The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
One Dude Way Too Invested in Outcome of Pickup Basketball Game
Originally posted 11/29/2004

Above: Warren Pope (arrow) gives his all, which in this case is entirely too much
BOISE, ID - A friendly YMCA pickup basketball game was marred this weekend by the intensity of high school teacher Warren Pope, 29, who was, by all accounts, way too invested in the game's outcome. "I haven't played here with that guy before," said Jabari Willis, who was twice fouled unnecessarily hard by Pope during the game, "and I probably won't again. He needs to relax. He's not my coach or my dad, so, I don't know where he gets off."

"Uh, I'm sorry," a breathless, sweat-soaked Pope said after the game, which his team won 21-18 (counting by ones). "But, I'm having a little trouble understanding why someone would come out and play basketball if they didn't care if they won or not. Yeah, I care if my team wins. I guess that makes me some sort of freak."

"I just come here to try to stay in shape," said Pope's teammate Brian Middleton. "I hate jogging, so if I don't play basketball I don't end up running at all. Anyway, I don't need some dude yelling at me to find a passing lane and get back on defense. That guy needs to chill."

"He's a nice enough guy, is the thing," said YMCA supervisor Kathy Crowley. "He just loses it when he starts to play, I don't know why. He's yelling at people, scratching and clawing. It's just a pickup game, it's not like it's any big deal."

"I guess I ruffled a few feathers around here," Pope said. "These guys really can't handle a guy who's competitive, I guess. Well, I'll tell you what: I wouldn't have got my team to within three seconds of the district finals senior year if I wasn't competitive.

"Damn, we should have won that game, too," added Pope.

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