Welcome to the second season of The CBG Bunch, a specialized column dedicated to the CIS season. Every week, CBG parses through the CIS box scores over Sunday brunch while looking for #TheCBGBunch, a group of the top performers of the weekend’s action.
This week in #badpuns, we get romantic and hope that every aficionado reader and ball player managed to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a loved one. #BallIsLife and everything, but a life truly devoid of any meaning is one where the heart doesn’t know which way to look because no one has ever given you roses or a box of chocolates.
Apologies to Ryerson’s Jahmal Jones (nobody can accuse me of homecooking), the bad man Vasilije Curcic and Brock’s resident R&B artist Johneil Simpson. What you need to find is a better heart than mine that has so much love to give out. #ThereCanOnlyBe10
Denzel James, MacEwan Griffins at Mount Royal Cougars: 34 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
“Steady and spectacular,” his wise man had always told him and today, he reclaimed this for himself. “That’s how I’ll beat this thing,” Denzel James said, “steady and spectacular.”
He was playing a game, “A hero’s quest to defeat the Starting Five” it was called. His first thought was that the name of this game was pretty horrible. Kids these days probably don’t care about this kind of game, and it’s only because of the name.
But he was not a kid and he certainly cared for the game because it solicited everything he had—every ounce of attention he had in every fibre of his body, he gave toward this hero’s quest as he played. He needed both the LeBron James and the Denzel Washington aspect of himself. The steady and the spectacular.
A few of the highlights of this game follow.
Jelane Pryce, Winnipeg Wesmen VS Regina Cougars: 13 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Once upon a time, there lived a young hero in a faraway land. The young hero loved life and loved his world, and he dispensed knowledge and love everywhere he stepped foot. His antithesis was that of the unlucky man who wanted to be lucky, that’s how he had classified it in his mind.
The unlucky man wanted it so bad, but sometimes want is not enough. He had the lucky jersey number, No. 7, but nothing else worked. The shots weren’t falling—only five for 20—and there was nothing the unlucky man could do. The first task of the young hero in “A hero’s quest to defeat the Starting Five” was to help this most-unlucky man.
“You see the irony, right?
-What do you mean?”
The most-unlucky man was clueless. He wanted so bad to be lucky that it had blinded him to the obvious.
“Well, what you need is a different way of looking at things. You hate the unlucky 13, but maybe you need to see it as lucky. After all, you have 13 points and 13 rebounds despite all your unluckiness.”
Brad States, UPEI Panthers VS St. FX X-Men: 30 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 4 blocks
If we may state the obvious here, this had helped this most-unlucky man, but the young hero had simply stated what had become so obvious in his travels across cities and states. Love and hate are two coins of the same state of mind, but the young hero understood that this isn’t so obvious to everyone. In much the same way that ice is the solid state of water, love is just hate that is looked at differently.
That’s when it struck our young hero. The young man needed companions on his treacherous journey. I’m about to run into the Starting Five at any minute now, and I’m still just by myself. “This is a bad, bad state of play,” he said to himself, “and that’s stating the obvious.”
Meshack Lufile, Cape Breton Capers VS Saint Mary’s Huskies: 36 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist
Now joined by the most-unlucky man on his journey, the young hero saw a second man. This second man was tall, but not overly so. He seemed like a tweener, tall enough to fit in with the tall men of this world, but also short enough to not feel out of place with the shorter ones.
…This second man of “A hero’s quest to defeat the Starting Five” looked familiar to Denzel James. “Holy hell, that’s Draymond Green!” Had the Golden State Warriors’ budding superstar become that much of a household name… that he was now featured on a weird video game? It sure seemed like it. “Come on, Draymond didn’t even make the NBA’s All-Star Game!”
In the game, our young hero asked Draymond if Draymond wanted to embark on this treacherous journey and Draymond said yes. They were both happy, so they high-fived.
Rhys Larry, Acadia Axemen at Memorial Sea-Hawks: 17 points, 20 rebounds, 3 steals
The young hero and Draymond arrived at the village and they saw the Big Man. The Big Man was tall—duh—and the young hero understood what a great addition he would be to his team. In basketball as in life, you can never be tall enough. The young hero liked that the Tall Man could allow Draymond to slide back to his natural position but he liked something else even more. The Big Man’s height was great, but his name was even better. “It’s a name that’s so nice,” the hero said to Draymond, “that it works even backwards too.”
The Big Man laughed, because he knew that Larry Rhys was good too. And because he laughed, the hero high-fived him. They left Draymond hanging, yes.
