Both of whom lived in the Port Richmond area of Staten Island.

Before a few of our practices, and even a game or two, we would try to find a store that would sell us beer. And just about every time the deli guy... (usually the Morningstar Deli at the intersection of Walker Street & Morningstar Ave in Staten Island, NY)...
let us make the purchase.

But it didn't matter if we got the beer or not because regardless of that, we always had a lot of laughs. Buzzed or not, we had such great moments of hysteria.

The three of us all thought that we were really good players. We weren't!

Although I did have a pretty good outside shot, and Ray really was a crafty play maker. But John, well john was just a flat-out chucka!

Sorry man, but you were!

But thank goodness I had a good outside shot, because with a vertical leap of approximately three inches, slam dunking the ball was definitely outta the question.

Well this one particular game was being played at St. Sylvester's Church on Targee Street by Clove Road. They were really good. Everyone on that team was fucking gigantic.

Our team was short, chubby, and sometimes drunk. Not a good combination.

Anyway, both my father and younger brother Michael were in attendance at the game. They were feeling pretty good, even proud, watching another family member giving it his all
on the court.

When the game began everyone on that court wanted to kick someone’s ass and win, and it was no different for me. I didn’t wanna look like a dickhead out there, especially in front of my father and brother. Oh, and lest I forget...
the cheerleaders! Oh yeah!

The game was moving along nicely. We were losing as usual, but I was having a pretty good game up until it happened.
Totally downhill from there!

To this day, I don’t know how it happened. And no... we didn't drink before the game.

I think I just got confused or something. You know, with Dad, my brother, and the cheerleaders all looking on.

Well I shot at the wrong basket!

What the fuck did you just say?

I said I shot at the wrong fucking basket dude!

Oh, man, there’s no easy way to say that is there? What an a-hole! Just thinking about it is making my balls shrivel up into my gut. I can’t believe that I did it, but I did.

Someone on the St Sylvester's team took a shot. The ball bounded off the rim about 20 feet from the basket. I gracefully leaped into the air two, maybe three inches. Oh shut up!

So okay, maybe it wasn’t an actual leap per se. How about I jumped into the air! Oh fuck it, I barely got off the ground, and grabbed the rebound. There, I said it.

Then without hesitation I turned
and shot the ball at the basket.


That muthafuckin' ball went right in the hoop.

Beautiful shot!

Possibly the most accurate shot I’ve ever taken in my entire life! Bang, two points.
For the other team... you dick you!

I raised my hands in triumph, until I realized what I had done. I couldn’t believe it, I was that guy who shot at the wrong basket!

Oh, man, it was so fuckin’ humiliating. And, of course, the damn thing had to go in, right? Unbelievable!

My father and brother’s proud glow had turned into a dim, sputtering candle flame. But I must say that it was a pretty funny thing to witness,
so I’m told.

But wait… the other all-American move was performed on the baseball diamond. I was playing ball on the Port Richmond high school varsity team at the time.

This one particular game was being played at the Clove Lakes Park ball fields. And once again my father and brother were in attendance
along with my mom this time.
Will the embarrassment ever end?

My poor mother’s sweet innocent middle child was about to make a fool of himself yet again.

My baseball career was no better than my basketball one, so it was a big deal when I came up to the plate and whacked a base hit into the outfield. And that’s exactly what happened during this game.

We were playing Susan Wagner high school. Wait, a high school named after some chick?
How good could they possibly be?

Well, pretty damn good as I was about to find out. It's too fuckin' funny dude.

There I was standing at the plate gripping my Louisville slugger tightly. The pitch was thrown, and whack! I actually made contact with the pea-like orb and ripped a base hit!

And as I was running towards first base, I glanced up and saw the line drive heading for the outfield. I hustled to first base and made my turn towards second. I then scurried back to the base as the left fielder threw the ball
back into the infield.

I looked over at my fans and saw that the proud glow was present once again. But once again,
it would be short lived. You mutha fuck!

Now you guys should already know by now that I wasn’t the fastest runner, on any field of play.
So with that in mind, just listen
to this fuckin’ disaster.

