TiCal’s Corner: Five Hard Fouls

Ticalís Corner ñ Mike Gerrity  AKA PurplePretendo

Mike and I are like the Capulets and Montagues.  No we are not star crossed lovers(…his loss…), but as it turns out we grew up at the same exact time and went to bitter rival high schools, only to become boys, brought together by CAC basketball.  Yes, we are attached at the CAC.  Not only are we boys, but Mike is (one of) the newest writer-uppers keeping the masses entertained at our satellite locations around the globe.
Mike, itís a pleasure to have you in the Corner this week…

 Itís not only an honor, but a privilege to join the greatest entity in the history of the world. Especially with a point guard that has such vision from The Corner. Do you have eyes in the back of your head?

Only when there are blue lights and the angry parents of an 8th grader behind me.
1.  Please briefly give us some background information on yourself (where you grew up, some life/bball high/low lights, how you came to CAC)

 Iím just a local kid from the sleepy town next door, Arlington. I went to Arlington Catholic where I was strictly prohibited from dribbling, playing in games, really anything that involved touching a basketball. Grew up here for eighteen years before moving to North Carolina. I went to Elon University, also known as the infamous Big State. Dude became a young man as I learned how to: socialize with the best of ëem, play beer pong (yes, Beirut is offensive), listen to Rick James records, be a small-time college radio DJ, and to become enough of a polished speaker to convince my business policy class to never believe in anything Oprah Winfrey supports. Lived in Atlanta and Birmingham where I learned how to ball, Southern-fried style. I drew a lot of comparison to Dirk Nowitskiís game (though Iím nowhere near his skill level) after many Saturday afternoons at Hammond Park in the ATL as I figured out the whole staying-in-shape thing after college. I moved back to Boston last winter and I started working at the G-Unit. A twist of fate sat me down next to C-League All Star Bob Muse, who knew BFab, and the rest is history. I am extremely happy to be an integral part of the team chemistry here at the Evil Empire as weíre on a mission to win the B2 East this year. A 7-0 start is a nice warm-up lap so far.

2.  Please tell all our sports fans what leagues are you covering this season?

This season, Iím covering the B2 North and the C League at various satellite CAC locations.

As a crack, soon to be media mogul, who will you model your CAC writer-upper persona, like Ben Stein, Don Imus, or Regis Philbin?  Basically, what do you think you have you brought to CAC from an entertainment perspective?

If we had to pick one of three, Iím going with Regis because he carries a pimp stick around at all times and the other two dudes suck. Personally, I liken myself more to a hybrid of Andre 3000, Bob Goen, and Chuck Klosterman. Andre, because of the smooth quick flow with the substance to back it up. Bob Goen, for being a backup to the great Pat Sajak on Wheel of Fortune. And Klosterman, because he goes into the tiniest of details that explain why things work and how hysterical they can be with the right perspective. Ultimately, I think I bring a good outside-the box perspective on things as I try to stay in tune with whatís going in the world and how basketball falls into that category. After all, this may be life for some, but I always try to remember itís just a gameÖ

Not to mention, I talk a lot of smack. Iím a hated man on these boards lately. Itís simply the price of glory. When youíve got your name on one banner already and youíre a prohibited favorite to lock up #2, the view from the top can be rough with the stone-throwing from below. Somehow, I find a way to persevere. I donít know any other way to go. Then again, you know how the name-calling versus the banner-raising goes, OíCal. How do you do it?

I am a man of CAC innovation.  Early in my write-up career, I was the one who started putting the crack in that ink to hook all the ballers.  Today, to deal with the constant ìbanner/penis-envyî (thereís no difference there) I encounter, I just have Tibbs come up with a new stat each league.  I know this may be shocking to believe, but most of the CAC contingent care more about lines, player-raters, being #1 in 3pt %, or seeing themselves in a write up, which they cant help bc of the crack, but I digress. 

3.  Who are the people that, through talent or character, that have caught your eye in the leagues you are covering and why?

Mike Kmiecís the best guy Iíve ever had on my team for a season. Heís a superstar without the superstar ego. Plus, he played in a playoff doubleheader (donít ask how) with a broken finger and still did everything for us until yours truly missed the buzzer beater tip-in to send it to overtime of the second game. Also, John Kelley is currently the best of the B-League in my not-humble-at-all opinion. He is a tremendous competitor, a proficient shot maker, and an underrated passer. Plus Iím 0-4 against his team, one of my goals for this year is to somehow beat his team on the court (cough cough, March 18). Lofty, perhaps. But you never know what can happen out there.

Other people that I have tremendous respect for include: JRod (the Joe Dumars of the CAC, love the ferocity), X-Man (underrated defensive stud), Vinny Dimento (an absolute beast on the block), and Greg Noel (cerebral scorer that plays team ball). The current guy to watch Iím covering is Craig ëThe Gameí Hendrickson down in B2 North. Dudeís dropping 40 plus with Metamucil-like regularity every week, surely a sight to be seen.

