Saturday, October 6, 2018
Baby-head, that is what we used to call them. Them being those kids where winning was all important and who would do anything to win.
Play a friendly game of pick-up basketball, and the Baby-head argued every play. Without baby-heads, kids self-refereed. If you clearly double dribbled, walked or hacked another player you called it on yourself.
“Yeah, yeah, steps, my bad.”
“Sorry, my foul, I hacked you.”
Granted the walk had to be obvious and the hack was never ticky-tack, but we still called them on ourselves.
The baby-heads called them on others. They called close infractions, ticky-tack fouls, and they argued forever. Much of the time players just gave in to the Baby-head. These were games that would not be reported on in the paper, these were games to twenty and then choose sides for a new game. We tended to just let Baby-head have his way…who really cared.
In a neighborhood baseball game, on a close play, there was an unwritten rule, “Tie goes to the runner.” With Baby-head it was never a tie. “I beat the throw, no tie!” Or “You were out, no tie.”
Baby-head knew all the rules and would use them and nit-pick when ever it helped him win. Sometimes he would make up a rule, or argue the interpretation of a rule. He did this especially in baseball where so many different variables could happen on any play.
If someone batted out of order, Baby-head would wait for the at-bat result before deciding to call the infraction or not. If he thought someone missed a base or his foot came off the bag, Baby-head was there to argue.
Who would try the hidden baseball trick? Baby-head.
Who had a receiver loiter by the sideline like he wasn’t in the football game only to sprint for an undefended TD pass? Baby-head.
Most kids didn’t pay that much attention to the score. Baby-head did, he kept score and he had a selected memory which was always in his favor.
If you were a kid growing up playing neighborhood pick-up games, you know who Baby-head was. Every neighborhood had a Baby-head. The guy that threatened to leave with the only ball or bat if he didn’t get his way…that’s right, Baby-head!
I suppose eventually these Baby-heads grew up. I wonder what became of them.