Coach Parker’s Halftime Pep Talk

All right you nitwits, get your asses over here and huddle up. I got some things to say. I’ve never seen such a pathetic performance. At this point I’m seriously considering just benching all of you and subbing in your tigers.

I’ll be honest with you assholes: I’m not having a good day. I know that a magician should never tell his secrets, but I’m going to tell you one anyway: my son’s in jail. And not the kind you’re supposed to escape from.

You know what they nailed him for? Public intoxication. He passed out in the bouncy castle after one

too many Mike’s Hard Lemonades, and what should have been a dazzling show of prestidigitation was just another ruined sixth birthday party.

But I grew a pair and I dealt with it. I didn’t just cry, extract an endless chain of garishly colored

handkerchiefs from my open mouth, and wipe my eyes with them. No, I did what any self-respecting magician would do: I reached into a top hat, pulled out my 9 mm “wand,” and “murdered” everyone in the police station. I want you boys to go out there with that kind of chutzpah.

Okay, let’s get down to business. We’re losing by twenty points and we’ve committed more personal

fouls than I can count. My star forward’s injured and my best point guard is in a straightjacket and  locked inside an aquarium. So I’m gonna need you all to pick up the slack.

Nicholson, I like you. I like you a lot, buddy, but honestly you’ve gotta get your head in the game. Every time LaSalle passes you the rock, you charge up the middle like an idiot, try for an impossible lay-up when you’re being double-teamed by those giants Mason and Laferty, and then on the rebound you turn the ball into doves. I can’t believe you would do something so crazy! You know that card tricks work better in a fullcourt press. Fundamentals, man!

Kowolski! What the hell was that? Whose ass did you pull that play out of? You pulled it out of Carleton’s? Man, you were supposed to pull it out of the ear of a doe-eyed child! Come on!

And Magic Johnson. I’m not even sure why I drafted you. Not only are you supposed to be retired, but the only magic thing you’ve done is not die of AIDS. After this game I’m going to do what I should have done a long time ago…saw your salary in half. Right after I fire you.

(pauses, looks around at circle of gathered players, sighs) Man, why did I ever decide to coach magician basketball?