Game Time, Fan Fare, and Extra Curriculars

Game Time, Fan Fare, and Extra Curriculars
Feb 12, 2007, 02:01 pm
It’s been a whole 5 days since my last post here on DraftExpress. It seems the last one was rather well received which was pretty cool. Here I am sitting at home (because I refuse to go outside due to the temperature), in front of my computer for like 8 straight hours reading comments that people posted on my blog thinking “if only they knew I’m really NOT that cool.” I seriously only took a break from comment-reading to watch “Smallville” on Thursday night. Clark and Lana rekindling their love all while Chloe fights her feelings and Lex reveals he has a master plan? Wow you can’t beat that, but I digress. My point is that I’m appreciative of all the love I’ve been shown, especially since I started toomuchrodbenson on a whim after seeing a San Francisco billboard that read “Are You?”. I was thinking that it was a site that helped people determine their sexuality or something and found it to be very ridiculous, but also very San Fran. Well, that and the fact that I needed something to take my mind off the fact that my so called girlfriend at the time said “So, we’re just friends, right?” after I rode in a hot van 11 hours from S.F. to Eugene, OR, with a Rock band I had met the night before to surprise her – seriously. So, yea, it’s cool that so many people visit now.

I’m currently in Bakersfield, CA right now because we played the Anaheim Arsenal on Sat. and the Jam last night. It’s funny to think I used to call Bakersfield the worst big city in California. I take that back right now. After living in Bismarck, I find Bakersfield to be a glorious, fantastic place. I could raise my kids here and never move again. 65 degrees has never felt so warm. Anyways, like I said we played the Arsenal for the first part of this road trip and the Jam yesterday and there were a few interesting things from the past few days…

Game Time:

The first game we played I had to match up against Corsely Edwards (I think he was the #1 overall pick in the D-League) and Tyler Smith. For one, Corsely is about 300 lbs, give or take a Big Mac, so I was a little worried about getting pushed under the basket considering I’m only 220 soaking wet and wearing boots. Secondly, I knew that Tyler Smith is one of the smartest, toughest players in the D-League, making it nearly impossible to get good position anywhere on the court – he seems to always beat you to the spot because he is the first to know where the spot is and he’s talented enough to take it. To my surprise however, I ended up with 21 rebounds, the highest total I’ve had since high school. My final line was 11 pts, 21 rbs, and 2 blks. I was hoping to come away from that game with 6 rebounds given their ability down low, so it was pretty special to me to play so well. I think it must have been the fact that we went out to Hollywood the night before and all the fully toothed, attractive women must have jump-started my system a little bit or something.

We continued the next day against the Jam up here in Bakersfield. This game was pretty much an average game for me (11pts. 5 rebs, 2 stl). I would have predicted better totals because I thought Patrick O'Bryant was a slow footed kid with bad hands. I only believed this because I had read it on some website. I was dead wrong. You really can’t believe the “Experts” sometimes because they can be wrong quite often. This kid is long, athletic enough, and a big time game changer if for no other reason than the fact that he’s good at being tall. I had 12 offensive rebs against Anaheim and zero vs. the Jam. We play them again tomorrow and I HAVE to get at least 4 offensive rebounds, that’s all there is to it. It won’t be easy.

Fan Fare:

At the Anaheim game I gave out close to 15 tickets for my friends and family and they all came out. All my friends decided to sit together because the Anaheim convention center was about 1/8 filled up. I guess the ushers kept approaching them and asking “Let me see your tickets! Hmm I dunno, you’re supposed to be way on the other side, pal. I oughta enforce it. I oughta enforce it. But, I won’t. You just better hope the people who own these seats don’t storm through here all mad about their seats.” I heard part of this and they filled in the blanks for me after the game. I could see if this was a Laker game at Staples, but it wasn’t. There was NO WAY that anyone was gonna come and take these seats. Impossible.

After the game I’m feeling real big time because of my performance. As I’m walking to the locker room, there’s a little girl kind of out of the way of my path to the locker room doors and she’s holding a basketball and a pen. It really is out of the way, but I think to myself “This little girl wants my Autograph, huh? Man that’s cool of her to not really follow points like that. She obviously was looking at the rebound totals or something. Maybe her dad told her to get my autograph. Either way it’s cool.” I walk up to her and she literally turns a 180 and just stands there with her back to me leaving me just standing there all-awkward. She then turns back around and gets the autograph of EVERYONE ELSE ON MY TEAM. I had a quick reality check. “21 rebs doesn’t make you big time, and why the hell would you think this little girl got the stat sheet so quickly and noted your rebound totals you idiot,” I thought to myself as I was showering after the game.

