When my wife and I decided pack up our belongings and move away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, never did we expect to end up in a small coastal town like Fernfield, Washington. Turns out, it was just what we were looking for: fishing, boating, around 400 people and a nice, cush job for me as the Senior Editor of the town’s newspaper (I never wondered why a city of that size had a daily paper, but they paid nicely).
We had been settled here for a few years when I started to question my own journalistic integrity, ethics and morals.
Like I said, Fernfield is a tiny, tiny town, and sometimes there just isn’t anything to write about. Aside from the good news, there’s hardly any BAD news to report. Unfortunately, we usually end up reporting on something around the state, something that matters to everyone.
Last October, our Jr. High (or Middle School, whatever the hell you call it out here) basketball season wasn’t going in the right direction. We were 2-1 before THE game took place.
Side note: Several kids had dropped off the team and there were private try-outs held to fill the empty slots. Josh Framm, a new kid in town (wrote an article on his family, sad story, father passed away recently), had been promoted from waterboy to a player on the team.
Back to the game… Our star player, Larry Willingham, had just fouled out of the game and Coach Barker (weird name, I know) looked down his bench and told Fromm to go in. Fromm was excited and nervous about going in, he had never played in a real game before, but he was ready. The game went on for a little while longer, and then, this Golden Retriever just ran onto the court making a giant spectacle of it all.
It was hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing! Whooooo boy.
Well, we lost the game and Coach Barker was fired that night for humiliating one of the players on the team. Poor kid.
The next day we had a new coach, Arthur Chaney of the ‘56 New York Knicks (don’t bother finding any stats on him on the internet, his name has been changed to protect his identity, but he did have one HELL of a turnaround jumper). As soon as he came in, we started winning games… and I had something to write about, I’m talking front page headlines, people!
Not to mention side articles about the spectacular half-time shows featuring Fromm and his Golden Retreiver, Buddy. Turns out, Buddy can make baksets! What a dog!
Fast-forward to the end of the season… once Coach Chaney took over, our team started winning game after game and eventually found ourselves in the championship game! We were down by 12 points in the second half when Buddy showed up, I guess he had been missing a while. He was such a spark for the team, we finally had hope.
And then, Coach Chaney gave Buddy his performance jersey and some shoes, AND PUT HIM IN THE GAME!!! Check the rulebooks all you want, there’s nothing in there that says you can’t play a dog. So Buddy goes in and makes a steal right off the bat. He and Fromm were like Malone and Stockton, or Jordan and Pippen, just silky smooth as a duo. Near the end of the game, Buddy was fouled by Willingham (yes, the traitor switched teams)… no worries, Buddy made BOTH freethrows! Fromm ended up hitting the game-winning shot and we were champions! The town was ecstatic!
The city’s mood changed drastically when Buddy’s previous owner, that creepy Norm Snively (also the town’s Clown for Hire), decided he wanted to take Buddy back. There was a giant city-wide court hearing about who was going to be Buddy’s owner. How silly is that, and can you believe that Snively actually dressed up as the clown for this? Pathetic.
The outcome: Buddy chose Fromm and everyone was happy. And I’ll tell you one other thing… screw my journalistic background, this, and every other silly story in Fernfield, is worth my time and worth all the ink we waste on them.
+ original post date: July 7, 2005 07:31 PM
+ categories: If Hollywood Stories Were Real