I’ve tried to consider every logistical detail in my planning for these 1 million shots, but if there are blind spots, here they are: 1. I have no idea if shooting thousands of free throws a week will take some sort of physical toll (Is there an orthopedist in the house?); and 2. One million is a big freaking number.
When I first thunk this up a year or two ago, I figured 1,000 per day for 1,000 days, or roughly two-and-a-half years, would be the way to slice it. More recently, I started to think that it would be pretty cool to stuff it all into a two-year spree, starting on Veterans Day 2009, reaching 500,000 on Veterans Day 2010, and crossing the finish line on Veterans Day 2011. Then I started to do some math.
One million made shots in two years, or 730 days, averages out to just about 1,370 per day. Let’s assume a 70 percent rate of success at the line (which I hope is realistic), and it comes out to needing to shoot 1,957 times per day to make my 1,370. Without no one rebounding for me, which I’m figuring will be more the rule than the exception, I can take about 10 shots per minute, meaning that I would need about 196 minutes — or 3 hours, 16 minutes — per day to make it happen.
That’s too many minutes.
So maybe I’m back to 1,000 makes for 1,000 days. Or maybe 500 for 2,000 days. Or what about a very reasonable 250 makes per day for a very unthinkable 4,000 days … which, by the way, is just about 11 years.
The bottom line is that there’s just no way to slice up 1 million made shots and make it seem, well, realistic. It’s too many shots a day to make it in a short time, and it would take too long if I picked a nice easy daily number. So …
I wish I had an optimistic conclusion that sounded rational. I don’t. But I fully plan on figuring out a way to get there. I am inspired by our Veterans and this chance to thank them. And when one is inspired, there’s always a way.