02 August 2012

nachos grande contest, round 0

yeah, i knew lennie guttman.  too bad he went out the way he did. 
local high school sports hero? ha! well, i guess you could say that, although not many people thought of him that way. sure, he made the shot that won the state high school basketball tournament back in '94, but he was by no means an athlete. lennie was inserted into the game after the third willow cove starter had fouled out, and was given the clear instruction by the coach: 'do not foul, and for god's sake, don't shoot!' it was only after a loose ball came his way with the seconds ticking down that lennie hurled the ball toward the basket and it awkwardly rattled around before going through the hoop.

it was the first and last time willow cove won state, and that includes the years when we had big tommy schlitz on the team. you know about tommy, don't you? wound up playing ball in europe or some such deal. anyway, lennie made the shot, and the story in the paper the next day made it seem that it was a much more polished play. it wasn't. it was garbage. but the lie becomes the truth and whaddayagonnadoaboutit?

after high school? well, let's see. lennie stayed in town, attended the local junior college for a year or two and tried his hand at a variety of jobs. he finally got a break when his neighbor hired him to work in his rain gutter business. after about 10 years of installing gutters, lennie was allowed into the office and he eventually bought the company a couple of years ago.

sure, i was surprised that he bought the company (although it wasn't his money - amiright?), especially with that furts guy working there.  i think the first thing lennie did, actually, was kick furts to the curb.  it wasn't a shock at all to anybody though when lennie started appearing in the commercials for the company. lennie had picked up more than just a bit of an ego after that state tournament. anyway, you know those 'better call saul' commercials in 'breaking bad'? well, those are cinema verite compared to lennie's commercials. there was one spot that he did a year or so ago that focused on the leaf guards he would install to keep leaves out of the gutters. in that commercial, he squeezed into his old high school basketball uniform, complete with the sweatband headband like cliff robinson used to wear. he looked terrible, and was obviously out of breath after climbing the ladder to get to the gutters on his girlfriend's house. he read the copy, and then ended the commercial by screaming at the camera - 'that's goaltending on the gutters!' pretty lame. most of his commercials, however, just had him standing in front of the strip mall where his office was with that goofy smile on his face. you know that smile - his tongue kinda sticking out and his eyebrows raised. anyway, the spinning text at the end of every spot said something like 'call lennie guttman - he'll get your mind out of your gutters!'. a very bad play on words.

no, i don't know anything about anybody who would want him dead, but i think a lot of people wish that lennie hadn't made that basket. it's all he talked about for the rest of his life. well, that and rain gutters.