Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sometimes I Just Don't Understand People

I enjoy playing basketball.

I'm not an all star on the court, but I can hold my own. Put me on the floor with a group of guys who can run really well, and I'm happy be the role player and let the other guys shine. Put me on the court with fellas who are average at best, and I don't mind taking the spotlight. I just like to play, get some exercise, and win as much as I can.

Over the past year I've played with three different groups of players. Two of them were pickup games (two separate groups, we'll call them group A and group B), and the third was a paid league at a local gym with refs, scorekeepers, team records, and playoffs. Unfortunately, I will no longer be participating in the latter group.

In all three of these groups I hardly knew anybody before starting to run with them. Each group contained a wide mix of players, old, young, good, not-so-good, you name it. But the league players turned out to be absolutely obnoxious. And I can't figure out why.

Logic, in my mind, would state that if you're playing in a paid league, you would want to work hard to jell as a team and support each other. That never happened... if you did something wrong, a teammate would get in your face about it. You would also think that since the games were shorter than the pickup games (roughly 30 minutes worth of playing time in a league vs. 1-2 hours in pickup games), that you would want to get the most out of your run, and try to be very efficient. That didn't happen either. Half the time, the players are yelling at the refs for bad/missed calls, or showing up late to the game, or crying like babies because they don't get the ball enough. This behavior totally boggles my mind.

In my two groups of pickup games, I NEVER heard any serious arguments or borderline fights break out. Yet in practically every game of the paid league, a screaming match would break out (usually directed at the refs) or somebody would play rough and cause guys to jaw at each other during stoppages in play, all while the clock was running. Meanwhile in pickup games, yes there would be trash talking, but it was all good natured and light hearted, even if you didn't know the other guys that well. If you fouled somebody, you called it and moved on. Slightly bump into a guy during a league game and it was grounds to yell for a foul or start swinging elbows. Unbelievable.

Sometimes I just don't understand people...

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