We'd all love to be Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette, the stars putting our teams on our backs and soldiering forward to victory. Truth is, though, we're a lot more like Temple Timeout Guy, the unnamed and anonymous Temple player who was first off the bench and onto the court to greet his teammates in Sunday's 2OT loss to San Diego State.
But there's no shame in being a benchwarmer. After all, you made the team, right? You're better than any three other guys in your hometown, right? So buck up, buttercup. Make the best of a benchwarming situation. Here, we'll help you with some handy tips:
No. 6 Wave That Towel
This is your calling card, your hallmark, your raison d'etre. You stand on that sideline and you wave that towel, brother. It's your job to be fired up when the camera cuts to you when your team makes a run. It's your job to clasp your fellow pine-riders arm-in-arm and hand-in-hand when your teammates are shooting critical free throws. Don't let us down, goofy benchwarmers. Play your part.
No. 5 Angle Yourself For Camera Time
The cameras are going to laser in on your star forward, your cold-blooded shooting guard, your behemoth of a center. That means it's your job to greet them coming off the court -– be prepared to give up that towel -- and get right over their shoulder and look very, very interested as they get instructions during timeouts. Remember, the spillover fame from glimpses on camera can net you far more love than you'd ever get on your own.
No. 4 Throw Some Attitude
You're a member of the basketball team, son! Take advantage of that! This is the only time in your life you'll be able to throw off attitude like you're a big-timer. Mouth off to security guards. Slouch in class. Make other people get you drinks. Just make sure you're wearing your uniform at all times, because nobody's recognizing you without it.
No. 3 Foul, Baby, Foul
We all need a skill. And if you can develop the skill to jump on the opposition like a tick and foul within seconds, your coach is going to love deploying you when you're down late. Get in there and grab some loose balls. Bonus: You get in the box score!
No. 2 Observe And Report
Observe and report. Everybody's going to want to know everything about your team and your teammates. Feel free to (carefully!) indulge Twitter and the blogs who'd like pictures of your teammates passed out on piles of co-eds. It's great revenge for what they did to you after practice that day. Of course, if shady fellows show up asking for details on Star Forward's ankle injury, go re-watch “Casino” before acting. Pay particular attention to the buried-in-the-cornfield scene.
No. 1 Remember Everything
This won't last forever, you know. There will come a day when you'll need to entertain your co-workers at the insurance agency/car dealership/high school athletics office with your glory days, and you'll want to have the dirt to dish. Plus, if everything breaks just right, there might just be a book deal, or at least an I-told-you-so appearance on a sports documentary, a decade down the line. Play this right, and you can parlay a four-year bench stint into a lifetime career!
-- Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.