35-year-old calls himself ‘The Michael Jordan’ of Rec-League Hoops
Fresh off a win over the Jimmy Butler was right All-Stars in the Brews & Ball C-League Championship, Downtown FunkyStuff McBuckets goaltender Ryan Turner, 35, relished the victory.
“Another for the trophy showcase,” Turner said, three beers deep, between sips at Frank’s Tavern. “It never loses its shine.”
With the victory, Turner won his sixth championship, making him the self-proclaimed Michael Jordan of the Brews & Ball League.
“There’s a reason why I wear a full MJ uniform every week.” He continued. “They say dress for the job you want. Well, the job I wanted since I joined this league was to be the GOAT.
Asked about Tom Bates, the 24-year-old business development representative on the Drain Gang Degenerates, who many call the LeBron James of the league, Turner stopped short and looked me straight in the eye.
“Bates has a bright future, but he still has a long way to go if he wants to reach the top. has two championship titles – which were flukes if you ask me – but I have more rings.
By rings, Turner means the Frank’s Tavern $100 gift card the winning team receives each session.
“I’m keeping them all,” Tuner said as he pulled out five old Frank cards from his wallet. “This one is from 2013,” he said of the one with faded text that read “Ank’s Ern.” “We only had five guys this game because our sixth had a bachelor party hangover this weekend. I ended up having 10 points and 3 rebounds. He’s completely expired, but the memory is still fresh.
“But the stats are not important to me,” he continued. “All I care about is winning. That’s why I’m the guy who sets the tone on this team – you know, the guy who hits the ground on defense, reminds everyone to box and keeps the referees in check. I’m not afraid to be the bad guy if it means we win.
To get a little more perspective, I asked Turner’s teammate Derek Simmons about Turner’s impact.
“Ryan is the only guy who’s willing to submit the registration form, pay the fees and remind us when the games are on,” Simmons said. “I can look past everything else because seeing him on the court is like an HBO Sunday night show to me. And, playing the Downtown FunkyStuff McBuckets means an hour’s drive from the old millstone. Without Ryan, none of this would be possible. Also, I can never say no to a chance to get a Frank’s Tavern gift card. Their wings are the best in town.
As the festivities escalated, Turner, now on beers seven and eight, ordered another pitcher.
“I’m going to enjoy tonight but tomorrow it’s back to business,” he said. “The six ships of Michael Jordan? Old news. I’m picking up Bill Russell.