Ibuprofen formula

Ibuprofen formula (i'-byoo-pro'-fuhn for'-myoo-luh) noun. A simple formula used to determine how many Ibuprofen (or some other form of aspirin) someone should take prior to playing competitive pickup basketball. The formula is: [Number of Full Decades Lived] + 1. For example, a 27-year-old would take three Ibuprofen prior to playing pickup ball (two full decades lived + 1).

Usage example: Ever since I discovered the Ibuprofen formula, I always pop a few aspirin before my pickup league. It really helps.

Word history: Back in the late 1980s, I remember watching a Boston Celtics highlight video in which Kevin McHale was relentlessly teasing Bill Walton. McHale joked that when Bill arrived at the Boston Garden for a game, the first thing he did was flag down a ball boy and order the kid to bring him eight aspirin and a Coke. "He needed, like, a whole bottle of painkillers before the game even started!" cracked McHale.

It's obviously been a few years since I saw that video, and I was considerably younger, so my memory might be a little faulty as to the exact wording. But that exchange always stuck with me, and I often thought back to it and wondered why Walton would need to anesthetize himself BEFORE playing basketball. But now I get it.

Still, it wasn't my idea to start downing Ibuprofen before playing. The Ibuprofen formula was the brainchild of Larry, my pickup league's resident old guy. Larry's in his 60s, but unlike most of the men I've known who played pickup into their sixth decade and beyond, he's still really good. He's automatic from 15 feet and he has this move -- where he drives baseline, pivots under the basket and hits a reverse layup/scoop/hook/something-or-other -- that's nearly impossible to stop in single coverage. It's funny, because he's old, slow and not remotely athletic, and so newcomers to the league (especially the young jumping jacks) always think they're going to stuff him with extreme prejudice. But Larry is so wiley, and he executes that move with such an uncanny, machine-like precision, that it's pretty rare when a defender is able to effectively challenge the shot. Larry either hits it or he doesn't, but the outcome usually has nothing to do with the defense.

Anyway, one day Larry and I happened to be chatting on the sideline when the subject of his age came up (as it inevitably does). I asked him how he gets ready to play, because I'd never once seen him stretch or warm up in any way other than shooting around. Without the slightest hesitation, Larry said: "I take about seven Ibuprofen." I must have given him a funny look, because he laughed and said, "I've been taking Ibuprofen before I play for years. I take it right before I get here, that way it kicks in about halfway through the first game, and then I'm not sore afterward. Well, not until the next morning, anyway." I asked him why he takes so many. "Well, it's a formula. I take one for each decade I've lived, and then I add one more. Started doing that in my 40s, and I've done it ever since. It works."

I was curious, so before my next pickup game, I tried it. And you know, it really does work. Of course, I had some concern about taking too many pills. Larry was obviously taking way more than the recommended dosage, and by using the Ibuprofen formula, I would be too. Was it dangerous? I went ahead and checked with a friend who's a nurse. He -- yes, he's a murse -- administers a LOT of Ibuprofen, and he told me that there was no threat of overdosing by taking a couple extra Ibuprofen. In fact, he said that people with larger-than-average body mass (I'm 6'3" and 200 pounds) who participate in physically challenging activities (like baskeball or other amateur athletics) may actually require more than the recommended dosage.

So if you're getting a little older and starting to feel the aches and pains of the pickup game, don't do something stupid like "retire" (as a few of my friends did after turning 30). Try the Ibuprofin formula first. And if that doesn't work, try some vagisil.

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29 Comments:
Blogger Cortez said...
"...And if that doesn't work, try some vagisil."

That's why I love this site! Good one!

After I had my ankles scope my surgeon suggested this method. He told me they [the medical community] have been performing toxicity test for over 25 years and have seen little to no negative effects of taking ibuprofen long term.

4-5 is the number I need and it most certainly works.

...but woe be my (cartilage deprived) ankles and knees if I don't have any available and try to go without.

Must have been all those years of jumping over mountains, lifting boulders, manhandling mountain lions, and (allegedly) beating girls at baketball!

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
There's a old guy who plays at the park I go to. He's this very old chinese guy. It's hard to tell how old he is because asians tend to look young for a long time(at least around these parts). His hook shot from about 15 feet is unstoppable and he shoots his jumpers very slowly but if you don't challenge him he will make it every time.

Blogger Rogue said...
, I know this is not for this post but I was thinking about the Magic shooters and I don't know what the big hoopla is ?

In the Playoffs....