In Bakersfield I’m warming up and the music is playing as usual. I look over and there’s an middle aged white guy who looks like he could be an important businessman during the week (except for the fact that he’s wearing a fanny pack), talking to a bunch of people. I don’t pay attention really and continue to stretch. When I turn back around, I see him pop-locking to the words “Im a Jig-A-Lo Spen-din Lots-A-Dough,” and it’s just hilarious. I dunno why he decided to do it, but I laughed.

Bakersfield is unique from any other pro sports team, ever. Why, you ask? It’s because their dance team has MEN on it. I have never, ever, seen another team with MEN on it in all of pro sports. I can actually say that in some places there are male dancers, but they really dance. These guys were doing moves like toe-touches and the splits and that stiff armed “#1” point that cheerleaders do, you know the one where they kind of sway their hips forward and go up on one toe? Yea, THAT one. I’m over here like this is absolutely ridiculous; there is no entertainment value here.

Extra Curricular:

Everybody knows there’s a lot of talking in Pro Sports, especially football and basketball. In the D-League I feel there is more than any other level of basketball. I personally do a lot of talking. We’re mostly all friends anyways so it’s all good. One game, I completely flopped on Luke Schenscher and got the call, and then the next time down, I reached around him and stole the ball while he was making his move. He later got some B.S. call on me and I go “Ehh, I guess I got you twice, you got me once, we’re even.” He goes “Yea, mate. No doubt.”

In Anaheim, Corsely comes out at half time and says, “You got 15 boards, bet I get more than you?” I laugh and reply “Naww I got you today kid.” I’ve now got kind of a friendly rivalry going in that game to outrebound him. There’s no way he’s gonna catch me. Towards the end of the game I KNOW I have 19 boards and I want that 20, I can taste it. I’m at the free throw line and I say to Corsely “Hey, look, all I need is 1 more board and 2 more points for my double double with 20 boards. How bout you just met me get one real quick?” He goes, “You’re gonna have to let me get one then.” Dammit If I let him get one, then I cant get MINE. Oh well, it was worth asking. I had been talking with Tyler Smith a little during the game and I had mentioned how I liked his game. All of this was cool because after the game both of them congratulated me on how I played. I feel that’s how basketball should be -- fun…it is a game after all.

In Bakersfield it was kind of another story. I told O’Bryant he had a nice hook, which he does, so that was all good. The problem came when Mateen Cleaves checked in. Yea, remember him? Mateen Cleaves. First play he’s trying to box me out but he’s basically just holding my shorts the whole time, like 6 straight seconds. I got kinda mad and tried to throw him off of me, but it didn’t work. He must have been an expert fouler. I tell the ref to watch him a little and the ref agrees. The next time down he grabs me AGAIN. The ref calls him on it. I say to Mateen “Just play the game.” I swear that he fires back at me, loud enough for my homie to hear him front the 8th row, “why don’t you just shut the #$%@ up! Just shut the #$%$ up!” Whoa, right? He goes 0-60 in 2 seconds flat. So I say back to him “Wow, really? Where have YOU been the last 3 years?” Play resumes. I feel good about what I said because I know it must have gotten to him. Later, when I’m on the bench, I think to myself “His fall from grace must have been swift to go from NCAA National Champ, to NBA, to defensive ‘Goon’ in the NBDL.” Then I thought, “Man, at least he HAS been somewhere. He wouldn’t even know your name if it wasn’t on the back of your jersey, Rod.” Dammit I was right, he wins by default. But I did feel good because he has a real big head, like a baby.

Regardless of whether the talk is good or bad, the handshakes at the end seem to rectify all. As I went to shake Mateen’s hand, I knew he wasn’t a bad guy. I’ve played dirty too at times. Whatever, it’s all part of the game, and that was it.

Well that wraps it up again. Remember you can always find MORE Rod Benson, including the full details of the night out before the Anaheim game, and the trip to Eugene, Oregon at Until next time…

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