Jake's Take: How to be a Halftime Hero, 01/29/11
Jake LeRoy [@JakesTake34]
Bucks vs Hawks
I've attended approximately 40 Bucks games over the last year. A good portion of those games featured a half-court halftime heave that fell miserably short of its intended target. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't slightly disappointing. Every fan wants to see the lucky competitor loft in a rainbow 50-footer, just like everyone wants to see the "Price is Right" contestant go home with the Showcase Showdown.
Sadly, I can't recall a single instance that a contestant has even drawn iron. Some shots barely reach the painted area. I want to put an end to the distressing drought that has plagued this timeless halftime event. That's why I'm going to impart some invaluable wisdom to any future contestants. But first, my credentials as a worthy advisor to any potential Halftime Heroes of the future.
About three years ago I was chosen to participate in a three-point shooting contest during halftime of a Wisconsin-Michigan State game at the Kohl Center. This was a nationally-televised game on ESPN and the Badger crowd was rowdy as ever. Making the moment that much more nerve-racking was the presence of sideline reporter extraordinaire Erin Andrews, who stood just 25 feet to my right as I approached the top of the key. Considering Andrews' presence alone, it was amazing I remained upright long enough to get a shot off.
The rules of the contest: I had two attempts to make a college three-pointer. If I hit either shot, I would win $400 and Section 222 would win delicious waffle cones courtesy of Culver's. I only needed one shot - as I often do - drilling home a line drive jumper like it was my job. I was later told the shot barely cleared the rim at any point during its flight. I'm of the belief that I get such amazing elevation on my jumpshot that I essentially shoot down at the rim. Thank you Strength Shoes.
While my shot at glory may have been considerably closer, my experience still yielded some key takeaways that I'd like to divulge. Here are three helpful hints that will make you a Halftime Hero.
- Don't be nonchalant about it. You're not LeBron James so don't pull up from the half-court line and shoot like you're a 6-foot-8, 260-pound linebacker of a small forward. You do what you have to do to get the ball to the rim. If anybody questions your style, then they're just haters. Besides, it's much more embarrassing to miss the rim by 20 feet.
- Get a running start. This goes back to my first point. Too few people get a running start when putting up this lengthy shot attempt. Most NBA players can't even get it to the rim without at least one step. You've got space to maneuver. Use it!
- Exhaust all options. There are other options if even a running start doesn't get it done. Channel your inner Vladimir Guerrero and throw the ball overhand like you're trying to gun down a runner at third base. Go granny style or go home. If all else fails, act like your Harley has just been thrashed and punt the ball. You have to leave it all out on the floor.
There you have it. Three easy steps to free vacations, cars, monetary rewards and desserts for your fellow fans. Still don't believe me? Check out my current prot