Story:Today's A Big Day
Today's A Big Day
Written by T.C.Wildcard33 (Cherry)
September 2, Two days before the combine game...
It was a long week of trials and it has left me more exhausted than anything has before. I arrived at Plymouth two days before the trials and was given a room that was on the reservation list. The FBA sure has set up things nicely. The rooms are quite spacious and there’s even a nice view out the window, and my favorite of everything, a large bathtub. I unpacked everything and left my stuff around my bed and inside the dresser to save me from having to go back and forth when it came time to leave the hotel.
On Wednesday, we have our registration and dinner reception. Dinner was nice. I had some garlic roasted asparagus and a bowl of broccoli pasta. I met a nice looking Dalmatian who I actually ran into during the FCAA Tournament. Carson Good. He’s pretty chill and I got a chance to talk to him and some energetic striped hyena named Shelly. She makes a toast and after that some, but not most, go to their bedrooms. I hang around the lounge area for a bit before doing so.
We got our physicals done early the next morning. Our height, weight and wingspan get documented and we’re given a form to fill out. We went into some scrimmages right after and the coaches ran some light drills. Then we met some GM’s and then it was trials. Day one was strength and speed trials. I did good on speed trials, clocking in 3.3 seconds. Strength is where I struggled, though. After the ninth rep my arms were starting to get wiggly and I barely survived getting in the twelfth one. I knew I could have done better, but there were no do-overs.
The rest of the week is roughly the same; wake up, go into scrimmages, meet GM’s, press interviews (which I skipped most), trials, and the day ends with a seminar. The last day is more lively than all the others. Everyone gathers at the farewell dinner and has a good time together, chatting and laughing loudly. It dies down once the night gets late.
I could have gone home but I decided to stay at the hotel. I’m quite paranoid that something bad will happen. So I spend most of my time inside the bedroom, bringing food up whenever I feel hungry, listening to music, playing my console and whatnot. It is pretty quiet without everyone else here, the ones who went home. It’s the afternoon and I’m bored so I call my brother Rudy.
“Hey Rudy.” I say when he answers.
He asks me how the trials went and I tell him I did good. He gets an excitement in his voice when I tell him I made the Top 24 and congratulates me, “So you get to play in the combine game on Friday?”
“I knew you could do it. I’m proud of you.”
“Will you be watching it?”
“Most definitely. I’ll call mom and dad, let them know you’ll be on live TV.”
I suddenly realize that I haven’t called mom or dad to let them know I’ll be in the games. I’ll just leave Rudy to it. “I bet they’ll invite the neighbors, Ron and Elisa.”
“No. They’re probably gonna invite the whole neighborhood.” He pauses, “Well, mom would.”
“I just hope she doesn’t go overboard.” Mom planned a whole block party a week before I left for Massachusetts.
“Right.” A car honks on his end.
“Are you driving?”
“Uhhhh… yeah- get the hell out the way, I’m trying to turn!” He apologies, “Sorry. I’m on my way to HoVo’s offices. I got a job there.”
“I know,” I prop my pillow against the headboard and lean back. “I saw them announce it on Tweeter.”
“Oh yeah… duh.”
“What’s it like there?”
He takes a while to answer. “Different. Very different, and the offices are bigger than the ones when I was working with the UFFL.”
“Well of course not. The whole staff there is great and I love the environment. Great bunch of people and hard workers, too.” I ask him some questions and he explains to me some more about the place and talks about how he plans to help the agency grow into other leagues. “I’m very excited about this.”
I don’t know what to say after so I just wish him luck, “You’ll do amazing.”
I sigh, trying to come up with something to talk about next. The silence goes on a bit, and he lets it, waiting for me to start something up. When I can’t, he concludes our conversation, “I’m glad we’re both accomplishing our goals, Ben. I mean, you’re the one who had your goals set and I was the one bouncing around but here we are now… You, a soon to be FBA player and I’m working at one of the most prominent sports agencies.”
I think about how surreal it all is once he brings that up. “Yeah. It does feel great.”
“Sure does.” I hear the car stop and he continues, “And I’m sure mom and dad are very proud of us. You mostly.
I roll my eyes. “I’m sure you’re equal.”
“Yeah, but you’re the athlete. You continue the family tradition. I’m just an ordinary Joe.”
“You’re the brains of the family.”
“I guess so,” he says with a dramatic tone, “yeah, you’re right.”
“Don’t get cocky.”
He lets out a short laugh. I laugh with him, then there’s that gap of silence again where neither of us knows what to say next. I can hear his keys jingle as he pulls it out of the ignition and he pops the door open. “Alright, little bro.”
“Call me after work.”
“If I don’t forget,” he says. The car door slams. “Text me so I don’t.”
“Okay, Ben. Talk to you later.” He hangs up.
I toss my phone to the side of me and sink down the bed, sprawling my legs out. It’s pretty late in the morning and getting into the early afternoon and I haven’t eaten yet. So I relax for a little bit before getting out of bed, take a quick shower and then toss on some shorts and a t-shirt. I grab my keycard and lock the door behind me and take the elevator down.
The lobby is empty except for the weasel working at the desk. She’s quite pretty and has beautiful black eyes, slim body and cute ears that flick whenever there’s a sound that startles her. I walk by and smile at her. She blushes.
