Muscle Memory

I found myself on a basketball court not long ago. As will happen on a basketball court, a basketball came to be in my hands – or more specifically – my right hand. I hadn’t held a ball in either of my hands for a long time, but there I was.
I had a ball.
I was looking up at the rim.
The ball was dripping with unfulfilled purpose.

Without thinking, I took a quick half step forward with my right foot. I brought the ball up, cradled gently in my right hand, palm facing the sky, and fingers spread along a seam. In one graceful motion my back, hips, knees, and ankles uncoiled, as I jumped… just enough for my toes to leave the ground (so not really a jump… more of a hop… but I digress).

With the ease of countless hours spent taking jump shots in my youth (day and night, by myself, under a lamp-post at the end of the street) my arm shot up, and with a flick of my wrist I launched a back-spinning ball towards the goal.

There was a time when it was popular to refer to the sound of a ball passing through the net of a goal as a swish, but my ears never heard it that way. To me, it sounded like the net and ball were calling out the name “Chuck.” Maybe there was a day when nets were made of thinner, finer materials which lent themselves to a silky, swishing sound. But the courts I played had course, rope-like material. The courts I played didn’t sound like the ball was being caressed. It sounded like it was being beaten.


Anyhoo, back to the ball recently in hand.

Although I was looking at the back of the rim as I released the ball, I knew as soon as it left my hand it was perfect. I didn’t need to see it or hear it, I KNEW as it came back down it was going to catch nothing but…



It caught… nothing but gravity?

The net was supposed to speak to me – THEN – I’d hear the ball bouncing on the ground.


Here we go again

I’m in trouble.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s always great to be a Florida Gator, but I’m not sure my fragile nerves can take another deep run in The Show. Tell me, how many sleep specialists do you suppose recommend staying up past your bedtime with a sleep disorder?


How many of those fine specimens of medical know-how would recommend engaging in stressful activities right before trying to go to sleep?


The Gators made it to the Great Eight tonight. I’m a little scared. I’m worried I might misplace my sanity. I’m troubled what this might do to my productivity at the office.

Now, which sentence in this post do you think is a lie?

Billy D, what are you doin’ to me?

Mixed feelings

It’s not too often that I receive an email from UF President Bernie Machen. In fact, you could say that I’ve never received an email from UF President Bernie Machen. So why now?

No, he’s not asking for money. He’s not announcing an initiative to raise money. Instead, it’s an attempt at group therapy.

Continue reading →

Fear be gone!

A collective sigh could be heard from as far as the Paines’ Prairie State Preserve late last week as word spread that Billy Donovan was not interested in the Kentucky job – and would be staying at Florida (for now).

Going back to my days as a UF freshman, and lonely season ticket holder under the Don Devoe regime, I’ve had a destinct inferiority complex over my allegiance to the Gator B-Ball team. Even with the recent success (a bit of an understatement), I was ready to believe that other jobs were more attractive than the UF job. Maybe it’s not true anymore.

Now UF just has to deal with the loss of the starting five and the first guy off the bench. Next year the boy wonder will earn every bit of his pay.

I hope that no matter what happens next year, everyone remembers he’s the guy who did for UF Basketball what Spurrier did for UF football.

Observations from the first half

Florida is up on Ohio State by eleven. I kid you not, Greg Oden is a basketball stud. Florida has no inside game with Oden in the game, which will be a problem in the second half if the Florida shooters cool off… and they may if they start to get tired… and Cory Brewer is playing a lot of minutes. So is Oden, but the difference is tired legs don’t affect dunks as much as outside shots. If Ohio State finds the range outside they’ll be hard to stop… going inside-outside with Oden and a hot shooter.

In short, being up eleven is better than being down eleven; but Florida isn’t exactly sitting pretty.

I wonder if there’s a correlation between televised sports and the incidence of heart disease. Specifically, I wonder if there’s a corresponding increase in heart disease in the last forty years with the rise in the number of sports on TV. My fingers are way to jittery to do any serious googling this evening.

**Note: this post was fully typed and in the process of final editing prior to the first half analysis on CBS. In short, it’s all me. Any similarities to comments by those in CBS employ is purely coincidental.

Leaving work at work

The only time I think about work at home is when someone asks, “So how’s work?”

Tonight was the exception. The Gators advanced to the basketball championship game, and the first thing I thought of was my buddy at work. “THE GATORS??” he asked belligerently at the start of the tournament. “They haven’t played anyone.”

That may be true, but they’ll be playing someone for the championship in a couple of days.

Damn it, I knew we should have bought real wood furniture.