The Lakers are shooting 38 % from the 3 point. 128/338

The Magic are shooting 37 % from the 3 point. 163/444

So, yeah the Magic are attempting more shots but shooting the almost same percentage. I don't know what the big hoopla is about the Magic shooters. LAs only problem is Derek Fisher. He is 12 / 51 on three points shot, is more of a liability. I would like to see PJ give more time to Shannon Brown and Farmer

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- Fewer than four Ibuprofen do nothing for me. I might as well be popping Tic Tacs. And, like you, my joints (and various other body parts) turn pretty cranky if I don't dope beforehand...even though I haven't completed The Twelve Labors of Cortez. (Speaking of which, I've always wanted to know how you managed to capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.)

Axel Foley -- It just goes to show that if you perform a single task countless thousands of times over the course of many years, you can actually become pretty good at it. (Although some of the guys at my pickup league do their damnedest to defy that axiom.)

Anonymous hellshocked said...
I too approve of the vagisil remark.

With my knee issues I'll definitely be giving the ibuprofen formula a try.

Blogger Rogue said...
...Speaking of Pills, . After hitting 25 last year with 25 years of fractures and broken bones and concussions + 6 car accidents my body is getting old fast. Last year by accident I came upon an awesome recipe. Now it might be totally bad for health and I am not endorsing it.
I have been taking no doze or any other off the shelf caffeine pills + ibuprofen and it works like a charm. The best results can be achieved by using ephedrine + Ibuprofen but I am scared about using ephedrine pills 2 to three times a week.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Rogue -- I would guess that a big deal is being made because of the type of offense that the Magic run. It's inside-out, with the three being a major component of what they are trying to do. Most of L.A.'s three come naturally as a part of the Triangle offense (or are forced up by Kobe when he goes rogue). So while the Lakers shoot a lot of threes and at a very respectable percentage, they aren't FOCUSING on getting three-point attempts.

It's also worth mentioning that over the course of the playoffs, the Magic faced teams that ranked 9th (Philly), 5th (Boston) and 1st (Cleveland) in defensive efficency, while the Lakers faced teams that ranked 14th (Utah), 7th (Houston) and 6th (Denver). (For the sake of clarity, Orlando and L.A. rank 2nd and 4th, respectively.)

Furthermore, Cleveland ranked 1st in the league at defending the three (based on percentages) while Boston ranked 5th. Interestingly enough, guess who ranks second? The Magic. And third? The Lakers. Should be fun.

(Also, this sure seems to show that the defensive-minded teams progress further in the playoffs...)

Blogger flohtingPoint said...
Recommend dosage is always asininely low. It's basically the safe amount of said pill that a midget with every type of ailment on the planet could take and not have any adverse effects. When I first got deployed to Iraq, I was jacking five to six sleeping pills a night just to even begin to get a wink of z's due to how fucked up I was. The recommended dosage of two I'd take during the day just to keep me grounded and able to concentrate on my duties.

Anonymous Axel Foley said...
I guess i'll be shooting with laser like precision by the time im 35 then. I wanted to post this yesterday but I came home too late.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTX9OwhSrz8&feature=channel_page

Its the Magic vs Warriors circa 1994 and Shaq is bald but has.....sideburns. It is extremely bawful and the game has probably the most exciting finish outside of a game winning shot.

Blogger Will said...
Basketbawful- who hasn't captured the Golden Hind of Artemis?

Anonymous Marc said...
I can't help but think the Ibuprofen formula will greatly reduce your overall longevity.

That old Asian guy probably takes nothing but ground up shark fin and ginseng before every game.

Blogger BadDave said...
I'm up to 14 ibuprofen for the terrible wrist pain I have from remote-and-beer curls, and the dull ass ache from my lazyboy.

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
@BadDave: You have won my heart with your comedy. To claim your prize, just continue being like that.

I was watching ESPN Classic last night and around seven central they played the final playoff game of MJ's career (Game 6 at Utah). I noticed that A: MJ Kobe'd that game up. Until the final minute, he shot only defended jumpers for the third and fourth quarters. He finished the game going like 4-13, but of course hitting the game winner. Also, they had Isiah Thomas calling the game with Doug Collins. Bob Costas (I believe) was the play-by-play man. It was actually better by far than hearing the Three Stooges of today's ABC basketball.

Blogger BadDave said...
@Buck Nasty: You had me at hello.

Yeah, MJ's game really changed over his career. At the end, he would pretty much only drive if undefended. Everything was that stupid high-post turnaround that he made work, but most of the world doesn't understand is generally a low-percentage shot. And the only reason Isiah was so good as an announcer was because Bob Costas enjoyed the sexual harassment.

