by Joe Lavin
Here’s a little peek into my adolescent life. When going through boxes in my parent’s house, I discovered a whole set of APBA basketball and football games that I used to play. For the uninitiated, APBA
is essentially role-playing games for sports. With dice, player cards, a
special board, and a complete lack of girls in my life, the
thirteen-year-old me was able to create an imaginary sports world where
the 1962 Boston Celtics could meet the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers in a best-of-seven series.
Now, of course, I am an adult and would never bother wasting my time with something as ridiculous as an imaginary sporting event. Well, except for fantasy baseball, because you know that’s entirely different.
I even found the score sheets I had filled out. For example, those 1962 Celtics were able to beat the 1983 76ers 118-113 in game four to even up the series 2-2. Frank Ramsey of the ’62 Celtics scored 34 points and was named the game’s MVP. Yes, apparently I even chose an MVP for each game. I did remember to mention the part about not really knowing any girls yet, right?
I suppose this wouldn’t be so bad, if I had played with a friend, parent, or brother. But I was an only child. As far as I can remember, I would play most of these games on my own, dutifully coaching both sides at once. Let’s just say that it’s a safe bet that Philadelphia was not quite as well-coached as my favorite team, the Boston Celtics. I don’t know who ended up winning the best-of-seven series, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Boston somehow won game 7 in dramatic fashion after the Philadelphia coach accidentally forgot to have Dr. J in the game during the final seconds.
Not surprisingly, the 1981 Celtics also seemed to be winning their series against the 1972 Lakers. Unfortunately, my entire tournament to discover the best basketball
team ever could probably only tell you who the best Celtics team was,
although as far as I can tell I never finished. Within all the papers,
there was also part of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, so maybe I
did discover girls before I was able to finish my imaginary tournament.
There were other finds, including a set of books about Dungeons and Dragons, which will come in handy in case I need to award any charisma points. I should point out here that, while I did play Dungeons and Dragons, it was only a short phase during seventh grade. I was just experimenting. I didn’t like D and D, and I didn’t inhale. And just because many of my high school friends were in the so-called “Adventurer’s Guild” doesn’t mean that I ever played at that point.
I do have to say that there is one good thing about Dungeons and Dragons: the 20-sided dye. You never know when you’ll need to make a decision with twenty possible outcomes.
I also found several complete sets of baseball cards from the early 1980s, which would be worth a whole lot more if you hadn’t also saved your complete sets of baseball cards from the 1980s. Next time, we should try collecting something that nobody else is collecting.
I have since learned that these cards are largely worthless now. There are just too many of them. You might as well throw all yours away now. I will too. After all, I wouldn’t dream of convincing everyone to throw out all their baseball cards while holding onto mine, in the hopes that mine will become valuable once supply dwindles. That’s just not my style.
I enjoyed looking through all this stuff, but really what’s the point, you might be wondering. Well, inexplicably, the same box also contained a confirmation card for me from my Aunt and Uncle. Inside, was a very-crisp $20 bill from the 1980s that I had somehow never noticed. Sometimes, a trip down memory lane really does pay off.