I’m watching Coach Carter.
Yes. “Coach Carter” – the MTV movie about a “controversial basketball coach”. I am a complete sucker for sports dramas. Even very, very, very bad ones.
Basketball? The drama? The buzzer? The jumpshots?
Yes. I fucking love it all.
I was mediocre at basketball in high school. I played varsity for two years. If not for playing JV in basketball for two years I would have been a 12 letter award winner. 12 letters is perfect – 3 seasons, 4 years, twelve letters. Perfect. Instead I was a 10 letter winner. And that is exactly what I deserved. I was only mediocre at basketball.
I played killer defense but I hated shooting. I was too shy. We had a dominant point guard so I just passed off to her and let her put it up. She liked shooting – let her do it. During the last game of my high school career I went out on the court and said “fuckit”. I was sick of just dominating people on defense. I was shooting.
I scored 17 points that night. My coach and my parents both grabbed my shoulders after the game: “Why haven’t you been shooting all season??!!”
Coach Carter isn’t a good movie. It’s overly dramatic. It’s very “MTV”. It’s cliche.
But you know what? I fucking love it.
The beauty of a good coach?
The way those eyes look up, seeking direction, unification, guidance, wisdom?
The power of bodies and minds united?
I understand individual sports. I know how to run and suffer. I know the lonliness of a desolate track. But team sports? Executed well? That cohesiveness, that union?
What might be best about Coach Carter? Not quite your storybook ending… not Hoosiers. Still sappy, but not Disney.
And in the end… when he asks the team: “If someone walks in here right now and offers me any coaching job in the state of California do you know what I would say?”
In that line I hear my mother saying, “If God put allllllllllllll the little girls in a room and said you can have whichever one I wanted, do you know who I would choose?”
I always answered with my best friend’s Sharon’s name, firmly believing that her thick, long brown hair made her a far supierior choice for a daughter.
“No, silly. I’d choose you.”
I know, Mom. I know you would. I love you, Mom.
When did I turn into a super-sappy mega-jock? Maybe I’ve always been one. Either way, it’s Thursday night and I’m in tears.
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