Remember when Florida won the college hoops National Championship in 2006? Of course you do. Mmm. Billy Donovan and Joakim Noah. Put me in a spoon sandwich with that Silver Fox and piece of velvety …
Ahem. That same year, Tim Tebow hauled the Florida Gators home a football trophy with his Jesus muscles. Then my Gator basketball snuggle buddies pounded out another hoops prize in 2007. (Then Tebow rubbed a quick football one out again in 2009, but we’re talking about basketball here.)
Anyway, in 2006, I clearly picked my underdog Gators to take the tournament cake in my bracket. That’s really the first time I’ve ever won anything in my life. I took that shiny $60 pot home and threw it at the Whiskey Bar in Denver. I think I woke up halfway inside my front door face-down in my dog’s fur with my bike still between my legs.
Basketball. Right. Here’s some basketball for you: When I was 13, I was crashing in a shiny downtown luxury hotel in Chicago with my middle school BFF and her rich parents. She and I snuck out to play elevator tag after the parents started snoozing.
We lived in South Bend, Ind., home of the Fightin’ Irish. Joy’s dad and stepmom were like the Jay-Z and Beyonce of South Bend, where they lived in this magnificent home with an indoor pool, sauna, movie room and a backyard for days.
Since I was Joy’s bestie, I got dibs on trips to Chicago with the trio. (On one of those trips, I met Harry Caray at his restaurant. He was a dick, but I got his signature on a cocktail napkin that now rests somewhere over the rainbow of horseshit in my garage.)
So Joy and I were wandering around the lobby when a pack of sexy tall glasses of water asked us if they could buy us a drink in the lobby bar. I turned seven shades of WHERE’S MY MOMMY! because I’m pretty sure I got my first period just a week before. No harm, no foul, though. I was 5’11 and have always been blessed with jugs and gams. The dudes probably thought I was 21. We scampered back to our hotel room blushing and laughing when we found out they were NBA stars — the 76ers were in town from Philly to get their asses handed to them by the Bulls.
The Bulls were my favorite growing up. And I played basketball. So many years. I wasn’t passionate about it; it was more like I got ball-gagged, zip-tied and dragged to the court by rabid coaches who could smell my height states away. I ended up enjoying the game, but to the maximum dismay of my coach, I declined scholarships so I could do what every college kid dreams of: shotgunning malt liquor and rolling around in dirt with Hare Krishnas.
Then there’s these days, where I only play with brackets (and softer balls). I’ve become more informed with my picks. I understand that No. 10-seeded Florida likely won’t make it to the damn dance. Plus the work pool these days hits like $300 cash. That’s a car payment, a box of wine and groceries. (I like to party.) With that kind of cash, I can pass out on my couch with something else between my legs.