Hilarity Stripe

See, it's a play on "charity stripe," which is funnier than this column

"We don't have a publisher yet, but we're working on it," Murphy says. He is the gregarious sort, loud and quick with a joke. He plays comedian to Boren's straight man, yukking it up with his partner over a beer while calling everyone within earshot a "pussy." It's good stuff. Really. "We think it's going to work, because everyone knows P-I-G, but no one knows SOS or S-T-A-R Burst. It'll be something that kids can use or parents can give to their children. Guys our age can do it; it won't matter who you are. We're going to have the age group for each game, the number of players, how much exercise you'll get from it, a CD that will show you each game that will come with the book and a little story behind the game, too. Like, there's one story where we mention Drazen Petrovic. The thing about that is, even if someone disputes it, it's hard for Drazen to debate the story."

He grins mischievously and laughs. Petrovic, of course, is very dead.

We've been at it for about an hour now. Under Boren's tutelage, Zac is improving, while I seem to be regressing. Boren tells us stories of players he's helped, and I ask him if he thinks he could fix Shaq. He says yes.

"What if there were a player," I say, not naming any names, "who was so bad, he did all 40 of the things you mentioned incorrectly. Could you fix him?"

"That's impossible," he says. "No one is that bad."

As I clang another free throw off the front rim, I'm not so sure. But Boren is undeterred, and he's awfully supportive. He sends Zac and me home armed with videos, books and plenty of encouragement.

"You keep at it now, and practice," Boren says with a smile, "and I promise you'll get better."

I believe him. And he didn't even have to use the wooden spoon.

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