Put Me in the Game, by Gilbert Shi
Coach! Time’s running out. You gotta put me in the game, coach. I’m not exactly sure what sport we’re playing here, but coach, please, put me in the game.
Are we playing basketball? I think this is basketball. I’ve got a good basketball-y feeling about this. We’re definitely playing some b-ball here. Right? Listen coach, let me play in the b-ball competition. Trust me, I won’t let you down. If we’re on defense, I’ll block the shot or punt the ball or whatever. That is, if we are on defense. I’m not entirely clear on that. If we happen to be on offense, I can make the three-pointer that we possibly need right now. Coach, I can do it. Once, I saw this video where two teams were playing what I think was basketball. One team had a player with cerebral palsy. He was their equipment manager or something, but they let him play for some reason. When this kid with cerebral palsy went into the game, he made like ten straight three-pointers. Coach, I don’t even have cerebral palsy. Just think how good I’d be! Of course, this is all contingent on the fact that we are actually playing basketball.
Look, I’m just going to level with you. Honestly, I have no idea what sport we’re playing. The stuff I said earlier about me picking up on some basketball vibes—that was a complete lie. I have absolutely zero clue what game this is. For all I know we could be playing baseball or soccer or football. We don’t even have to restrict ourselves to the ball-related sports. It’s definitely possible this is skeet shooting or something. I mean, literally, we could be playing anything. Literally anything. Is this boxing? Is this horse racing? Oh God, do I have to race a horse? Coach, I can keep guessing all day but let’s not waste my time or yours so here’s an idea: how about you just go ahead and tell me the name of this sport and all the rules of said sport, and then we can go straight to putting me in the game.
Just say the word, and I’ll be out on the playing arena giving everything I got to this game, whatever it happens to be. I’ll give you my blood, my sweat, my tears, you sick-o. And whether you want it or not I’ll even give you lots of saliva because of my congenital “dog-mouth” disease. All I want is a chance, one opportunity to show everyone I’ve got the killer instincts of a champion who, I dunno, kills stuff, I guess.
Seriously coach, you could say any number of things, and I would totally understand you want me in the game. Just yell out something like: “Ryan! Get out there and win this game for us!” or “You the man, Ryan! Do your thang!” or “Ryan! Give these lunkheads a pony ride to pound city!” You don’t even have to call me Ryan. If you want you can call me by a nickname, but if you do, make sure you let me know what it is beforehand because frankly I’m not sure if I even have a nickname. Actually, I’m not 100% certain what my real name is. It’s either Ryan or Rind or Rogg. There is a good chance my name is Rogg.
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if we win or lose or if I don’t know what game this is. All that matters is that you let me play, and really isn’t that what sports are all about? Maybe? I was never entirely clear on the purpose of sports. Whatever. Coach, just put me in the damn game.
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