And while I will rip him to shreds later on, Jamil Ball, the biggest sandbagger of ëem all gets on here too. I canít believe he is stat hounding like he is with the All-Star Game. When motivated, Jamil is a real player. If Tibbs only had the All-Star Game every season. Then again, maybe itís just me, but Iím a believer in quality over quantity.

I would be too if not for my college days.  I think the only quality chick I met at NU was at Lane Health Center.  She was always so gentle with the q-tip and my blood tests.  Best 7 years of my life.

To each his own, young man. Could have been worse, what happened with the lunch lady at NU? If itís a sore subject, I apologize. Iím an insensitive prick if you didnít know that already.

No, its all good, Mike I donít mind opening up to you and the CAC contingent.  I have been trying to forget about my Lunch Lady Boo for a long time now.  She cut me deep.  Once she got those hairy moles removed from her face, back and anal cavity she just wasnít the same gal I fell for.  The pieces will fall back in place in due time.

Thatís deep brother.  I feel you except I kinda have the swagger of a young Bruce Jenner.  I only know quality.  Right now, the most important stat for me is the win. Conversely, Iím openly recruiting for the Andy Danielson 3v3 tournament, if there any takers. I have two spots open for anyone not named Jamil Ball.

4.  Bigger influence on your life, Jack Woods (Basketball Director at Fidelity House Youth Center and menís recreational league competitor) or Jesus?

This is a trick question.  Do you mean baby Jesus or Adult Jesus?

See, when I picture Jesus, I like to imagine ìmysterious Jesus.î  You know, the Jesus from age 12-29 where nothing is written about.  When I was 12, I was ìaskedî to leave my CCD class for telling my teacher that Jesus must have been playing basketball in between those years.  When she asked why I thought that, I replied, ìBecause most of the pictures from his adulthood have him 3ft off the ground, so if a man has hang time like that heíd be stupid not to be a baller.î  As the nun vigorously escorted me to the front door I called her a racist and exclaimed, ìWhatís a matter hate basketball players?  I bet if I said he was playing hockey with the rest of the crackas you would have applauded me!î

Some nuns just donít get it OíCal, but to answer your question. The biggest influence in my life ends in a three way-tie: Jack Woods, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Jake Voskuhl. (No offense to Jesus, but I never played the 2 like him.) Without Jack and the rest of the crew at Fidelity House, the persona that is Five Hard Fouls doesnít exist after endless games of basketball, ping-pong, pool, or anything else competitive that I did growing up. I despise losing more than anything else; hence the pursuit of an undefeated season is on. Hakeem Olajuwon is my favorite hoopster ever. He had an incredible killer instinct and his footwork/touch for a big guy is unparallel. And he dropped a three in Game 7 of the í94 Finals. The Dream has the game that I would love to mimic the most. And letís face it, without Jake and the í99 Huskies, I would have never learned to look so good in a basketball uniform. And they beat Duke. Tar Heels all the way, baby. Though, I gotta say Shuttlesworth has the best jumper on the market, hands down. I am ridiculously humble. Did biblical Jesus get it on when he was of the college age? We may need 1.21 gigawatts to answer these types of questions, díya know what I mean?

5.  Is the hack a Shaq good for the NBA?

While it may not be aesthetically pleasing, it is a fascinating strategy that is allowed within the framework of the rules. I do not think it offers a significant competitive advantage enough to change the rules. If Shaq is that bad at free throws, he should have a shooting coach. Plus when Popovich did it at the beginning of this season with that wily beard, it was the funniest thing to happen in The League since the Duck Flap. Popovich for President.

Should CAC institute said rule?

Yes, the CAC free throw shooting is pretty bad with all of the PBR cases Iím seeing on the balcony lately.  I donít care either way, but I would want people to foul me. Game on the line and free throws to win it, I want to shoot it. So I can make that ridiculous backboard shot of mine. And yes, I try to glass it when I feel like it. I get bored out there sometimes and I want to make people cringe when Iím hitting jumpers. Itís just like the *Wet Bandits, everyone has to have a trademark. Also, Iím a co-creator of the Hack-A-Frail. Always put a 21% shooter on the line and always make sure that BFab spears the young man down. Youíre a tactician like me, Sean. And by tactician, I mean, heavy drinker. A wise man told me itís all good with the exception of those first few minutes when you wake up and feel this terrible pain in your head called sobriety.

*Haha, I love it, a ìHome Aloneî reference!  (Link not for sensitive work areas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YZWkTlglrs&feature=related)

6.  Blumpkin, Rusty Trombone or the Poltergeist ñ Please circle all that you or ìyour friendsî have experienced.

A gentleman never tells. You oughta know. Oh wait, you went to Matignon. I take it theology was an optional course down there.

Haha, oh, no, theology was mandatory for this gentleman but like any first year paramedic learns: You canít save everyone.  But not all Matignonians are like this rapticallionscallion…

Thatís right.  I hear Ken Cleary went there too and he seems like a gentleman. Ahhh, the virtues (and questions) of a twelve-year Catholic education are coming to fruition as we speak. Now you know why I enjoy the libations so much.

