Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Recruiting the Terminator

As I put down the phone, the door bell rang, I opened it to a guy who looked like the current governor of California except this guy was wearing a size 54 extra large Georia Tech Sweatshirt and holding a volleyball.

"Hello, I’m sorry, you probably have the wrong house. We’re democrats and watch movies with subtitles."

"I'm the head coach at Georgia Tech and I'm here for you great grandchild."

"Isn't Bond Shymansky the head coach at Georgia Tech?"

"He is in 2004, I'm the head coach in 2075 when Tech finally makes the final four."
"Look, we don't even have grandchildren yet, but when we do we’ll send you one of those recruiting videotapes."

I start to close the door,but the guy who looks like the governor sets himself a one and lets it fly at Mrs. Boris.

Amazingly, Mrs. Boris, who has never played volleyball to my knowledge, drops into the perfect USVA position and digs it to me at the top of my jump, just over six feet. I swing at the governor/droid and the ball bounces off our living room window. Mrs. Boris points to herself, letting me know that my blowing her perfect set was her fault.

"Your great grandaughter, if she's ever born, is going to be the last human volleyball player. I am here to stop her."

"Oh my god, they're going to have android volleyball players?"

"Of course, they are, they already do now?"

"They do?"

"You think Mike Hebert really found that libero in Brazil? You think humans could got to all those club tournaments, have a 4.5 gpa, take 4 AP classes, be class president, and homecoming queen all at the same time? Where do you think half of Stanford's 2006 recruiting class came from."

"Well you do have a point there."

Mrs. Boris retrieves the volleyball under our coffee table and serves a sixty mile an hour jump floater right at the governor's size 26 neck.

"That’s for the University of California system, " she yells, "Hasta la vista, baby,"

The governor/Tech coach of the future wobbles as he tries set up for a tandon pass. The ball hits him right in the adam’s apple and he falls over in a heap on our doorstep.

"Who’s the girlie man now!" Mrs. Boris high fives me. I’ve never seen her in this sort of frenzy.

I rush to close the front door.

A fist smashes through our door, followed by the governor's head.

"No Point."

This is NCVA, liberos only serve in college. We start to argue, but the governor holds up a yellow card at us and we have to back off.

I turn to Mrs, Boris, "You never told me you could play volleyball?"

"You never asked," she says smoothly. "Just because I dont’ read those stupid bulletin boards doesn’t mean I can’t play."

As we talk, a fist smashes through our door then a head, then the governor’s skeleton as we now see that his body is just a silver puddle on our doorstep. He has the volleyball and hits an eighty mile an hour C at us. Mrs. Boris dives on the living room rug, pancakes it and I double the set.

"Dad, this is really pretty sad. Mom makes a great play and you can’t even get it set."

It’s our fourteen year old daughter who’s just gotten off the phone in her bedroom.

"Look, isn’t it your turn to call lines or keep score or something?"
My daughter takes a seat on the couch and pulls one of those scoring things out from under the coffee table. The governor grabs the ball and hits a hard four off my forearm.

"Ow, that really hurt."

"Can’t your kid get the score right, it’s three to nothing?"

"Don’t yell at my kid," Mrs. Boris screams as she hits another jump serve that knocks the governor/Georgia Tech coach over again.

"Payback time, that’s for letting that indian casino two miles from her high school."

My wife and daughter high five one another. I hear the sound of a motorcycle just outside our kitchen. A slight looking bald man with glasses hops off the Harley carrying a bag of volleyballs. He jumps on top of our coffee table and starts hitting them at the Tech Coach in rapid succession shouting "Bah" each time.

"Joe Sagula?"

"Dammit, this isn’t fair." The Governor now has both hands in front of his face as balls fly at him faster then he can cover up.

"Joe Sagula Four, actually. I’m the UNC coach in 2075."

"Wow, Joe got married and had kids? That’s great."

"No, actually I’m his clone."

He hits another one that hits the governor square in the face. The governor then picks himself up and runs out the open door,jumps over the puddle of silver liquid, and hops into a Hummer H2.

"I’ll be baack...." he snarls at us.

"Wow, coach, how do we thank you."

He steps off the coffee table and shakes my hand then pulls out a shiny flat disk that looks to be the paper of the future.

"You can sign this letter of intent for your great granddaughter."

"The unstoppable human left side hitter?"

"That’s the one."

"But we don’t even know her name yet."

"That’s okay, we already have a name for her at UNC."

"By the way, how many soccer championships does Anson Dorrance wind up winning?"

"I don’t know. He’s still coaching in 2075, they stopped counting after number 50."

"Do the US volleyball women ever win a gold medal in the Olympics?"

"Only after they start picking the players who play the best in real matches and change the offense."

"Look, sorry to rush you, I’ve got to get back to 2075 before that Butterfly Effect thing happens and I turn into Ashton Kutcher. Could you and Mrs. Boris just sign here please."

"You mean right where it says the Terminator?"

Even before I handed the disk back to the UNC coach, Mrs. Boris was making our daughter vacuum up the living room.

"Wow" I muttered, "I have to say that was a pretty cool recruiting war.... And I think I’m finally ready for an early commitment, but more of the rubber room variety."



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