1. of no real value; trifling; worthless. 2. of no force or effect; ineffective; futile; vain. 3. not valid.
Ever played pick-up ball with someone so bad that they might as well not even be there at all? Like, empty air would be a more effective teammate? Well I have, and that sack of crap is the inspiration for today's pick-up ball Word Of The Day: Nugatory
. I like this word because it's a real word (according to dictionary.com, anyway)...and even though it hints at nougat - a sugary confectionary in many tasty treats - there is nothing tasty about what a nugatory player brings to the table (why do I feel like Dane Cook when I write that?).
Now Bawful may have already created a word for this yutz, but fortunately I'm too lazy to do even the most rudimentary of research to check. I am also taking submissions for a better word, since a term meaning "worthless" is not necessarily appropriate for this guy, since he's probably less than worthless..."Negative Man" is a possibility, but doesn't dance off the vocal chords like "nugatory"...
If you wish to duplicate the feeling of playing with Nugatory Guy on your team, go to an oft-used public bathroom stall, arrange a perfect oval of toilet paper on the seat to protect your bottom from germs, and poop out something of such length and diameter as to generate a geyser-like splash of toilet water straight up to your bunghole.
Nugatory Guy is awful for so many reasons:
He comes late to pick-up ball, so after you've established teams and a rhythm, he's pops in to ruin the mix. Inevitably, he will be the ninth to arrive (thereby screwing up a game of 4-on-4), the eleventh to arrive (thereby ruining a game of 5-on-5), or the thirteenth to arrive (thereby destroying a perfectly sound game of 5-on-5 with one sub per team, usually necessitating the need to create a third team, with losers shooting for the next game). And even on the rarest of days when he's the 8th or 10th guy, people are only moderately happy with his arrival, because he will be...
...a detriment of such enormous proportions to the team on which he plays that no matter how many giant, athletic dudes you put on his team, he will drag it into failure by not playing defense, nor help defense, nor offense, nor rebounding, nor setting picks, nor boxing out. He also makes a habit of yelling loud, distracting things when opposing players shoot in an effort to "scream defense" a miss.
In my league with Basketbawful, we have a Nugatory Guy - a dude of such singular awfulness that he makes even the bad players look pretty darned good. Having overcome a near-death illness, this plodding, still-debilitated fellow now tries to play in our league. His efforts, I suppose, are inspirational - for a movie at least, but not for the guys who must play with him. Bawful and I have both become so frustrated by playing with this guy that we are trying to come up with strategies to make his awfulness less of a problem:
1.) Switch him from one team to the other throughout the night, thereby spreading his awfulness around.
2.) Tell him not to return to the court even when he is supposed to be subbing back into a game (I've done this - telling him to just "keep sitting there" - that's Evil Ted at his best).
3.) Beat one of the mediocre players half to death at the beginning of the night, and have them match up with him.
4.) Play 4-on-3 or 5-on-4 and just let him guard air, and thusly allow air to guard him.
5.) Go to his house beforehand and cut wires in his car's engine to ensure he doesn't make it to ball that night.
6.) Perform an intervention, confronting Nugatory about why he still comes and torments us with his presence.
A rare photo of a basketball intervention
If you have any further suggestions about what else Bawful and I might do, or even have any upgrades to the word "nugatory," go for it. This post will grow and change with good suggestions.UPDATE:
Yams comes through big time with the term "Minus Man." I love this almost as much as RHL's "Anti-player," which makes me think of anti-matter or the anti-Christ, and we all know how funny the anti-Christ is. Both are strong contenders to Supplant "Nugatory," which I felt was really just a place holder until the devoted came through. So far, well done.UPDATE 2:
Wormboy has suggested "Neutron" and "Captain Entropy / Entropic player." Not bad...a little science lab, but not bad. Also from the beaker and test tube crowd comes "E" or "Electron," (the player "exhibits a negative charge on whatever they come into contact with"). Bravo. Caseta brings "The main attraction"...perhaps, if you want to get your popcorn and be amused from the sideline, then this one makes sense. Tony sports "anti-game" which is close enough to anti-player to damage both entries in the Oscar voting.
If anyone knows of some sort of blog-friendly macro we can use to vote for the best name, let me know. That would be wicked.
- Evil Ted
Labels: nugatory, pick-up ball, Word of the Day