Today started with an alarming statistic: the first ball went through the hoop on the second attempt. Granted it took another 30 attempts to score a second basket, nevertheless this moment of euphoria soon faded when the near misses kept building up. Just off the left-hand side, just off the right: bounce back at ya from the back of the board, bounce back at ya and over your head, just to spite ya. I then had what you might call an epiphanic moment: the hoop, taken aback by the success of the second shot decided to move itself, ever so slightly, at will. Its own will, not mine, not yours, not the invigilators but its own.
Now, they talk about moving the goal posts in football: but this is always in the sense that some human beings somewhere have tiptoed over to the goalposts mid-game and surreptitiously unscrewed the goal posts, unhung the net and then scuttled 5 yards up the pitch only to reverse engineer the entire process and mount the goal posts even further away from the opposition. Implausible it may be, but the phrase ‘moving the goal posts’ must have come from someone’s lived experience so we doubt it at our peril.
Tennis players will be also familiar with the natural phenomenon of the tennis net sagging ever so slightly during a game so that one minute you’ve served out, and the next you’ve served an ace. This leads to a false self impression of actually how talented you are when all along it was the net’s tendency to sag when you least needed it which was the actual cause.
But basketball is different. Whether this is because the hoop and the net are light and easy to manoeuvre, or whether the repeated hammerings they get from all those near misses causes them to contract, expand, take a step to the left or a step to the right in true Rocky Horror style, the fact is they move of their own volition. In their own time, in their own manner. All you can do as an itinerant basketball player is count to ten, take a deep breath, stick out your BUTT and lob the ball into the air in the hope that the hoop has decided to stay still for a while.
A successful basket can lead to you dancing a little time warp jig but you’d better be aware that the hoop is watching your every move and is only too ready to make a fool of you if you get carried away with your success rate.
Check out those statistics here:
|Day||Attempts||Near Misses||Baskets||Effort (Baskets/ Attempt)||Baskets/ Minute (BPM)||FeelGood Factor|