Friday, August 27, 2010

The Cook, The Scorer, His Team and Their Victory

Today we get our usual post-release game of Whirlyball. If you are unfamiliar with Whirlyball, allow me to blow your mind.

Imagine a basketball court, only take away the hoops the wooden floors and the highly skilled athletes. Replace the hoops with a plastic disc wired to a buzzer and situated behind a hole in the backboard. Replace the wooden floors with a metal floor. Finally, replace the highly skilled athletes with unskilled office workers. Oh, did I mention that everyone is in bumper cars?

Yeah that's right. Fucking bumper cars.

The point of Whirlyball is to score. To score you use one of those scoop on a handle things we all played with as kids and you then scoop up a softball sized whiffle ball and chuck it at the scoring panel. You do all of this while traversing the court in and making bone crushing hits with your bumper car.

It is quite possibly the greatest sport in the history of mankind.

In our office, the QA department, of which I am a member, has not lost one single, solitary outing of Whirlyball. Not one. We may have lost a game here and there, but when you tally up the final scores, every time we come out the victors. We are able to do this by recognizing one very important fact, a fact that is a bitter pill for many to swallow but is true nonetheless, namely that not everyone can score.

I am one of those "not everyones". I can not score to save my life. I can't play basketball and shooting in Whirlyball requires the same smooth wrist movements and ability to aim as needed in basketball. Being able to shoot a basketball while hauling ass in a bumper car helps too. What I can do, to make up for my lack of scoring, is everything else. I can get rebounds, take 'em on a breakaway and then pass them to our top scorer so he can make the points. I can knock someone upside the bumper car as they're about to shoot, thereby screwing up their shot and I can block the path of any one looking to do the same on our guys. In short, I am a Whirlyball position player.

It's a position I'm not only comfortable with but happy with. When I have to score I choke, pretty much every time. When I am providing support, no such choking occurs. The very same thing happens to me when playing most MP games so by now I'm used to it. If we're playing Team Slayer and I'm on your team, allow me to apologize in advance. If we're playing CTF and you need a driver, I'm your man. I can't play the Soldier or Leader class for shit in Transformers: WFC but I'm a decent scientist, flying in to deliver heals and buffs and then getting the fuck out of Dodge. I'm not good enough to handle all of the responsibility of winning, but I do well in support roles that help the team win.

In the end, it's not about glory, it's about winning. Let my coworker take the shot that I fed him. Shit, I'll feed him all day. Call me The Cook or Top Chef or Dude Who Works The Griddle At Waffle House. I don't give a shit. At the end of the match, if the number for our score is bigger than the number for Dev's score, then we all did our jobs and nothing else matters. A great man once said that he doesn't want to be The Guy, he wants to be the guy that The Guy depends on, or some similar nonsense. Ask Todd, I'm sure he can quote it exactly but the point is that by my age, you need to know if you're The Guy or the guy The Guy depends on and be that person to the best of your abilities. It may take some ego lowering to realize you're not The Guy any more, but once you figure that shit out, it ain't nothing but smooth passes and bomb ass bumper car hits from there on out.

To the bumper cars!