Crowded First Week Portends Even Crowded-er Future

January 10th, 2023

The schedule is up for Sunday. We may be able to add a couple more games. I'm waiting to hear from the venue. Almost all of the teams that played in the championship games right before Christmas will start on January 22nd because the championship shirts aren't ready yet. One weird thing about this week (besides the limited number of games due to the encroachment of the volleyball tournament) is that we are ending the evening at 8:00 instead of 9:00. As some of you know, I coach the Amphi girls' basketball team. Our team is playing in McKale Center on Monday as part of the Martin Luther King festivities. That's the good news. The bad news is that we're playing at 9:00 a.m. Several of my players work for me at the League. I want them to get home, get a good night's sleep, and be ready to play Monday morning. Thanks for understanding. 

I know that "Crowded-er" isn't a word, but it reminds me of Boyd Crowder, one of the great TV villains of all time. If you haven't ever seen "Justified," I recommend it as highly as anything I have ever watched on TV, up there with "Breaking bad" and "Friday Night Lights." Obviously, I have watched a LOT of TV.

Last week, I teased a big announcement about this week. I was really excited about it, but it has been snatched away from us. For many years, Martin Luther King Day weekend has been the time for the first big club volleyball tournament of the season. (Many of you know my feelings about club sports of any kind, but we'll set that aside for this particular time.) For years, the tournament ate up most of Tucson, filling the Tucson Community Center, several high school gyms, and our venue. In 2021, it was killed off by Covid. Last year, it was all moved to Phoenix. It was supposed to be in Phoenix this year, as well, so we were told that we could have (meaning: rent) the entire facility all day and night. We were going to have the greatest number of games in one day in the history of the Tucson Basketball League. 

I had the schedule all done, with an unprecedented number of games in one day. But then I got word that the volleyball tournament needed extra court spaces and times, so we got shoved aside. (In all fairness, volleyball was one of the first-ever clients when the venue opened, so they get preferential treatment.) It still sucks because I was hyped. I was even going to drink water and everything. (As some of you also know, I have never had a drop of alcohol in my life--true story!--but rarely do I drink water and almost never do I milk or juice. I basically subsist on Diet Pepsi.)

The first week went pretty well. We had one team that had to cancel because several of their players got Covid. Come on, Guys, that's so 2021! Then, another team didn't show up for their game because some of their players were car-pooling to the game and their car got T-boned at an intersection. They're shaken up but otherwise okay.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions, but I will try my hardest to get the schedule posted earlier in the week. Seriously, one of the main drawbacks with that plan is that the earlier I post it, the more frantic texts I get asking if I can switch game times. People don't understand that if I change one game, I have to change two or more and then the dominoes start tumbling. I'm going to do my very best to enforce a hard NO! on changes.

Getting back to my main point, this weekend was supposed to be the biggest Sunday in the 35-year history of the League. Now, with the encroachment of volleyball, it's actually going to be smaller than usual. Therefore, all of the teams that played in the Championship games for the Fall League back right before Christmas will now be starting the Winter League on January 22nd. We'll hand out the Championship shirts on that day, as well. I'm sorry, but it's the best I can do. Thank you for your patience and let's have a great season.

One last thing: We used to have a team called Bricklayers. They changed their name to something that will never appear on this page. But now, we have three new teams named Brick Layers (two words), 520 Bricklayers, and Brick City. But my favorite name for a new team is from a group of guys who obviously work with blood. They're the Hemoglobin Trotters. That's classic!