Remember now, I finally got a hit, my parents and brother were there, and I was pumped.
I had my, holy shit I just got a hit muscles
on at this point.

They were the same muscles you get after chugging several beers. You know, those indestructible beer muscles.

Well, I had my I just got a hit muscles on. Unfortunately, they didn’t make my feet
any quicker.

I may have thought that I was as fast as the legendary Lou Brock, but I was still only the husky kid who shot at the wrong basket, melted snow as he ran in corduroy, and who played in the fuckin’ mini dust for crying out loud.

Damn that dust!

Lou Brock... World class speedster and base stealer.
Lou Brock... the epitome of pure speed!

Tommy Mondello in Brother's Sports baseball uniform
Tommy Mondello... the epitome of pure sloppiness!! LoLoLoL

Seems like everything is pulled to the left doesn't it??
Left pant leg higher...
belt buckle to the left...
left arm shorter...
hat tilted to the left...
and of course... my worn out Pro Keds!!
And don't forget my neighbors' hanging clothes!

Love this fuckin' pic...

I looked over to the third base coach to get my signs. Yeah right, like he was gonna give me
the steal sign.

I don’t think so!

Look at those fucking ankles dude.
Those are not the graceful ankles
of a world class base stealer.

I believe the sign I got from him was...
who the fuck are you?
I’ve never seen you on the bases before.

Anyway, the pitcher was getting ready to throw, and I began to take my lead off of first base. I had maybe a two, three step lead, if that.

To put that in perspective with a professional ball player, let’s just say that my lead would be equal to the largest bowel movement
that you've ever taken in your life.

In other words,
it whatn’t too far from da base.

But I was out there lookin’ good baby.

I may not have been a base stealer, but man I was gonna sure as hell look like one. I had my fists filled with dirt and all clinched up to protect my fingers. I was bobbing up and down like I really knew what I was doing. I was really something out there.

(In my own mind that is)

Well, I may have portrayed pure aggression out there on the base paths. But not quite enough to impress Susan Wagner’s all-star catcher!
I forget his name, oh wait. Kirk!
Kirk Ruffler was his name.

He also played ASA softball in the major division where my older brother Joey played at the Travis ball field complex. And those guys didn't fuck around. The talent, passion and killer instinct overwhelmed us mere mortals in the stands. Like I said, they didn't fuck around. They could literally kick your ass both on...
and off... that fucking field!

So in retrospect, it wasn't so bad
getting picked off by this fuckin' animal!
And by animal... you know I mean in a
Johnny Bench kinda way!!

Because any base stealer or catcher worth his salt will tell you that the very first thing that you don’t do is bob up and down like a douche bag.

So, I’m goin’ nowhere fast my friends. But man I really looked awesome out there for a few seconds. And I mean seconds.

Well, the pitcher unleashed a beauty
to the next batter.

Strike one” the umpire bellowed.

No one even paid any attention to my coolness. So I thought!

Once again the pitcher readied
and I took my lead.

"Strike two"… … ... THUD!

Uuumm, what the hell was that sound?

I’ll tell ya what that sound was. It was the sound of me getting picked off of first fuckin’ base! That’s what that sound was.

I mean the pitcher fired the ball into the catcher, and then THUD. Before I knew it, the first baseman had the friggin’ ball in his glove.

That catcher threw it to him so fast, that I was still out there bobbin’ up and down like the Lou Brock-less dickhead that I was! LoL

I made a halfhearted attempt to dive back to the base, but it was way too little, and way too late!
I had just become a statistic
in the record books of an all-star catcher!

Oh, once again, it was just such a pathetic sight. And once again the bright shining glow of proud parents was dimmed to a flickering sputter. A fucking plug-in night light gave off more of a glow at this point, as I was tagged out and erased from first base like a gnat
being drawn into the bug zapper.

So ends yet another saga of...
Why I should’ve joined
the fuckin' Boy Scouts instead!

And don't laugh too hard you a-holes!
Because I know that you've ALL had your own embarressing moments as well. And yeah, I see you laughing. You just remembered one
of them did'nt you... LoL