Monday, March 21, 2011

Uber-Competitive Uncle Ruins Another Family Reunion

Every family has one. He is either your father, brother, uncle or distant relative, but we all have that uber-competitive family member who plays every sporting activity like his life depends on it.

Uncle Ted Dandridge of Erie, Pennsylvania is no different.

Last week the Dandridge family had their annual family reunion at the nearby state park. The afternoon consisted of burnt hot dogs, lousy potato salad, volleyball and the traditional basketball game. Like so many years in the past Ted played the meaningless game like it was the Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

"Did you see me out there?" Ted proclaimed. "No one can stop the February 1986 Pennsylvania High School Player of the Week! I still got it baby!"

Ted put up a "family reunion record" 57 points in the game, including 0 assists, 24 rebounds and 12 blocked shots of 8-year-old nephew Timothy Dandridge.

"Doesn't matter if you are 35 or 8 the Ted-O-Nator is going to bring it 100 percent all day," Dandridge explained. "The joke is on the other team! They lost again! Ha! What a bunch of losers!"

Some of the highlights of the game included Ted sporting his high school uniform with a head band, 12-year-old Katie Dandridge getting elbowed in the face before Ted hit a fade away jumper, Ted throwing the ball at older brother Joel Dandridge's face during an inbounds play and Ted dropping the F word numerous times when fellow teammates did not understand the play he was calling.

"Did you see that jumper?! All day every, every day. It's what I do," Dandridge said. "During Thanksgiving this year Katie made a snide comment about my apple pie. That will teach her a lesson next time she thinks about ragging on the Ted-O-Nator!"

Despite putting up 57 points and leading his team to another victory, not all was well for the winning team.

"For the past 5 years Ted has gotten progressively worse at this reunion," teammate and cousin Rick Gathers said. "We all talk about not inviting him to the reunion, but then we start thinking that maybe his 41-year-old brain now understands that maybe it's not the best idea to block every shot of your youngest nephew. Or maybe it's not the best idea to drop kick the ball 30 feet in the air simply because you believe you got hacked by a 12 year old girl while you were going for a layup. We all hope this, but it never gets better."

The game ultimately ended when Ted jumped off Joel's back and dunked the ball, thus breaking the rim after hanging for two minutes. Following three minutes of trash talking by Ted to the opposing team, everyone decided it was best to just go eat the lousy potato salad and try to make the best out of yet another pathetic family reunion.

"Am I happy the Ted-O-Nator dropped 57 points and pulled down 24 monster rebounds? You bet," Ted explained. "But the Ted-O-Nator is never satisfied. If this team wants to be the best everyone has to play their best. No more dropped passes like Rick and his slow son did today. I did not beat St. Joseph High School in 1986 with a fade away jumper with two seconds left just to watch my family members dog it in a family reunion bloodbath 25 years later. This is war."

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