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3:33 Sports Short

3:33 Sports Short #28 // Small Meditations by Michael Wasson

Crushed in the hands, the scent of pine needles & the smear of sap on the ball. My jump shot comes to me from hours behind my childhood home shooting at the hoop that my long-haired uncles drilled into the face of the pine. No real court to dribble on. That’s okay. I just shoot under the large pine that I mistake for a fatherly skeleton crucified at dusk. After a few weeks, the ball lies half-discolored. A face I’ve not touched in years it seems. Flattening. But I pick it up again & arc through the low hanging arms of this skeletal, living tree.

i.

3:33 Sports Short #27 // Loop Recovery by Michael Nye

I said basketball, and the technician just laughed. He looked up from selecting the appropriate cast to wrap around my right ankle.

“Let me guess,” he said. “Shooting a layup.”

Here’s what happened: a jump shot had gone up strong side; I had been standing at the free throw line. The shot bricked, ricocheted high, and the rebound was batted in the air like a balloon, once, twice, then tapped to the corner. I turned to race after it. One player made a last leap for the ball, missed it, and landed directly on the back of my ankle. His weight anchored me, and his weight and force ruptured my Achilles.

The technician shook his head. “That’s crazy. I’ve never heard one like that.”

The paper underneath me crinkled as I shifted on the examination table. It occurred to me that if the guy was an inch or two to the other side of my leg, we probably just tangle up, crash, and my Achilles remains intact.

3:33 Sports Short #24 // So Far by Mindy Misener

Today's pair of 3:33 Sports Shorts both concern one's relation to sports as time passes. Mindy Misener's piece below and Brook Randel's piece "Quitter" both explore loss, albeit in interestingly contradictory yet complementary ways. Enjoy!


I am in first grade and I am running full-tilt after a boy who has—as is the custom—seized and taken off with some girl’s plastic headband. My own teacher steps in front of me, intercepting me.

"Why are you doing this?” she asks me.

“If I don’t get them,” I say, “who will?”

*

There’s a scrawny, pale boy in my fourth-grade class. We are both on the track team, a connection I treasure. I am an industrious, rule-abiding student; this boy tells dirty jokes when the teacher leaves the room.

3:33 Sports Short #16 // Sports are Fun? by Theressa Slind

The 3:33 Sports Shorts are back! We're kicking off this week with two posts that explore one of sports' most consistent bedfellows: anger! In this post Theressa Slind talks about raising a daughter who plays sports for *gasp*... fun. Click here to read Rob Stephens's post about the (occasionally) rigteous anger that sports fans direct at referees.

3:33 Sports Short #8 // Tribal Bands

by Justin Brouckaert

This Christmas, my parents bought me a watch that tracks steps and monitors heart rate, syncs the data to an app. I trek around my city trying to take pride in stairs climbed, calories burned, badges earned, but usually the numbers feel empty. I feel like I’m posing in a world I don’t belong to—or worse, like I’m pretending to be someone I left behind long ago.

*     *     *

One night during my first winter running seventy miles per week, I found myself at a party in a smoky basement with one good friend and a swarm of strangers.

“This guy,” my friend introduced me, “he loves running. Running is his life.

One man asked why I wore my running watch upside down, the face on my wrist’s underside. I told him it was easier to hit the lap button, a quicker flick to check my pace.

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