Returning at the bottom of my game

By By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

With great consideration, I have decided to go ahead and return to the gridiron after four years of drinking beer and watching TV. Never mind the fact that I weigh 20 pounds more than I did when I played football in high school and that I’m so far out of shape, I make Charles Barkley look fit. It’s time for me to get a ring.

No, I’m not going to try out for the Utes — they don’t have a chance to win the national title next year. I’ve decided to transfer to the University of Southern California, where coach Pete Carroll has already told me I have a guaranteed spot on the roster. Yes, I know I won’t contribute in any way to the betterment of the team, but that doesn’t matter. All I want is that championship ring.

Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Welcome to the NBA, where even the ridiculously out of shape and no longer talented have a place to play.

Scottie Pippen has recently announced that he is looking to get back into the NBA, looking at the San Antonio Spurs and the L.A. Lakers as possible suitors. I have a couple questions about that.

Scottie Pippen is still alive? If he is, didn’t he already prove that he sucked when he made his first comeback with the Trailblazers? Or was it the Rockets? Was that a comeback?

What, he didn’t win enough championships when he was with the Bulls? He has to pull a Gary Payton/Karl Malone and try to take a pay cut to get another?

In Pippen’s absolute prime, he was a No. 2 man — and that was more than a decade ago, when slow forwards were still allowed to hold up traffic.

Studying his stats over the first 62 years of his career, I noticed a steady decline in productivity. Yes, at one point he averaged 22 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, but that was when the majority of us weren’t even enrolled in preschool.

In his “last” year as a Chicago Bull, Pippen averaged a mind-blowing 5.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game?and that was three years ago. Who knows what the hell he’s been doing since then? One thing I’m sure of is he wasn’t shooting a basketball.

I would almost understand the logic behind this if he were, say, a spot-up shooter like Reggie Miller (who is planning a return himself). Then he could just camp at the three-point line and cast up treys.

But Pippen was never that kind of player. He got his points through hustle and grabbing offensive boards — both of which require intense physical shape and effort. Those attributes don’t exactly coincide with a 41-year-old man, which is how old Pippen will be if he gets picked up this season.

On the other side of the table, what could the Lakers or the Spurs possibly see in a decrepit old man like Pippen? Obviously, they can’t be interested in his physical ability or what he could bring to the team offensively.

And it would be really easy to use the old “championship experience” excuse, but both of those teams have plenty of that already. Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Greg Popovich — these are all names that are synonymous with the word “champion.” So, what could either team’s motivation possibly be for acquiring Pippen? I guess that is one question we’ll never know the answer to.

Like Pippen, I, too, miss the game I used to play. But I’m not crazy enough to think that I could do it better than the players who take the field now. I realize that what’s done is done and that I shouldn’t return.

Nope, my role as an armchair quarterback is far more important to coach Carroll than actually playing in the game. Now, if I could just get that ring?and another beer.