Oh the embarrassing moments I have had in my lifetime. Some of which you will never, ever, hear me repeat here! Oh my goodness, I am turning red just remembering...
But I did decide to share my most embarrassing moment from my high school years. I mean, really, who doesn't have quite a few of these to share? But this particular incident seems to be brought up by my husband just about anytime we are watching sports. Let me explain how he manages to do this.
I lettered in three sports in high school: tennis, softball and basketball. Now, I am not that tall, not that short, but not that tall, however, I did play a forward on my high school's varsity basketball team. My senior year I was even a captain. We had so much fun. There were four seniors on my team and our coach, Greg Pendarvis, wasn't that much older than we were. The four of us used to have so much fun with him. He wasn't used to coaching girls and we didn't make it any easier!
My school wasn't really known for it's girl's basketball team. We did ok, but really, not that great. Now, my senior year we did a little bit better than in the past. We never even had that big of a crowd, until the end of the game, when everyone would start arriving for the boy's game which immediately followed ours.
This particular night we were playing Irmo High School, and they were a powerhouse, in just about every sport. We had kept the game pretty close and were quite pleased to see the game within reach as the clock ticked down. In the final seconds one of my teammates threw up a shot that could have won the game. Only, she missed. I grabbed the rebound, as the buzzer sounded ending regulation, and was fouled. The referee gave me two free throws. I only needed to make one to win the game. Piece of cake.
Now at this point, there is no time on the clock and we are lining up for me to shoot my free throws. The coach from Irmo tries to call a time out, to "ice" me. The ref tells him he can't have a time out since there is no time on the clock and he doesn't have the ball. So what does my coach do? Yep, you guessed it, he called a time out...
Everyone is talking to me, trying to calm my nerves. I was a fairly good free throw shooter, about 75%. At this point the gym is pretty much packed with students and parents. The ref tells us times up and I head back out to the free throw line. I suddenly realize I am all alone. My team is huddled together on their knees and the gym is pretty quiet. I don't know how I even managed to make my feet walk across the floor. Now, don't get me wrong, I love to be the center of attention, but this is a little too much, even for me.
The ref hands me the ball, and I completely forget what I'm supposed to do with it! I dribble it a couple of times, bring it up to aim and shoot...miss. OK, deep breaths, wipe my palms, "I can do this"...wait, is that the guy I've had a crush on all year standing just to the right of the goal? Crap. Didn't need that. Wait, did he just smile at me? Oh, right, supposed to be doing something. Ok, dribble, dribble, dribble, dribble...what was I supposed to do? Ok, aim, shoot, follow through...and it swirls around the rim, around, around, around...and out. Damn. OMG. I just let the entire team down. In front of the entire school. Can I please go hide now?
Nope, no time to hide we are now in overtime. I must get my head back in the game. No good. We lost. I am about to cry. My good looking, hunky coach comes over to me, puts his arm around my shoulders and tells me it is all his fault, that he made a big mistake calling time out. That he inadvertently 'iced' his own player. Yeah, ya think? I could not be consoled. I could have won the game! I was already imagining the headlines, "Shealy Wins Game for Bearcats as Time Expires". I was a hero in my mind. Instead the headline was, "Shealy Misses Both Shots Wildly". Yes, it said "wildly". What an exaggeration! That just added to my miserly. I still have the article, too.
I hid in my bedroom all weekend with the shades pulled as any sullen teenager would.
Now anytime my husband and I are watching football and a kicker gets ready to kick a field goal and the other coach calls a time out my husband says, "bet you know how he feels!" Then, if the kicker makes it, my husband says, "oh, I guess you don't know how he feels". Ha. Funny guy.
I remember that night as if it were yesterday. I remember the smell of the gym, the feel of the basketball and the sound it made as I dribbled it on the hardwood floor. I remember my teammates trying to make me feel better and my coach trying to console me. The feelings from that night have never left me. I guess it will be a story I will share with my kids when they go through their embarrassing moments. I just hope theirs won't be in front of their entire school!