Reader’s note: This story is satirical in nature and published in a spoof issue.
Mike Longstowin loves winning.
After a standout career with the Mount A Cats, Longstowin was perplexed when the Colonials closed his first season with a disappointing record. The solution, the head coach decided, was to get his new team as close to the Vermoney mentality as possible.
“I like winning. That’s pretty much all I like, actually,” Longstowin said. “And you know, our guys…some of them just don’t know nature. They’ve never been taught nature. And as I showed at Vermoney, nature breeds winning.”
Longstowin took the Colonials to the Da Vurn for a retreat designed to get the team closer in tune with the mentality of the Vermoney players. Da Vurn was the most logical choice, he said, because like Vermoney, “it’s in the middle of nowhere.”
Handing out water bottles filled with maple syrup, which Longstowin said was “Vermoney Gatorade,” GW’s coach directed his players to their new rooms.
“Man, smell that? Smells good. Fresh air, nature – smells like victory,” Longstowin said.
The team unloaded their gear and tossed their bags in a Decrepit Hillside Dorm, except for freshman forward Jon Kropfield, whose duffel was lost on the trip and ended up in Australia.
First on the list of activities for the Colonials was a stop at the ropes course, where they cycled through five stations designed for team building. The program got off to a shaky start at the trust fall station, when senior guard Brony Taylormade could be heard refusing to catch junior forward Dunkin’ Phella, protesting, “He’s like, a foot taller than me!”
Things settled down at the next station, where the Colonials had to work together to put a hoop over the top of a tall pole. At first, GW seemed stumped on how to best execute its plan, but Taylormade managed to hand the hoop to Dunkin’, who simply turned around to place it over the top of the pole.
“That exercise was really important, it was good,” Longstowin said. “It all goes back to posting up. You win games in the low post. And you win team building exercises with a big presence under the net, or, you know, pole.”
Once the team-building exercises were done, the Colonials headed to the second part of their trip, an intense skills workshop designed to jump-start the team’s offensive play.
Leading GW to a grove of trees, Longstowin handed each of his players a ball. The objective, they were told, was to weave through all of the trees to the basket on the other side.
“It’s all about penetration,” Longstowin said. “If you can penetrate through trees, you can penetrate through anything.”
With Longstowin waving them on from the sidelines, the Colonials took off, making their way through the obstacle course.
Taylormade got to the end 10 minutes before the rest of GW, and spent the remaining time alternating between yelling encouragement and heading back into the course to help his teammates out.
“It went well, the guys looked good,” Taylormade said. “I mean, we had a few guys turn it over to the trees, but you’re moving fast, it happens. I thought everyone looked good.”
As the first day of the retreat wrapped up, Longstowin was busy trying to schedule a scrimmage between his team and the local Vurnies.
“Maybe we’ll get lucky and get in a brawl or something,” Longstowin said. “It worked for Gorgetown.”