Friday, March 20, 2020

Microstory 1325: Sports Man

Sportscaster: I’m here with legendary athlete, Jools Hooper, a.k.a. Sports Man. He earned his nickname in 1987—by an avid fan, and six-year-old daughter of his new general manager—when he started playing for the Kansas Titanium. It was his third major league team over the course of his career, but he didn’t stop there. Many have attempted to interview Hooper, most to no avail. He’s always been too busy with his work, but he has an important announcement to make, and he’s agreed to let the vehicle that transports his words to all of you. It is an honor just to be in your presence, Mr. Hopper.
Sports Man: Thank you, Sportscaster. I’m honored to be here as well. I’m a huge fan of your work.
Sportscaster: Oh dear me, Jools Hooper is a fan of my work. Did you hear that, everybody? Did you get that on camera? Ha-ha-ha. Anyway, before we get to your announcement, I would like to ask you a few questions, so the audience will have a better understanding of your background.
Sports Man: Certainly. Shoot, so to speak.
Sportscaster: After playing college basketball for Hillside University, you were immediately drafted into the Kansas City Cougars, right?
Sports Man: That’s right. I played for them for nine years. Basketball is my main game.
Sportscaster: What made you move over to association football?
Sports Man: Well, Sportscaster, that’s exactly why I haven’t done any interviews since. I literally don’t remember. That whole time in my life is a haze. I was doing a lot of drugs back then—no athletic enhancements, mind you—but I was well out of my mind, which is why I only played soccer for two seasons. I don’t recall why I switched sports, or how I joined the team, or anything about it. It was probably for a stupid reason, like a bet, or a prank that got out of hand.
Sportscaster: According to reports, you sobered up in 1984, but you didn’t start playing Vector until three years later. Tell me about that.
Sports Man: Recovery is a long process, and it never ends. I didn’t feel comfortable doing anything with my life until that billionaire announced he was founding an entirely new sport. I just knew I had to get into it. It’s funny; all that fame and applause got me into drugs when I was a baller, but sports helped me stay out of it later in life. I haven’t touched the stuff since.
Sportscaster: Well, that’s great. We’re all very glad you made your comeback. I know, when I’m having a bad day, I’ll throw on a tape of your 1993 tournament performance. You were so amazing.
Sports Man: It was a team effort; we all had to be really in sync.
Sportscaster: Of course. Moving on, you retired from Vector in 1999, at age fifty. Everyone thought you were done for good, but then you surprised us with a tennis run.
Sports Man: I loved tennis. It was such a new experience, ya know? I had always been on a team, but suddenly it was just me out there. Honestly, it made me really uncomfortable, which I think made for a great watch, which is why I stuck with it for five years. I like to entertain. I probably only quit that, because I was getting a little old.
Sportscaster: That’s when you discovered golf.
Sports Man: Yep. I went from two huge team sports to one that’s a little more individualistic, but still requires teamwork, to a completely individual sport with an opponent, to one that doesn’t require an opponent at all. Golf has been really great for me. It’s slow and methodical, which has been good for this 70-year-old.
Sportscaster: So, what’s next for Sports Man, Jools Hooper? I believe the general assumption is that you’re here to announce your retirement from sports altogether.
Sports Man: That is the rumor I’ve heard, but if that’s what you were hoping for, I’m afraid I will have to disappoint. I am indeed retiring, but not from sports; just golf. I’m going back to basketball. I aim to be the oldest player in association history. I’m currently a free agent, and I have a message for all managers...come at me.

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