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  • Nick Schnell

The Chronicles of Nick Schnell Pt.4; The Bird Game

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When it comes to these Chronicles I have unintentionally developed themes in my life story. First you guys got to hear about my bodily fluid, now we are moving on to my animal stories. You guys last heard my squirrel story. RIP ole friend. Now we are moving on to the infamous Bird Game. I think it is fair to say you guys have had a glimpse of the kind of kid I was. As a soon to be father, I look back and start to get nervous and wonder how my parents did it. I was not the easiest to handle. A mix of my wife and I…oh lord, please pray for us. One thing I am truly looking forward to is being able to coach my little man growing up, like my father was able to coach me. I don’t know at times if my father enjoyed it, but I would like to think he enjoyed most of the time.

Now growing up in a household full of athletes made for raising very competitive kids. To become a great athlete I truly believe you have to have an extra gear when it comes to competitive nature. I also believe there is too far sometimes as well. As you can guess I sometimes went overboard. I grew up playing my older brother and sister in sports and even though I rarely came out on the winning end I hated losing. Hated losing was an understatement. What I hated more than losing though was when I was losing and I was playing like shit and everyone knew I was playing like shit.

As a coach when you have a player playing less than they are expected, you may sit them down and give them a little pep talk. Well, when your coach is your dad…it isn’t much of a pep talk. It can quickly turn into a very very embarrassing scolding. Now I have had my fair share of getting yelled at and scolded by my dad, but sometimes enough is enough and you no longer want to deal with it. so , let me set the scene for you. 6th grade basketball, Jay Schnell the coach, Nick Schnell the player, small indiana gym, Mom in the crowd, and principal of the school present, score…my team is losing to a team it shouldn’t be. My play grade, into the middle of the third quarter 0/10. You can imagine my attitude while losing and playing not to the standard the people watching knew I was capable of. There was no surprise when my dad called a timeout to give us a “pep talk”. Sorry let me rephrase that and give everyone minus me a pep talk. He pulled me to the side and gave me the good ole, “you are playing like shit, go down the court quit playing timid and scared and hit a three and let’s go.” That is the PG version of what I heard. Now I am losing, playing like hot garbage, and just got scolded by my father in a tiny gym in front of everyone and everyone could most definitely hear. I am sure there are a couple things you can look back at when you grew up and thought…huh probably not my proudest moment right?

I had one of those moments that day. Fresh off the scolding already feeling heated from my piss poor play, I turned to my dad in front of the whole crowd and didn’t hit him with the single discreet bird. I hit him with the loud up in the air double bird for all to see. I am a competitor, what can I say? I promise I was a fun player to coach though because he ripped me, I birded the ole man, and then we went on to win and that next possession I pulled up from way downtown and banked in a three. Now my dad is a proud man, and I am sure that he wanted to pull my ass and send me home with my mom at that moment, but he also wasn’t too prideful to keep me in so we could win. He would rather win, then annihilate me on the way home in the car. I guess that is where I get it. I will say my mom was probably petrified sitting in the crowd near my principal who she worked for at the school. If I remember correctly she marched me up to his office that next day and I was told I needed to formally apologize to him for my actions while wearing a Jersey with our school name on it. Good teaching moment for me, but even better story to tell today, and I am sure a nice foreshadowing for what I am in store for.

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