Pavlov’s Dawgs

The intramural basketball season is upon us. Actually, it began in December, but I am only now getting around to writing about it. Regent does not have sports teams to cheer for, unless you count Moot Courtroom and Film competitions, so we have to make do with intramural sports. I’m fine with that, actually. It give me a chance to relive the dream. (Who’s kidding who, I still have four years of eligibility left, and I’m not afraid to use them.)

For years now I have been part of the basketball team that represents the School of Psychology and Counseling in the intramurals. You probably already know how psychologists are renown for their athleticism and basketball acumen. I can attest that all that you heard is true. In addition to that, we came up with the clever name, Pavlov’s Dawgs, to draw on the fame of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Russian physiologist, psychologist, and physician most well-known for making dogs drool. You will recall that it was Pavlov who described classical conditioning; he could pair a bell with dog food and get a dog to salivate at the sound of the bell.

Well, if Pavlov could do that, surely we can play a little intramural basketball. We simply pair students who can dribble a basketball with faculty who cannot; eventually, we get the faculty to salivate at the sound of dribbling.

One of the unique features of intramural sports is that the games can be scheduled at any time. I write “unique” because it’s the nicest way for me to convey how ridiculous the schedule can be. Take, for example, our game this week, which is scheduled for 10:30pm on Thursday. Who plays basketball at 10:30 at night? I’ve watched basketball at 10:30pm, but that’s because some of the Western Conference teams – the Lakers or the Spurs – are on TV. But you don’t see that too often on the East Coast. No, we are typically shutting down for the night, not trying to shut down the leading scorer on the other team. But everything you’ve ever been taught about basketball is up for grabs when you sign up to run with an intramural squad.

The agreement I have with my wife, Lori, is that I can play intramural basketball but I have to have reasonable, modest goals for the season. Like not going to the hospital. This is actually the goal she gave me for this year. This is relevant given what happened the second week of intramurals. A good friend of mine on an opposing team, Roger, went down with a knee injury and was taken to the hospital for x-rays. I say this only to recognize that Lori’s goals are much more realistic than mine (goal #1: shoot 50% from the 3-point line for the season). In any case, Roger is a few years older than me, and he’s always given me hope that I could play for many more years. This may still be true, but I want to keep Lori’s goals in front of me as much as possible (and probably not mention to her what happened to Roger).

The Dawgs are currently 4-1. We have played increasingly talented teams over the first five games, and we were dealt our first loss this past weekend. It’s time to regroup, get our game plan together, and show up on the court (at 10:30pm!). After all, they say it’s how you respond to a loss that defines your team, and we could use a little definition right now. Anyone have some 5-hr energy drink they can spare? Or at least a bell?

2 thoughts on “Pavlov’s Dawgs

  1. I’m trying really hard to meet my wife’s goals – believe me. Our record is exactly the same as when I posted this. The other team could not play the 10:30pm game, and for that I was extremely grateful! However, we held a practice that same night… until 11:20pm! Nothing that a little 5-hr energy drink can’t handle…

    We have rescheduled the game that was postponed. Our next game is actually this weekend, so we’ll have to see how that goes.

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