Recently, I was reminded of an interaction with two of my middle school travel team teammates that had, until that moment, been lost to the passage of time and alcohol consumption in my college years. This might not be particularly shocking, but travel team wasn’t super memorable for me. According to my coach, I was a “valuable role player,” and according to my mom, I was the “handsomest little boy on the team.” The interaction occurred while me, my mom, and the two teammates (who we will call C and D) were driving through the woods of western Massachusetts in my mom’s green 1995 Chevy Astro van. Look at this beauty.
I was in the front seat while they sat in the middle bucket seats, and the three of us were wearing our light blue uniforms despite literally being from a town called Orange. C, D, and I always got along well, but we had considerably different interests. They were “cool.” I was short, chubby, and had a bowl cut. My interests included rushing home after practice to play Magic the Gathering and Diablo 2; theirs included speaking to girls. We just lived different lives.
On this particular trip to some obscure western Mass town, probably like Ware or something, D turned to C and asked him, “what song he’s got stuck in his head.” I don’t remember the answer, but I remember the feeling that question gave me. Likely because of nerves, I would always get a song stuck in my head to the point that it was almost invasive. Every game, without fail, an ear worm would burrow itself into my psyche.
Apparently, this phenomenon also happened to C, and in this particular instance, he said that we were undefeated when he had that specific song stuck in his head. This wasn’t a bizarre oddity unique to my personality. It happened to other people, and some of them are actually good at basketball. It was a confidence-building conversation for a young Wayne Spooney.
Once that memory struck me, I started wondering if any of the Celtics players are afflicted with this particularly mild symptom. And if they are, what’s the song that gets stuck in their head? Well, for the Jays, I think I have a pretty easy answer. With the way Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are attacking the rim this year, I like to believe that the classic Queen (and David Bowie) song “Under Pressure” is perpetually glued to their cerebral cortex as they shake several defenders on their way to…