Category Archives: Non-Tennis

NO, THIS ISN’T TENNIS. But it Seemed Too Funny Not to Post Here. Life Imitating, Um, Art?

My column on AOL Fanhouse

“All right everybody, let’s hear it for Tropical Time and let’s hear it for Busch Bavarian. If you’re going to drink a beer, you might as well make it Busch Bavarian.”
That’s how Jackie Moon, played by Will Ferrell in the movie Semi-Pro, made the introduction.

You know how Ferrell movies are just too ridiculous? How they could never come true?

Think again.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he said. “I want you to welcome this man that’s going to attempt the impossible, the $10,000 free throw from the other side of the court. The moonshot.”

That was the movie, about a fictional and fledgling team from the old ABA, running ridiculous stunts and promotions to try to stay alive.

This is real life: On Saturday night, the Indianapolis Ice of the United States Hockey League held its own impossible-shot promotion. Shoot the puck the length of the ice into the far net, which was blocked off entirely except for a three-inch slot at the bottom.

Richard Marsh, a 73-year old retiree who still plays in an amateur hockey league, had the shot. It was for $50,000, and he said beforehand that if he made it, he would donate the whole thing to St. Vincent’s Heart Center of Indiana, which fixed his heart in 2007.

In the movie, the basketball fan’s name was Dukes. He needed the money because he was unemployed.

“Well, we’ve got an especially dirty hippy here down on the court trying to sink an impossible shot.” That’s what the radio guy said. In the movie.

Repeat: the movie.

Back to real life, Marsh fired the puck, and you know what happened. He made it. The crowd went nuts. He celebrated.

Fifty-thousand big ones for Marsh, Mr. Charitable, and, thus, the hospital.

So what happened? Continue reading