So by way of the cellular telephone, I call up my brother-in-law Dana, the funniest human being I know (that’s kind of unrelated to this story, but it should be pointed out), on Sunday morning. It’s short notice, but I’m seeing if he can rebound for me sometime after lunch. He says he can. So sometime after lunch arrives, and I pick him up, and we head to the gym.
Now this is what you should know about Dana: About the best dad ever, usually the smartest guy in the room but would never make you feel that way, funny (I guess we covered that), and a real good athlete, but always self-deprecating to the point that you might believe he could fall over at any moment because he’ll tell you he’s that out of shape.
OK, so I’m figuring a stress-free 1,200-1,300 or so in a couple hours, we get out of there, nobody gets hurt.
Except it seems that nobody told Dana, because I shoot the first foul shot — clang — and like a bullet he’s on it and the ball is back in my hands, at my chest, ready to shoot. Pretty sure I missed another one. Same deal. I don’t have time to blink and I’m shooting again. And then I make a couple, miss a couple, make a couple, and every time … smack! smack! smack! smack! … the ball is back at my chest, in a moment.
And then we get into a rhythm, and I’m making a ton, and he’s not relenting, and I look up at the clock at a little under an hour and we’re counting 897, 898, 899 … and then I really know we’re on to something here. I mean, flying.
The best two-hour mark until Dana showed up on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, had been 1,480 made free throws, with the smooth retrieval skills of Fred Vezina. That’s a heck of a number, except … except … well, we beat it by almost 400 today. One thousand, eight hundred sixty … a number that I’m not sure I believe myself, except it’s there on tape (and if you’ve got a couple hours to kill, click here and find December 6, 2009).
Oh, right, the tape. Another good Dave-is-a-moron story about that. We get done, and I waltz over to the camera to see that it’s blank. The last time this happened, it was because there wasn’t enough memory left, as I hadn’t cleared the old footage. This time, it was because I didn’t plug the thing in. The camera caught 1,649 of them on battery, and then was off for the last 14 minutes (211 makes).
Now, this is where Dana goes from being superhuman rebounder to super-cool buddy brother-in-law: He’s working until 11-ish, and I call him at work and ask if he’ll meet me back at the gym when he gets out. So 11:20 rolls around and there we are, finishing up on camera (plugged in!), and sure enough we re-make the last 211 in under 14 minutes … giving us 1,860 documented made free throws in just a hair under two hours.
Long story, happy ending. Twenty-six days of shooting, and we’re now at 31,967 down, 968,033 to go.