Maybe if I had gone to Arlington Catholic I could have gotten a lot more libations because those AC girls were SKANKS!!!

Guilty as charged. I canít defend honor where it does not exist. Moving onÖ

7.  Favorite aspect of CAC?
 I like the smack talk on the boards, the statistical capture of our performance, the attempt to relive the glory days from high school, Tibbsí incessant wit, the girls on treadmills and elliptical machines from the balcony view, watching the following people lose: Jamil Ball, Mike D and his stable of wrestlers from the NWO, Brian ëWeapon Xí Greenberg, and anyone I play against.

However, in a brief flirtation with seriousness, I think the camaraderie here at CAC is second to none. We have a really good core group of people here at CAC and the douchebag ratio is very good. When you show up to play basketball, itís really fun. I would tell a friend looking to play basketball to sign up for next season at the CAC and I say that because I mean it. Once youíre in, youíre hooked. Ask the guys that have been here before me. Like yourself, OíCalÖ

I agree Mike but I want to warn you.  Itís not all glitz and glamour.  As fast as those comrades are by your side, they could leave you in the proverbial (or literal) gutter some years down the road and deface your blog and CAC icon status. (See- Wolverine) Luckily for you, the Wolverine, and any other staffer in my good graces I frequent many a gutters for various reasons (that need not be discussed) so you will always have a friend by your side.

What would you like to change at CAC?

The quality of the basketballs and the score clocks. Also, Tibbsí habit of combining Starbucks and Taco Bell up on the balcony.  I donít have to trim my nose hair if I stand next to him once a week. 

But as long as I keep winning, with Tibbs, Mike D, Jamil, The Artist Formerly Known As Weapon X, and others to hate on meÖI think things are going just fine here at CAC. Also, Mike D, thank you for taking that bet with me. Iíll see you soon with ice cold malt beverages and some cash raised for the Andy Danielson 3v3 tournament coming up in three weeks. Shameless self-promotion, check.

8.  Is there any truth to the rumor that you asked to climb in JBerrís Box before asking to hop in the Corner?  Am I your sloppy seconds?

Again, a gentleman pleads the fifth here. I would never have you be sloppy seconds. If anything, thereís no other legendary CAC personality (with the exception of DMac, because letís face it, DMacís the man) that I would rather interview with for the first time. Except for DMac. I wonder if heíll let me call him ìDave.î

The woman is a menace.  She is always going after my eye candy so the next time I even hear she is trying to poach one of my interviewees I am going to replace her birth control with sugar pills.  Good luck winning the Golden Pump with a bun in the oven or after injuries suffered after a ìstairwayî abortion.  

Whatís a Golden Pump? Is that similar to a ìTug and Run?î Sounds like a fun ride at Disney World.

Haha, I see why the ladies flock to you like the sounds of Capistrano.  The ladies play for the Golden Pump trophy, but just like a chance to give YOU a ìTug and Runî (or is it ìRub and Tugî to be more precise), many ladies vie for it but few get the chance to hold it.

9.  You are a big deal, there is no denying it.  Please let us live vicariously through you as you rage through a typical Gerrity weekend.

You know, OíCal, words simply would not do this question justice. Raging would be a mild understatement. As the proud recipient of the MWA at the last CAC Holiday Party, I canít even begin to talk about the mirrors, the groupies, the tour busÖwait a minute, my agent has just told me that I cannot speak about this topic anymore due to contractual obligations with my new publisher. I can no longer comment on my social life, but you can buy my book for $27.99 on Amazon.com. Itís called The Mike Gerrity Story: Dribble Less, Shoot More, and Look Great While Raising Hell.That book smells like a winner to me. A complementary piece of humble pie is served with the book. When you own, you just gotta own the damn thing.

10. Last but not least, what is it like to join the ranks of Tibbs, myself, the Wolverine to earn a MWA?

Wowsers. What a privilege to join this $2.99 Breakfast at Dennyís Club. Iíd like to thank my sponsors at Guinness and the band Chicago for writing ìSaturday in the Park.î Also, Iíd like to thank myself for all the hard work Iíve put into this. I work very hard and I play incredibly hard. Normally, a trip to TCBY and a self-congratulatory pat on the back usually get me through another hard day of being a rock star. Sometimes, I like to get crazy to the tune of car bombs and LITs. This helps to relax me as I then think about how much I love Soleil Moon Frye. Sheís all grown up now.

To be mentioned with CAC legends already is incredible. I havenít really done anything that awesome yet and thatís the scary part. I hope to keep taking the evolution to the next level and I know I will keep being a rock star. Iíve got nothing but love for all out there. Even you OCal, despite the team I watched in high school beat your team like a rented mule in all the games I never played in. Keep that pimp hand strong…

Always, Mike.  Always.  You never know when you got to use it.  Well…I usually know because the Peanut Butter and tubesock are already out, but I get your gist.

Mike, it was a pleasure.  Best of luck in your travels as a player and I hope you get use to the lovely life working a thankless job.