I see the big hare, Adge Martin seated at a table eating his food as I enter the cafeteria. He was one of the players who stayed at the hotel instead of going home. In his case it made more sense because he’s from Great Britain, and that’s a long journey from here to there. I’ve yet to meet him formally, but that’s because I can’t understand what he’s saying. His accent is so strong. A quick wave and nod of the head is all I use to say ‘hello’ to the dude.
The hare waves back at me and continues eating his food, which they’ve given out a variety of options today. I fix a plate of vegan pizza and a salad on the side and take a seat near the corner of the room before putting in my earbuds. The pizza isn’t spectacular, but it is pretty damn solid. I finish both slices pretty quickly and wash it down with some water. I wipe my lips with a napkin and lean back against my chair.
The day starts to go fast. I head back to my bedroom after spending about two hours in the cafeteria watching videos on my phone. I text Rudy and he responds with, ‘Busy the rest of the day. Talk to you tomorrow?’ I groan at that and throw myself onto the bed. I could easily cure my boredom by going down to the gym but I was feeling lazy today, and my legs were too sore to even do anything. So I boot up the system and play some FBA 2K. Soon it gets pretty late.
September 3, One day before the combine game...
I didn’t eat dinner last night and I feel groggy waking up. My phone alarm goes off a few minutes later and I press the button to stop the beeping. The sun is bright in my eyes and I block it off with my arm. I don’t want to spend too much time in bed this time around so I get up and do my daily routine, head down to the lobby into the cafeteria, eat breakfast and then manage to get myself to go into the hotel’s gym.
I spend some time there doing some light exercises to condition myself a bit. The treadmill is fun to go on and has some cool settings. A few days ago, I played around with it for a bit by adjusting the speed and incline. Today I set it at a nice pace and ran a ten minute mile. I get off to take a breather and get back on to run another mile.
The basketball courts are empty and I get to shoot around by myself before anyone else joins. I grab one of the balls from the cart and take some shots at the elbow then move behind the three point line. In the shooting trials I did poorly here. I’ve always struggled to find a consistent jumper and every time I ‘fix’ something about it, I’m told that something else is wrong with it.
I exit the gym with one last shot from the corner. It just misses right and I don’t feel good leaving like that so I grab the rebound and lay it in.
I eat lunch and do the same as yesterday by watching videos on my phone. This time I do eat dinner and it's already late evening and I didn't get a call from my brother today, but my pocket starts to buzz as I press the button for the elevator. It’s the house number, but someone else is on the line. I don’t recognize who it is until I hear their voice.
“Benjamin! How are you doing?”
“I’m good Mr. Greenworth. How are you and Elisa?”
“I’m good, she’s good,” he says, “I’m pretty sure she’d like to talk to you but she’s tired. She wants to save her energy for the- what’s it called?”
“Yeah, the calm mine.” He has bad hearing.
“It’ll be fun to watch.” I say. The door to the elevator opens and closes.
“Oh, I’m sure it will be.”
Mom says to Ron, “You two can come over and watch it with us. Right Anthony?”
I can hear my dad’s voice from a distance. “Yes.”
“That’s very nice,” Ron says and he sighs into the phone, “Well I just wanted to say a quick ‘hello.’ I’m gonna hang up now.”
“Okay Mr. Greensworth,” I say, “Say hi to Elisa for me.”
I speak a bit louder, “I said, say hi to Elisa.”
I don’t hear anything. I started to get a feeling that I was probably too loud and it sounded like I was being rude to him. “Did I sound rude?”
“Nah,” dad comes to the phone, “he probably clicked the button too soon.”
I can hear mom pulling some pots and pans from out of the cabinets and starting up some water. The clicking of dad’s torch lighter can be heard as he lights up one of his cigars. “So,” he says with a mumble. “Rudy’s the one who called yesterday and said you were playing in the games tomorrow. How come you didn’t tell us?”
I shrug my shoulders. Even though he can’t see it, he can hear it. “I guess after the trials I was pretty exhausted.”
He grunts. “Huh.”
“I was gonna tell you guys-”
“Are you lying?”
“What?! No, of course not.”
“I mean, did you make the top twenty-four or not?”
“Yes, I did. Why?”
“Just wondering if you were hiding something, hearing the news this late and all.”
“Well,” he puffs into the mic. “I’d believe you were staying there so you don’t have to come home.”
“There’s now way I’d come up with a lie like that. I made the top twenty-four and forgot to tell you guys, okay?” I can’t believe he’d accuse me of something like that.
“You get my point though, right?”
We go through some small talk and I apologize for my forgetfulness. Mom takes over the phone and has a chat with me. She tells me how much she misses me at home and hopes that I’m doing well down in Plymouth. I try to listen when she brings up her book club but I lose interest pretty easily. The two of them say goodbye, mom gives me a kiss on the phone and I complain as she wants one back.
I get undressed and put on my pajamas. I set an alarm and lie down on the bed, but have trouble falling asleep, though. I’m too excited for tomorrow, and not just because I get to perform in the rookie game. This is the perfect chance that I get to show the scouts what I can do on the floor. I toss and turn, trying to get comfortable, and eventually I’m able to close my eyes and fall asleep.
September 4, Today's the big day...