My basketball team was supposed to play the Google Ads basketball team at 5pm today. I was nervous all day, because I didn't want to drag down my team.
Me: I need to mentally set low expectations so that I have some chance of meeting or exceeding them.
Alipé: I know. Why don't you just make it your goal that this time, you will not fall over onto your ass?
Me: Brilliant, that's what it'll be.
We arrive at the courts at 4:45pm and warm up. 15 minutes pass, and there's no one but us out there. It's 5:05pm. 5:15pm. My teammates start to become dejected.
At 5:25pm, a beige car pulls up and 5 guys in Google shirts jump out. It's the other team, making a fashionable entrance.
We start, and it's a tight game. My team let me start, because they are so nice, and they call out directions to me the entire time. They also pass me the ball and let me shoot a couple of times, but I was always too far away to make it.
10-7, our lead. There is a big struggle over the ball right under their basket, and the other team fumbles the ball. I manage to catch it, hold onto it tightly before it could be stolen, and then pass it to my teammate. It was my highlight of the game.
15-15, tied. My team has taken me out of the game by this point, and I watch appreciatively from the sidelines.
Me: [to other team members on sidelines] You have my undying gratitude for being so supportive despite how much I suck.
Adil: I don't know why you would say that. You're actually useful.
Me: Adil, that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me about basketball.
Then 19-17, their lead. Players from both sides began jumping on each other to try to steal the ball. Huge pileups of several people. Guys falling onto the ground, tripped by each other. It looked more like rugby than basketball.
A white-shirted opponent complained that players from my team were playing too aggressively. "I'm going to start calling fouls!" he exclaimed.
The play then went like this: 10 seconds of play. White-shirt guy calls a foul. Return to check position. 15 seconds of play. White-shirt guy calls a foul.
He called 5 fouls in a row. Then they scored 2 more points and beat us.
I wish I knew enough about basketball to determine whether our players were indeed crossing the line of aggression, or whether the other team was overly picky.