Them's that know me in the flesh (regular perusers of the King James Version should read that clause with caution) will be aware that gross motor skills are not my pianoforte. Indeed - and I think I may have mentioned this round these parts before - when I were a wee tacker they sent home a letter to my 'rents advising remedial physical education on Thursday afternoons. I'm good for a swift uphill walk; I'll even break into a canter on occasion; can swim round islands and lift whole cantaloupes with a single hand; but throw anything in my direction any smaller than a bar fridge (as people insist on doing), and I drop automatically to the ground. This endearing trait I appear to have inherited from my father, and along with it, I've inherited a total indifference to ball sports. (That's "indifference", in its less used "fear and loathing" sense).
So when I received a phone call today from a young chap who wanted to know if I'd been contacted yet by his manager - the one who manages elite athletes attempting to dribble* their way through university - I stifled a yawn and brought up my tutorial schedule spreadsheet. No, I didn't yawn. I am totally uncynical in my interactions with people on telephones. But let's just say that when I hear "elite athlete", I think "Horseman of the Apocalypse", not "Where are my pompoms?"
He plays AFL, says the young chap. For this team, which he names. And his name is, and he says his name. An hour later I mention to a friend that a student wants to take my course without attending lectures because they conflict with his football practice. Who is it, asks my pal. I get out a first name, because that's all I can remember. My friend promptly supplies his surname, his team, his height, anecdotal detail of his enormous 15-year-old female fan base, and is on the verge of suggesting we just give him his degree, when I am suddenly overcome by an urge to drop to the ground.
* I believe I'm deploying a metaphor from basketball, yes?