The area that I consider my neighborhood covers about 60 acres — and has 38 basketball hoops.
There are basketball hoops everywhere; some of them the portable type you can wheel around and others set in a footing of concrete next to driveways and along the road. And only very rarely have I ever seen anyone playing basketball.
So yes, I was curious enough about this to go through the neighborhood and count them. In my days as a Times Union blogger, some helpful reader would have inevitably commented, “Don’t you have anything better to do with your time, Madeo?” Well actually, no. No I don’t.
Anyway, we had basketball hoops when I was a kid, but let me tell you, there were a lot fewer — and those we did have were usually attached to the front of a garage, something you rarely see anymore. Maybe because of all the broken garage door windows?
There’s certainly no harm in every kid having his own hoop, but here’s the thing: if there were less of them, maybe our suburban youts would play basketball together more often.
Of course, one could devise an amazing game with so many hoops. Imagine a contest where two teams go on a loop through the neighborhood and stop at each of the 38 basketball hoops. The team in possession of the ball gets to shoot until they make a basket or lose possession — and then it’s a race to the next hoop. By my reckoning, it would be a 1.75 mile course.
It would be a spectacle — but I suppose I’d be satisfied with just seeing a single ball being tossed up at any one of those 38 baskets.