I would just like to apologize in advance for what happens tomorrow night, when we play our first game, and you all find out that I got mono last summer and haven't worked out once in the last 9 months.
There are living, breathing babies who hadn't yet been conceived the last time I played basketball. Why did I join a league with some of the best non-professional athletes in New York City? I'm not sure.
Why did I agree to join a team when I still haven't fully recovered from the extended bout with mono that has prevented me from even going outside and jogging more than two or three times since last summer? I don't know.
Why am I playing basketball tomorrow when I literally get tired walking up the steps to get out of the subway? That's a really good question, team. A really good question.
And why - WHY - did I assure our team captain that I can be our starting point guard, even though I haven't held a basketball in about a year? When I dribble a basketball about as well as most people dribble a football? Again, I wish I could tell you. But I don't know.
Why have I been avoiding doing push-ups and sit-ups the past week, or stretching, or doing anything that would lessen the level of embarrassment I cause to you, me, and our team tomorrow night? I admit, it doesn't make much sense. This might be literally the worst shape I've been in since I was a baby.
Though I suppose if we look at it from that perspective, things aren't too bad, actually. As a baby, I didn't possess the motor skills to dribble a basketball, let alone the strength to shoot it into a hoop ten feet off the ground. While I may not currently possess the skill to do either, I at least have the hypothetical ability to do so. So in that sense, this situation is much better than 27 years ago, when I probably would have just cried a lot and then pooped on the court.
I guess my guilt comes from the fact that none of you have any idea how screwed you all are tomorrow. After literally the first possession of the game, you'll be playing 4-on-5 for as long as I'm on the floor. You know that dude at the Y that dribbles with both hands, every dribble? The one that everyone makes fun of? The one that is always in the opening scene of a porno that's set in a locker room, before the actual athletic dude tells him to leave so that he can do like eight cheerleaders? You're going to wish you'd asked him to run point instead. I'm going to be so bad, somehow my incompetency will seem to transcend the lines of the basketball court. You'll wonder if I have a job. You'll wonder if I'm capable of having a normal conversation. You'll wonder if I've ever been with a woman.
In short, it's going to be a disaster. And I just wanted to let you know, in advance, that I know, in advance. I apologize for tomorrow. There's nowhere to go but up.
Bryson Turner, proud benchwarmer, 2000-2001 North Allegheny Junior Varsity Basketball Team