Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tour de Court and the Fantasy Life

By Mink

I recently attended a lecture where a well known litigator explained how he was so prepared for his oral argument that he actually became relaxed when the judge started asking him questions. He was so comfortable and well versed in the subject matter because he knew he could answer any question and could on for hours about every nuance of the case.

I was thinking to myself “wow that is really impressive I never could imagine being so knowledgeable about any subject.” (do you use quotes when you think to yourself?) But then I smiled as I remembered last weekend and the absurd little neighborhood basketball tournament that we ran for the 12th straight year (or the bat mitzvah as we disturbingly have labeled it). I realized that I had reached a level of expertise that is probably Supreme Court level. I honestly would be unfazed by any question that could come my way.

To give you a little background, eleven years ago, back in the summer of 95 (in the days of VCR's , and the O.J. trial) a couple of bored and competitive teenagers (including yours truly) decided to bike around to different basketball courts around the Baltimore area where they would play until there was a champion. The obvious nickname choice for the biking and basketball combo was Tour de Court (Get it? you see the most famous bike race in the world is known as the tour de France and we replaced the evil French part of the name with "Court" to reference the basketball component.....genius I know).

Anyway, Tour de Court became an annual tradition with as many as 32 participants in a given year. The winners earn the prize of the gold helmet----an old ratty bicycle helmet that was spray painted gold and with the winners names inscribed each year. Like the Stanley Cup, the helmet is on loan to the winning team for the year and has become a prominent part of weddings and bar mitzvahs to the extended TDC family. (you can read all about this madness on our soon to be updated website

This summer, over a decade after its inception, the tournament’s proud executive committee members argued the same exact points regarding tournament rules and organization as we have for years. However, now instead of yelling at each other in backyards (and beating each other with sticks and assorted other sharp devices) we would just send nasty emails (with much bigger vocabulary words) from graduate schools or the workplace.

You see for a tournament like this to continue, there is a requirement that you do not grow up. It is a forum for a preservation of boyhood immaturity and a simulation of a professional athletic career that we will never have. You could say that I have Peter pan syndrome or live in a fantasy world but to some degree don’t we all?

I could spend hours boring you with the rich history of our absurd tradition with tidbits such as: that there is a player named Yoni Rosenblatt is the winningest player in our history with 7 gold helmets (by the way he won again this year)…… or that the 1998 tournament is forever known as the overpious debacle because it was postponed after several over-pious participants, led by Dr, Joshua Wolf, pulled out of the tournament in solidarity of a player falling off his bike and breaking a limb…….or that there is an asterisk in our record books because one of the infamous players in the tournament shamed Tour de Court by refusing to ride his bike (the gold helmet reads "*drove car" to commemorate this atrocity)

I will stop now because you have all just been exposed to enough sickness. I just am still dumbfounded that I am actually an expert in something. To be honest though, after an annoying couple weeks of planning and organizing, I am even sick of this tournament. So for the next 11 months or so it is time to get back to reality. The problem is I don’t think I have a reality. When my Dad called and asked how I would spend all my free time now my response was “Sorry Dad, I can’t talk now, I have to prepare for my fantasy football draft”

The Gold Helmet at a wedding


Post a Comment

<< Home