I figure if Tony is calling me, it’s either to offer me an assistant coaching position or to offer me an actual spot on the team. I don’t really care which one he wants me to have because I will be so excited that my favorite man on Grounds has contacted me of all people. All my dreams will come true. I will admit that I would shed a few tears. Who wouldn’t?
2. Try to learn about basketball
I know some things about basketball. I know what free throws are, as well as dribbling and fouls. Do I totally understand the whole bonus/double bonus thing? Maybe not. Do I know how to arrange a play? Absolutely not. But if I have any chance of not being fired as a new assistant coach, I suppose I should actually learn more than just the basics of the game. Is there some sort of summer session about Coaching 101?
3. Update my resume
Once I become a part of the team, whether I’m an assistant coach or a player, I will no longer have to search for jobs and internships that relate to my major. In fact, I will be able to delete everything on my resume and just write “Look me up.” I’ll also include a photo of Tony and me together just to show how important I am and how Tony and I are obviously good buddies. See what could be, Tony Bennett? We’d be a great pair!
4. Practice my free throws
If there’s one basketball thing I can do, it’s shooting while standing still. So maybe while I’m embarrassing the team with my less-than-stellar dribbling, I’ll make up for it with my free throws. Considering how slow and awkward I am, it will be very easy for me to be fouled. If we’re ever losing, all Tony would have to do is put me in there, and I’ll do my best to muck everything up.
5. Become Troy Bolton
I am not especially skilled at playing sports. I can play a mean round of badminton, but ask me to run while dribbling, and that’s a whole other story. I took dance classes for 12 years, so instead of practicing my drills, I’m just going to learn every bit of choreography that Zac Efron had as Troy Bolton in “High School Musical.” I’ll practice my hair flips, dramatic jumps and shooting the outside J. Don’t ask me what that means. Just keep ya head in the game.
6. Update my wardrobe
How will people know I’m on the basketball team if I’m not dressed in team gear at any and all times? I’ve never seen the players in anything other than t-shirts and hoodies, and I’ve only seen one in jeans once in my life. At least I’ll be comfy. But if I become an assistant coach, I’ll need to stock up on my blue suits. I’ve never actually worn a suit, and they seem stuffy and annoying, but I’ll do anything for you, Tony.
7. Negotiate a new mascot
Listen, CavMan has had a great run. He’s a fan favorite, especially when he comes riding in on a horse during football games. But let’s face it, there is no good way to make a human face not look terrifying as a mascot. Just look at Purdue Pete or the Providence Friar. Those faces are the stuff of nightmares. May I instead suggest a new and improved mascot — Cavalier Cat. I will even offer up my sweet cat, Ancho, for the gig. He’s great with crowds and would look so cute in blue and orange. I’m sure Tony will see the logic in this switch.
I don’t know if everyone knows this, but University athletes have their own special dining hall in John Paul Jones Arena. Apparently their food is much better than what’s given to regular students in the normal dining halls, and whenever I see an athlete get on the bus from the JPJ stop, they always have handfuls of delicious snacks. So as soon as that contract is signed with the University, I am heading right over to JPJ and loading up my plate. I am going to grab so many Uncrustables that my backpack will be overflowing. An athlete’s gotta eat, right?
9. Grow an entire foot
Just in case you were confused, I meant that I need to grow an entire foot in height, not an extra appendage. Although if a third foot would make me faster, maybe it’s not such a bad idea. Right now, I stand at a menacing five-foot-three-and-a-quarter. In comparison to a person of average height, it takes me double the time to get anywhere because of my tiny legs. I’m so short that people usually look right over top of me, and I am constantly craning my neck to meet people’s gazes. But maybe my shortness could be a skill? All those guys are so tall that it’d be near impossible for them to see me weaving in between their legs for the game-winning shot.
10. Protect my wrists
Theoretically, what if I become the De’Andre Hunter of the team and my potential absence causes the entire rhythm of the game to falter to the point where we lose to a team whose mascot is a Golden Retriever? Obviously I can’t let that happen again, so if Tony will have me, I will do all that I can to not break any bones. I’ve been pretty lucky so far in that I’ve only broken one bone in my 20 years — it was my middle finger, in case you were wondering.