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A message for Bookstore ballers – bring it

Tae Andrews | Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prepare yourselves, Bookstore Basketball field, for me and my ilk are coming, and we are not happy. In years past, my teammates and I have made various attempts at Bookstore glory, only to end in failure. The team names and costumes changed, but one thing remained the same: Losing in the first round.

Like an abused but loyal puppy dog, we keep coming back for another kicking, year after year. However, in keeping with the old saying, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – and try again we will.

Although the tournament is held in April, we tend to play more like March: we come in roaring like angry lions, and leave like meek little lambs. However, after suffering ignominious first-round defeats in both of the last two years, I’m positive that this year’s tournament will end differently for my squad and me.

What’s different about this year’s team, you ask? Well, on the surface, not a whole lot. I know I, for one, have spent most of this semester draining my Flex points instead of draining threes. However, there are a few things we have going for us.

For one thing, we’re a year older and a year wiser. Crafty, veteran teams tend to go further. We’ve been hitting the weights. Unfortunately, none of us have managed to grow any taller, but after implementing our new fun ‘n gun offense (a la the Phoenix Suns) I’m confident we’ll be able to score points like man-eating bears flock to a dying carcass: quickly and in bunches.

Last year’s squad, Los Luchadores, suffered from tunnel vision and a noticeable lack of focus, which may or may not be the result of our wearing Mexican luchador wrestling masks, which are hot as Hades and noticeably impair one’s ability to see. Although we were heavily tattooed, we didn’t manage to leave our mark on the tournament.

In many ways we were doomed from the outset last season. For one, our game attracted scores of screaming female fans, which is probably due to the fact that we played sans shirts. The meat parade on display elicited raucous verbal support, and at times I could barely hear myself think, never mind hear the playcalls, due to the roar of the females in attendance.

Unfortunately for both our female fans and our opponents (but fortunately for us), this year we’ll be keeping our shirts on and our masks off. We are what we are, and what we are is a bunch of Type-B hardcourt warriors living in Notre Dame’s Type-A world.

No, we don’t play brutal, bone-crushing WWE-type defense. However, we have been preparing for the rough and tumble world of Bookstore in several ways, such as kicking each other in the shins, punching each other in the stomach and putting Tabasco sauce on our food on an impromptu basis in order to toughen up for the Big Dance. I’ll also be packing a taser and brass knuckles for the event.

This year’s incarnation of ‘Los Luchadores’ will keep the same warrior’s mentality but boast a sharper intellectual edge over the enemy. The team and I have been watching a whole lot of basketball this year, from NBA action to the March Madness NCAA Tournament. After watching and learning, we’ll be able to put on a basketball clinic for anyone unfortunate to have to play us this year. In other words, bring a notebook to Stepan – school’s in session.

Similarly, we’ve spent our time twiddling our thumbs- on videogame controller sticks, that is. After hours logged on NBA Live 2007, I’m confident that the increase in fine motor control will translate to that extra touch I’ve been missing on my jumper, which will in turn allow me to keep it raining like April showers come Bookstore time. Even better, as the premier scoring threat on my team, I won’t even have to drop a Kobe Bryant-like 65 points for us to win- the games only go to 21.

You can forget about George Mason. For those of you keeping score at home, feel free to pencil (check that, pen) us in your brackets for Round Number Two. In fact, I’m so confident in our team that I’ll personally guarantee a victory if we’re matched up against an all-female squad in the first round.

Of course, you may be thinking, “Won’t all this trash-talking put a bulls-eye on our backs, giving our opponents an incentive to come gunning for us like veteran Halo players feasting on hapless newbies on Lockout Level? The answer, friends, is that it doesn’t matter: like a whoopee cushion, our team performs better under pressure. Come hell or high water, we are going to reach the exalted second round of Bookstore: 0-2 is not good enough.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Tae Andrews at tandrew1@nd.edu