Kashrell Lawrence, Dalhousie Tigers at St. FX X-Men: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Any treacherous journey needs many staples, and the journey in “A hero’s quest to defeat the Starting Five” had it all—it was up to the hero to find everything, and so far he had been successful. He had found the most-unlucky man, who had insisted to embark on the journey after the hero had changed his outlook on life. It’s the little things in life, they said, and defeating the Starting Five was anything but small—a peaceful mind was only good as long as peace ruled the land, and the most-unlucky man knew that the Starting Five was disturbing this peace.
The young hero had found Draymond, because any team needs a great overachiever and overconfident man. He had found the Big Man, but he was so tall that literally anyone could have seen him so he deserved no credit from this. The hero knew he needed money and, to his great surprise, the Big Man had a stack of bills that was about as tall as him.
“Cash Money,” Draymond told the Big Man. They high-fived, leaving the hero hanging this time.
Thibaud Dezutter, Laval Rouge et Or at UQAM Citadins: 21 points, 14 rebounds, 1 steal
The young hero and his team arrived to the neighbouring state where, they didn’t know yet, they would meet the Starting Five at last. But what they did know was that they would meet their final addition in this first city, the Belgian Thibaud Dezutter. What the hero liked about Dezutter was that he was ruthless and enjoyed making life in the city a living hell for the citadins—those poor city people, Dezutter called them.
The Belgian was a slightly shorter, but equally versatile, version of Draymond. With him, the hero thought, we can do no wrong. “Dezutter, Draymond, the Big Man, the most-unlucky man, and myself,” he hero said, “So there it is. We have our own Starting Five.”
They also had cash money and used it to buy train tickets to the next city. They were tired of walking and no one high-fived.
Thompson Rivers WolfPack starting five, at UFV Cascades: 73 points, 27 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks
But maybe they should have walked because they barely had time to step off the train before finding the Starting Five. They were magnificent, works of art, or at least works of Gods. All five were physical specimen, seemingly carved from marble. In their treacherous journey, the hero and his team had walked and walked, and fought and fought, slaughtering many opponents but none more impressive than the Starting Five where each player had managed at least 10 points. The Starting Five was the most-formidable foe possible, and now the entire game made sense.
And yet, as the hero braced himself for the most physical fight of his life, he realized that the Starting Five didn’t move. They stepped aside instead, making way for someone—or something? “To defeat us, you must answer the riddle of our sphinx Gavin Resch.” The voice seemed to come from all five members of the Starting Five at once. From nowhere and everywhere.
The hero understood. The Starting Five wasn’t selling the steak, but the sizzle. “Alright, bring on the sphinx,” he told the voice. Then he high-fived the most-unlucky man, just to feel lucky.
Gavin Resch, Carleton Ravens at Queen’s Gaels: 22 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 1 block
Denzel James couldn’t contain himself. To have to wait through the cut scene before this final fight—the biggest fights are always mental, not physical—was too cruel of a punishment. He didn’t have the patience.
In “A hero’s quest to defeat the Starting Five,” the sphinx’s voice echoed. “Here is my riddle, poor earthlings. We are 0 (2-2 = 0, of 22 points scored), 1 (block), 2 (personal fouls), 3 (steals), 4 (defensive rebounds), 5 (three-pointers made), 6 (assists), 7 (field goals made), 8 (7+1 = 8, of total rebounds and turnovers) and 9 (3×3 = 9, of free throws made and offensive rebounds). What are we?”
“Hahah joke’s on you, stupid game!” Denzel James had said that aloud. “I’ve seen that riddle about 187 times this season on #TheCBGBunch, you think you could fool me? I play in the CIS and not the NCAA, which means that I am a student in the classroom and not just a student of the game.”
That monologue was spectacular, but Denzel James still had to make his choice for the young hero. Steadily, he made him say, “They’re digits, you stupid sphinx.”
Marcus Tibbs, Victoria Vikes VS Trinity Western Spartans: 29 points, 4 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals
Meanwhile, Marcus Tibbs was intrigued. Throughout the game, as our hero beat level after level after level of this most treacherous journey and defeated the Starting Five, Tibbs was an eager spectator. “Man, I can’t believe this game,” he had said, to himself, on more than one occasion. He was looking at the screen, his eyes fixated on the hero, and never pulled away. This game is too good, he thought. He knew he had to try it too, which is why he rose to his feet when the hero solved the riddle. “Man, I got dibbs on next for this one!”
He couldn’t keep quiet—no one ever can—and high-fived his neighbour.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG & NPH @Northpolehoops