Leave it to Machine Gun Kelly (call me ‘MG’) to deliver a preemptive strike. Even before The Wave hit the newsstands with wholly accurate reports of his opening night barrage (read 47 shot attempts), MG decided to mitigate fallout by suddenly employing a self-imposed partial disarmament.
He left his Glock, Uzi, bazooka, and grenade launcher home and showed with nothing more than a six shooter. Oh yea, and he brought pom-poms, too---because you need them to cheer when you spend some time on the bench---which he did willingly on this second night of the young season.
MG’s shocking (and generous) transformation helped trigger a Green Envy turnaround. Just a week earlier this rag-tag bunch got bounced by 20 and it looked like they were building a nice foundation for a lousy season. But such a feeling was like a Mark Twain death announcement or a Chris Boyle honeymoon performance: most premature!
With point guard John Cosgrove in the lineup after a first week AWOL, the Green Peppers proved a much more formidable group as they surprised a Gray Panther squad 74-66.
Green, notable for some beefy players, jumped to an early lead and sat on that cushion for most of the contest. The only time their lead seemed in peril was when the aroma of an outdoor barbecue wafted through the gym. You could see their noses twitch and their concentration wane as the unmistakable scent of burgers and franks filled the gym.
Player-Coach Jim Dunn noticing the distraction called time-out, barking at his players that the BBQ was a reward only to be enjoyed with a victory. "You don’t win, you don’t eat." It may not go down there with Knute Rockne but Dunn’s edict seemed to do the trick as Green lunched on the poor play of the Panthers the rest of the way.
Dan Leary returned to his superstar self, hitting those impossible 8-10 footers all game long. Bob Gunner Geary, previously misidentified as a Machine Gun mentor, made the play of the game. As the Grays were inching back, Geary made a surprise steal then shocked the world by passing to Machine Gun for a backbreaking hoop.
Eddie "the balcony" Cashen, showed a sensitive side as he reacted time and again to some hecklers in the crowd. When not exchanging pleasantries with said hecklers, Cashen played a relatively flawless game.
Jimmy Roberts, maligned fairly in last week’s recap, might be the x-factor on this squad. When he’s sharp, as he was in Game Two, this team is tough. And jeez, with Harry Keep The Change Werner, doing his usual boardwork this team might have nothing more than an appetite for a championship.
Game two showcased two teams who enjoyed an opening week bye: The Blue Sky and the Men from Maroon.
The Blue Sky is the team that answers the trivia question: which Graybeard ’99 team has six firemen on it? On this night they were also the answer to the question: which team is most inept offensively?
Billy Collins, one the squad’s bravest, had to sit this one out after laser eye surgery earlier in the day. He did come around to lend moral support, though. After five minutes of watching his team, Collins said through tears, "The operation didn’t work. Everything’s distorted. It looks like the debate team took up hoops." Welcome to the world of 20/20, Bill.
For Collins it was like that Twilight Zone episode where the character undergoes plastic surgery and comes out looking great. Trouble is, the rest of society is suddenly grotesque. And in this case the grotesque figures scoring a measly 45 points are your teammates. The sideshow star of this grotesque collection, putting up more than a shot a minute, is Kenny Chin Brady.
Chin, another one of Blue’s firemen, has square-rooted his game to economics. "I paid $85 to join and I should get at least one shot for every dollar." One of the league accountants standing nearby begged to differ. "Kenny’s shot isn’t worth two cents. When we play against him tell him I’ll pay him two dollars for every brick he throws up." Ouch. (Though it sounds like a money maker, Chin).
The Men from Maroon don’t seem to have a bricklayer in the bunch. With Kevin Boyle in a coaching-only role for the game, Maroon had talent on the floor and vocal chords on the side. Mark "Head" Cannon started off a tad chilly on the offensive end but offered in your face dee from the git-go. Even with his offense sputtering early, Head got rolling enough to finish with 27. J.D. Donovan and Kevin Raphael add height to this impressive group and Tom "Beachball" Carroll adds impressive width. With Maroon on a roll, going up nine, Coach Boyle called time-out to give his troops a breather. They immediately went in the tank and found themselves tied at half, 29-29.
At halftime Boyle gave the team the silent treatment and the squad responded with a big second half to secure the victory.
Every player from each team got in the scoring column and are happily out of the "last man to score" contest.
With no air balls, no techs, and no satisfaction for the terminally thirsty the rules committee called an emergency meeting. New rules were passed, unanimously: if your team doesn’t score 50 points your team must treat. Enjoying the jois du moment with everybody getting along so swimmingly the rules committee decided to push on. Players take note: you score more than 30 and you’re buying (heroism is frowned upon); if you foul out, you’re buying (no one should play that kind of defense). Just remember: bring the cash----the thirty throng doesn’t forget.
The Wave received an anonymous letter last week saying that Machine Gun Kelly is really a nice guy, really doesn’t shoot too much, and the media should lighten up on him. Hey Machine Gun---next time you write an anonymous letter remember not to include the autographed 8x10 glossy of yourself.
Magic Dan Edwards the man of 1000 nicknames just added another: say hello to The Lemon Drop Kid.