With the high school basketball season beginning, my greatest hope is that every player who takes the court plays to the best of his or her ability, and displays the utmost sportsmanship.

You know, I guess I also hope that referees across the state will take a less myopic view towards dunking the basketball this season, and be less quick to slap a kid with a technical foul for simply making an efficient basketball play. As I sit here and remember the senseless technical fouls that marred the tournament last season, I’d like to make that my greatest hope, a more common sense application of the rules. Then, of course, that every player who takes the court plays to the best of his or her ability, and displays the utmost sportsmanship.

Wait. Wait, Wait. Let me backtrack again. My greatest hope is that every high school band loses the sheet music to “The Final Countdown” in a small fire. I gotta tell you, I’ve never liked that song. I didn’t like it when I was 14 years old and MTV crammed it and those big haired posers in the band Europe down our throats, and now I like it even less. That song has been musical stomach flu for more than 30 years. It makes my ears hurt just thinking about it, so my greatest hope for the upcoming high school basketball season is that nobody is forced to endure “The Final Countdown.”

And of course, let them dunk and sportsmanship. Yeah that should do it.

Stop. I’m so sorry. Sub-varsity overtime. How could I forget sub-varsity overtime? Not much worse than a varsity game delayed because the freshman and/or junior varsity games went triple overtime. Let’s revisit this list. My greatest hope for the upcoming high school basketball season is speedy play in sub varsity games, without playing a note from “The Final Countdown,” dunking like those are the most important two points in the history of basketball, Dunking like the rim stole your lunch money. Getting air as if you’ve come off a trampoline, no, out of a cannon, and bringing home a windmill dunk that would make Michael Jordan blush, and…

What? Oh, yes, of course. That stuff about playing hard and sportsmanship, yeah. That’s still on the list. I’ll find room.

But you know, is that a realistic goal? I mean, some kid is going to get frustrated at some point and say the wrong thing and all of a sudden there’s a technical foul and my hope is smashed. I mean, if they’ll T up a dunk, they might T up anything. No, no, you’re right. I’ll keep it. Dream big, right?

I’ll slide it in right after silencing fans who spend the entire game chirping to “call it both ways” or reminding everybody in the zip code that “there’s two teams out there.” It is my greatest hope for the upcoming basketball season that these people get laryngitis. Or lose their keys and can’t make it to the games. An empty seat is a quiet seat.

I’m starting a realize I need to prioritize this. OK, number one, dunk with impunity. Two, the boorish fans thing. Three, that miserable, terrible song. Four, no JV overtime.

And of course, my fifth hope would be that every player who takes the court plays to the best of his or her ability, and displays the utmost sportsmanship.

Thank you, everybody.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]ine.com

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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