No matter what your parents and coaches tell you, competitive sports are not about having fun; they’re about winning. So, what’s really important is who’s the best, not who’s the most entertained.
When I played soccer as a little kid, I wasn’t the best, but since I was slightly above the median, I got a taste of what it was like to be the best. At that young age, I decided that I could and would become the best. With a little hard work and some dedication, I could do it. Of course, had I taken into account the biological embargo nature placed on my foray into puberty, I might have chosen otherwise.
One by one, my friends started inching further towards the sky and away from the soccer field. As my teammates matured, they became substantially faster and stronger than me. Meanwhile, I had stagnated, with 75 lbs. on a 4’2″ frame. In no time at all, the kid on the team who used to play goalie when we were up by 10 goals was starting for me as right midfielder.
Now, I’ve reached the level of comprehension where I can objectively evaluate my physical abilities. Upon doing so, I’ve realized that I was aiming the wrong way all along. I should have aimed in the opposite direction…but not too far in the other direction. I should have aimed for the middle.
The middle was attainable. It would have been an exercise in preservation. Instead of concentrating on learning new, fancier skills to compete with the best, I could have paid attention to improving what I already did well. I wouldn’t score flashy goals or even make elegant passes. I’d intercept poor passes and block weak shots. I’d dribble the ball across midfield and then dump it off to one of my more athletic teammates. If there was a penalty shootout, I’d be the “6th Man,” waiting patiently to make an appearance in case one of my more skilled teammates suffered an injury.
I can reflect all I want, but I still won’t get my soccer youth back.
But it’s not too late. I’ve found my mediocre salvation of sorts. Most of us have been to Chuck E. Cheese’s at some point in our lives and during that brief, or far-too-unbrief stay, we tried our hand at the hybrid pasttime that singlehandedly defines the establishment: Skee-ball: 10-20-30-40-50. It’s not quite bowling, not exactly pool, and definitely not darts. But it attracts the same sad fucks that these “sports” do.
So where does that leave me? Well, I’m the first to admit that being a Skee ball expert (a skee-balla) would require an unexpectedly large amount of “skeel,” as I call it.
But, even if I could reach that level of aptitude, would it be worth it? Would anyone watch me? Would I have a trading card? Most importantly, would anyone respect me?
What if I were to become the most medium skee-ball player on the planet? Now that sounds a pretty appealing. I’d avoid the shame of being considered an expert in such a “juvenile” field while at the same time retaining a certain amount of gameland street cred with the hardcore skeeballas. I might even get a mid level sponsorship from Chuck E. Cheese’s: free pizza.
This is the kind of sport where being the most medium is in fact the pinnacle of the lifestyle. The amount of skeel neccessary to be the most medium is perfectly medium as well. I could just go for the 30 hole and make it pretty consistently. A 40 here, a 10 there, and maybe a 50 once a month or so. No wacky spin or ricochets for me. Just plain ol’ straight skeein’. I could practice for just twenty five minutes a day and I’d have enough prize tickets to fund an economic revolution in Uruguay (After all, Chuck E. Currency is more stable than their legal tender).
“But wait,” you’re probably saying to yourself, “Skeeball isn’t today. It isn’t kutting-edj. It’s not hip enough for today’s supermegaultrahyperhip generation.”
Au contraire, dear reader. Skeeball.com, creators of this fine piece of American culture, have the following to say about their newest product: “Skee-Ball X-Treme GAA An X-Treme game with X-Treme colors, at an X-Treme low price. Skee-Ball’s X-Treme Alley offers the same great game play as the original Skee-Ball Alley, only with state-of-the-art electronics and a bolder, brighter new color scheme. Featuring the same quality construction synonymous with the Skee-Ball name.”
So, that settles it. I’m gonna become the most X-tramedium skee baller the world, or at least Chuck E Cheese’s San Bruno, has ever seen.
Wish me luck. But not too much. And not too little.