The Invented History of Superjock, Part 1-- Superjock v. the World

The sign read: "Superjock vs. the World, Homecoming 2000," a small clip-art image separating the two declarations. It was adhered to the glass face of one of Old Main's many entrances, barely edging to the forefront of a crowd of similar 8.5 x 11 announcements, the loudest voice next to shouting ads for 2001 cheerleading tryouts or unique modern worship opportunities!

I went to class, the sign and the "Superjock" it proudly--boastfully!--proclaimed retreating elsewhere, letting me enter into a world of editing and prooftexting without too much trouble.

But the signs didn't go away. They didn't just slip into the back of my mind. They hid behind a bush, set a booby trap constructed of rusty nails and an aluminum can, and bushwhacked me daily.

So I made an educated guess-- Superjock was some sort of comedy act, a parody of organized sports. He or she or they would draw a crowd and send countless attendees away with a bad taste in their mouths.

In hindsight, I wasn't too far off with that initial speculation.

Weeks passed. Homecoming weekend at Geneva hit like a bag of thumbtacks. Booths sprouted on the college's main avenue, vendors hawking pinecone soldiers and sagging funnel cakes. Students lined up behind carnival games. Aged alumni hobbled down to meet friends under the shade of maples fast-losing their plume.

On my way to the band room, I heard music. Live music, too, and it sounded like someone playing Fountains of Wayne's "Sink to the Bottom." I moved closer, dodging by small clumps of peopling milling about. The intermittent stream of humanity suddenly cleared. Behold, Superjock.

They stood off to the side of the concrete walkway, their gear blanketing the orange leaves already blanketing the lawn. There were three of them: Verien Brotzman--a friend from marching band--manned the drum set; Ben Balott (I think that's how you spell his surname) on bass, long hair flapping in the breeze like a flag from a pole; and Matt Reed's, Geneva's underground literary wunderkind, singing and playing guitar.

And they weren't great. At all. But in a sense, they were great. These three guys were hammering out a fairly-unknown power pop cover to a shifting cluster of onlookers, and doing so with enough poise, wit and charm that it erased any musical shortcomings they possessed for generations to come.

I stayed 'til the end of the tune, watching Matt mutter something about "original song" into the mic, and stuck around until they finished the two-chord wonder ("Yearbook Photo") that followed. The original piece was as simple as Neil Young's one-note solo in "Cinnamon Girl," and while not as effective, still got the job done. I cheered, but started moving toward the band room to finish whatever task I had to finish.

Weeks pass, Superjock still rattling the bars in my mind. My dreams of rock and roll glory, which I've had since I was four years old, had finally reached an all-time high; they were peaking into the red, warning klaxons blaring and streams of hot steam pouring out of my ears. I want to see Superjock again. I want to maybe--Lord willing-- be in a band.

It was close to the end of October when I saw Matt and one of his friends--I think it was Lucas McNelly--veer in my direction as I walked to class. They walked side by side with a purpose, like muggers armed with dog-earred copies of "the Selected Letters of Marianne Moore." Matt, whom I vaguely knew, flagged me down.

"Hey Chet, do you play bass?"

I frowned. I played guitar, but..."I can, I guess."

"Would you like to be in Superjock?"

To be continued...

WILL Chet join Superjock? WILL he learn to play the bass guitar? WHO is the mysterious fourth member of the band? WHY are people calling Jason "Chet"? Tune in next week to find out!

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 10/31/2005 03:00:00 PM, ,