Too soon?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I read somewhere that if you take too many Ibuprofen your penis wil fall off.

Anonymous Penisless Marv said...
Wait, what?!?!?!

Anonymous Ruben said...
Does that old guy have glowing skin, perchance? It's just that, I remember an episode- years ago- of Oprah where she recommended popping a few asprin (or similar) every day for healthy skin. I somehow think that Greg Oden hasn't heard of the ibuprofen formula. However, on that show Oprah also recommended a daily teaspoon of ketchup too... and as seen on Colbert this week, that doesn't mean that it's true. (http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/229448/june-02-2009/cheating-death---cheerios--soda-paralysis---oprah-s-crazy-talk)

Blogger John said...
amazing send off

Blogger Buck Nasty said...
@BadDave

That joke wouldn't be too soon if you had made it while the incident, for all we know, happened.

Just imagine Isiah, Ruben Patterson, and Marv Albert all got together to broadcast. Add in a Kobe interview, and you have a lot of sexual harassment experience out there.

On Jordan: It was interesting to see the aftermath, and the fact that the team managed to win while all of them were engrossed over what was really going to happen the next year.

In the broadcast, they compared MJ to Paul McCartney, Pippen to Lennon, Phil to George Harrison, and Rodman to Ringo. Then they compared Jerry Krause to Yoko Ono. Teehee.

Blogger Will said...
Any broadcasting team involving Ruben Patterson (hell, any ex-UC Bearcat), would be rife with unintended comedy. If any of them could put 2 sentences together, I'd be amazed.

WV: brestis, need I say more?

Blogger Cortez said...
"...I read somewhere that if you take too many Ibuprofen your penis will fall off."

Well then, now I have my answer to what happen to my penis.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Will that have prevented my, I mean, (ahem) one's, penis from turning blue that time I bruised it playing a game of basketball when I was younger, or will it only speed up the falling-off process?

Blogger BJ said...
If for whatever reason ibuprofen or naprosen doesn't do it for you, try Vanquish. Bayer makes it; it's an aspirin-acetometaphin mix, with a dash of caffine. It's the best anti-inflammatory I've found that you can get without a doctor's slip and a lot of awkward explainations.

Anonymous VCfor3 said...
Um long term overdosage of ibuprofen can cause organ failure, especially toxic to the liver since thats where its metabolized mostly. So use caution, also known to decrease blood clotting ability in older people, so its not like popping up tic tacs like you might think.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Um long term over dosage of ibuprofen can cause organ failure..."

This isn't saying much as long term over dosage of almost ANYTHING you can ingest can cause organ failure.

The real question is what is an "over dosage".

"So use caution, also known to decrease blood clotting ability in older people"

Younger people also. You are typically advised not to take ibuprofen 10 days before a surgery.

At any rate, what are some measures one could take to be careful? Are there any over the counter liver enzyme tests?

Blogger BadDave said...
I counter my ibuprofen habit with Grey Goose and Captain Morgans. They sustain my organs. Which is good, because I have the additional negative factor of marriage, which has proven to be to be no good at all for my organ.

Anonymous Marc said...
lol@BD

Anonymous Wormboy said...
It is false that there are no adverse effects from Ibu (and I'm not even considering the stomach problems--in high doses it can cause ulcers in some people.)

NSAIDs (of which Ibuprofen is one) can indeed cause physiological problems, but will rarely do so to somebody who isn't stupid. Basically, the Ibuprofen formula shouldn't get you into trouble unless you allow yourself to get dehydrated or you have some sort of kidney disease.

That said, high doses will cause incremental kidney damage over time (ask Alonzo Mourning and Sean Elliott). Since we're built with excessive kidney redundancy, that won't affect most people unduly as long as they haven't lost the genetic lottery. Problem is that a lot of people don't know that they've lost the genetic lottery with regards to kidneys until they've gone pretty far. And, of course, you can get kidney damage from other sources (diabetes and hypertension being obvious sources).

So, vitamin I is great and all, but I'd advise that guys over 30 who pop a lot of it regularly get a kidney panel done every other year at their physical. If your creatinine gets above, say, 1.4-1.5, or your blood pressure is consistently quite high, you'd better cut out the vitamin I. Seriously.

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Wormboy, I'm pretty sure that Mourning and Elliott got those problems because of chronic use of Indocin, which is an order of magnitude or so more powerful than ibuprofen. If someone plays pickup basketball a couple days a week, taking several ibuprofen before they play is highly unlikely to mess them up. The kidney problems won't become suddenly acute, either. There should be some warning signs that pop up to make one halt its use.

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