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Book Excerpt: Don’t Envy the Bench

I played varsity basketball in high school. That’s a completely true statement (unless you force me to define the word play). I attended a small private school, and if you were a senior you got a spot on the varsity team. I love the game of basketball, but I’m a lot better at watching it than playing it. I can chastise players and yell “C’mon!” at referees with all-star skill. But that’s as far as it goes. My school had this strange rule about actually playing sports in order to graduate, ho, so I was forced to suit up and hang my head in shame every Friday night.

The stands were always full for home games. Excited parents and students—many of them friends of mine— showed up to support the team. Sadly, they probably made as much of a difference in the game as I did. I would glance into the bleachers from time to time, wondering what all the people were thinking, especially my dad. I think he realized that both of us were just there to watch, but I happened to have a better seat.

The only time I