It Just Got Real: The Three-Ball Swimming Pool Alley Oop
All right, on with the Zapruder....
In trying to figure out the best way to break down a three-ball alley oop, I think about how I went about watching Game of Thrones, which I know sounds weird, but stay with me. In watching Game of Thrones, oftentimes I would need the Wikipedia summary of each episode opened on my computer to follow along. (I find British accents easily distract me from the storylines. Sorry.)
Well, the Game of Thrones episode summaries on Wikipedia were each divided up into sub-summaries by kingdom (Dragonstone, Winterfell, King's Landing, etc.). I think that's how we need to divide this one up -- three sub-Zapruders of each ball culminating with one final entry for the entire six-second-long video.
First, let's lay the groundwork:
0:00 -- This appears to be a nine-man effort, not counting the little kid (can't tell if it's a boy or a girl) sitting on a raft in the pool with the best seat in the house for this bad boy. Among the props you will see used -- trampoline, lawn chairs, the patio and two roofs. Also worth noting: This is our first pool alley oop Zapruder involving an aboveground pool, kind of like the first domed team to win a playoff game. Same thing. All right, let's do this....
ORANGE BALL #1
0:01 -- The video actually begins after the first orange ball has left the hands of the portly young lad at the bottom right corner, who is throwing it to a seated conduit man on the far side of the yard.
0:02 -- Conduit guy is flipping it up to the dude on the far garage roof and this dude is key because he's having to pay attention to catching Orange Ball #1 just after releasing the Blue Ball, all while trying to maintain his balance and not fall off the roof. Sobriety is key in this position.
0:03 -- Kid on the roof catches Orange Ball #1 and casually flips it to Dunker #1 for the first of the three alley oop dunks. Extra credit to the dunker on the first ball for having a little bit of windmill-style flare on his jam, as opposed to the subsequent dunkers, who really just relied on gravity to finish the job. (In other words, all three of these kids are white as can be, the first one is just less white.)
(For full effect, read the italicized type in the next paragraph in the voice of the Swamp People narrator.)
Meanwhile, while little Bobby was throwin' down a windmill jam, the Blue Ball was trying to find its own way into the hoop...
0:01 -- This is easily the trickiest of the three jams for a couple reasons that will become evident in about two seconds. This sequence is triggered by the dish man on Orange Ball #1, with the lefty toss across to the other roof.
0:02 -- It's caught by a kid in a ball cap who added a small degree of difficulty to his part by catching it and then snapping it Jon Weeks-style to an off-camera cohort. It's hard to tell completely, but the snap appears to be a little off center and quite possibly almost led Off Camera Guy to a ten-foot plummet and a broken leg.
0:03 -- Thankfully, Off Camera Guy makes the grab and then executes easily the most impressive, game-changing step for this sequence -- the bounce pass of the ball off the pavement. There are about ten different ways to screw this up, and my guess is OCG experienced all of them before they eventually got it right.
0:03.5 -- Seriously, perfect bounce pass off the pavement. Somewhere, over a plate of Eggs Benedict, Magic Johnson is proud of that dish...
(Cue Swamp People voice again...)
Meanwhile, Orange Ball #2 begins to make its way around the yard tryin' to find its own little slice of alley oop heaven....
ORANGE BALL #2
0:01 -- Orange Ball #2 is launched from off camera to the left, presumably by one of the three dunkers who is coming off of the trampoline. It's sent across the yard to a dude sitting casually on one of the patio chairs.
0:02 -- The guy on the chair catches it and flips it about two feet to another guy sitting in a chair. The second guy then sits and waits for all the clutter to clear out before throwing the final alley oop pass. You remember in my last pool dunk post about the 12-man effort, and I compared it to my fifth grade school play and how some of the kids in a play are legit actors and some of the kids are just mute throw-ins ("prison guards," I called them; go back and read it for the full explanation)? Well, the two chair guys on Orange Ball #2 are the prison guards in this one -- seriously, they serve a purpose that could have been filled by any number of six-year-olds out there.
0:04 -- Third dunker throws down, manages to avoid killing his two fellow dunkers in the pool, and we get the usual truncated Vine celebration, just some arms in the air before it goes on to repeat the play all over again. No chest bumps, no awkward high fives or pool hugs.
The moral of the story -- Vine sucks.
Also, we are still waiting on some kids to dunk a bowling ball or somehow avoid a live alligator or killer whale while throwing down.
Summer's almost over, kids! Step your game up!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.