Thursday, February 23, 2006

My Team

Not really sure why I haven't posted this before now, nor am I entirely certain why I am posting it right now. It may have something to do with this. Then again, it may not. Anyway, it's probably about time the whole Reprobates crew (you know who you are) knew about the My Team game.

I don't remember who I first learned the game from - probably Ian or Skippy - and I certainly don't remember who claimed to have invented it. So what I'm saying is - these may not be "the" definitive rules, but they're close enough for practical purposes.

Remember back in school, back in PE, when they would choose teams for some nominal game of dodgeball or crab football or whatever? The biggest/fastest/strongest/meanest kids would get picked first, then the middle of the pack, and then ... the dregs would be picked last. Basically, not so much picked, as resignedly "allowed" onto one team or the other. Not that yours truly has any memories of this sort, you understand ...

Anyway, now we're all (mostly) grown up, we can pick our own games, play by our own rules, and most importantly, pick our own teams. Which brings us nicely to - My Team.

You can play My Team with 2 or more players, and you can play any time you encounter someone other than your own little clique. The object of the game is simply to pick the "best" members for your team, and to be the first in your posse to do so, where "best" is basically defined as "most outstanding" as in "someone who stands out in a crowd". It's hard to define exactly what this means, but perhaps a few example characteristics will help get the ball rolling.

The best team members often have an off-kilter dress sense, and/or perhaps a haircut with unusual topography. Unlike in high school, team members can be very heavy, and while extreme bulk can certainly be sufficient cause to draft someone to your team, it is far from necessary. Indeed, some of the best picks I've made were of people who were total beanpoles. In fact, it may only require that someone make a really interesting facial expression, or sufficiently odd gesture, especially if the expression or gesture is out of place, unexpected, or inappropriate for the venue.

The only real rule is - you cannot draft an obviously handicapped (mentally or physically) person to your team. You want to at least be reasonably certain that a team member looks that way as the result of a (at least partially) conscious choice, and not because of an accident of birth.

So is this just a fashion police thing? Certainly not. Is it a "ha! ha! that person doesn't look just like everyone else!" Mmm, no. What it is is more of a slap in the face of the conventions of high-school style jocko-homo team picking.

So how do you play? Quite simply, you and your "krew" are out for a constitutional, when all of a sudden you come upon someone dressed in, let's say, a white headband, bright yellow tinted reflective sunglasses (indoors, at night), luminous yellow turtleneck, matching leggings, and a brown Ultrasuede jacket. Like, say, oh, I dunno, the person I drafted to My Team pictured here (Picture taken with world's crappiest cameraphone, under less-than-ideal conditions, standing in the checkout line at Giant, your mileage may vary). The first person to "call" or "draft" the individual for their team (which you do by announcing "my team!" to the rest of your homies, while subtly indicating the draftee) wins that round. Play continues ... forever. There is no overall winner, or exit strategy. "Winning" the overall game is the kind of thinking that high-school-sports-team-pickers engage in, and they, as we all know, are losers. Yes, you read it here. Winning is for losers.

So, actually, the other thing I'm illustrating here is that you can even play this game alone - all you need is a cameraphone, madd surreptitious camera-usage skills to "draft" the team member, and a place to post your results. Like, say, here. Let the games begin.

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