I have followed the Boneyard, I think, through all of its iterations, but only decided recently to wade into this beautiful cesspool by posting.
This seems an innocuous enough thread to get my feet wet, or cruddy, as the case may be.
Except for a few games at the beginning of my freshman season in high school, I always wore number 11. I switched to that number after noticing that one of the officials who usually refereed our home games was missing the thumb and index finger on one of his hands. I was curious which alternate digit he would use to indicate my new number.
As hoped in my dumb teenage mind, every time I committed a foul he would walk over to the scorer’s table and flip them the bird. Basically his nefarious hand gesture signaled: “I’m number one and cuss you.”
My switch to the number 11 began as a pimply teenager’s private joke, but it ended with great respect for the zebra. When asked about a particular call on the court, this ref would explain to the player precisely what that player had done wrong. He was almost always right. Off the court, he would talk basketball with anything with ears.
I gradually got to know him personally over my four seasons, as we crossed paths on the court, or in-or-about town—he lived not far from campus.
One afternoon during my senior season, I ran across him in a grocery store parking lot, admitted why I wore the number 11, and stupidly asked him why he didn’t raise a different finger, something other than the middle one.
He responded, “What the cuss is a man going to do? Raise his pinkie?”
He then, justifiably, began walking away. After a few steps, however, he turned on his heels to signal one final number 11.
He was number one, and cuss me. And he was, and cuss me.
Anyone other NEPSAC players from the mid-to-late 1980s remember this ref?