dunk-on-alberta-hardcastle-ultimateIf I could dunk on anything, I would dunk on the province of Alberta, Canada.

On game day in Edmonton it’s a circus atmosphere with fans running across four lanes of traffic to get to the stadium, dodging  monster pick-up trucks and wading through the litter on the sidewalks in their cowboy boots.  All public transportation has been diverted to British Columbia to help rid the province of poor, ethnics and/or environmentalists.

When the true Albertans arrive they are furious, thinking that they were attending a hockey game or indoor motocross rally. Instead its a Nation wide Provincial Basketball Tournament, organized by the federal government as part of the Meech Lake Accord, deciding once and for all which province is the best.

The team’s plan is pretty much to keep the ball in the hands of the their true Albertan players, the guys from Rocky Mountain House or Red Deer who like to giv’er and show up for practice on a four wheeler, and those old boys who would rather bomb it from half-court than run a play with their other teammates.

There’s a Native guy on the team who never gets passed the ball and is treated like crap, so he doesn’t really give a shit about playing the game at all. He joined by a left-wing hippie who’s got a bunch of good ideas but he’s just sort of shoved into the corner of the court at the beginning of every game and if he comes out and tries to get involved they just throw bottles at him and kick his ass until he gives up and goes back to his little niche. There’s a dude from Newfoundland who works his ass off and once in a while gets the ball, even though the Albertan guys don’t like his accent and would rather pass to each other. And then there’s the big Albertan centre, who throws bows and travels and hangs around in the key as long as he wants and never gets called, and he’s having a great old time and doesn’t want anyone to mess around with it because he’s pretty sure Alberta’s got the tourney in the bag no matter how much he screws around and cocks up the game.

I’m just a dude from Ontario that got stuck playing for team Alberta against my will because I was lured out there for work, and I don’t feel much like a player anyway ’cause they stick me on the bench and I every time I try to get in the game they just look at me like I’m crazy because they know I lived in Toronto at some point.

The first two games are a joke as we cruise past PEI and BC thanks to some generous calls.   But then the lights go low and there is a lot of grumbling and growling in the crowd as Team Ontario comes out onto the court for the final game.

The Albertan players are so riled up that they start running by the Ontario bench and flashing their paystub’s at the opposing players. Then they start showing them pictures of their trucks and houses and their I.D.’s that show an average age of 23. They even trot out their hot, pregnant high-school sweethearts who wink at the Ontario players, especially the Black and Hispanic players the likes of which they have only heard of and have never seen before in person.

It’s a back and forth game that comes down to the wire, a one point game with a minute to go and then suddenly as the big Albertan centre brings the ball up the court the Native dude pops up off the ground and steals the ball from him and wheels away, the whole crowd is stunned silent as the Native guys throws down a wicked crossover move and tosses me the ball. I take the rock and then do a sweet spin move and turn the hell around and start bombing it down the court in the opposite direction. The crowd is in an uproar and Team’s Alberta’s centre comes after me and tries to guard the home bucket but the left-wing hipster comes flying out of nowhere and throws a vicious pick on him and as I dribble to the hole I tear off my jersey to reveal the Raptor’s jersey underneath and then I go airborne and throw down a thunderous dunk that shakes the rafters of the arena.

It’s pandemonium in the stands and the ice is melting from the flood of Albertan tears and I get out of the arena with a convoy of Ontario fans and jack a pick-up truck and start phase two of the Dunk On Alberta plan. I haul-ass right up to the oilsands and get my Cree homeboys on the Fort Chipewyan reserve to clear the lane of giant dump trucks and diggers and seal the government and the big corporations out of the key while I catch a sweet alley-oop from a disgruntled flock on oil-covered geese and dunk on the wells and the pipelines so hard that the province shakes itself loose from the rest of the country and somehow founders and disintegrates while a new great lake fills up the now empty space between B.C. and Saskatchewan. I laugh while the province’s premier cries oily tears and supreme Albertan hero Stephen Harper puts on a blue sweater and tries to trick the rest of the country into thinking he’s not wasn’t  trying to expand the ideals of the whole doomed Team Alberta franchise to the rest of the country. I sneak out of the province through the Northwest Territories and make my way across to Ontario, game ball in tow, and present it to Team Ontario and they affix it to the top of the CN tower and a nation rejoices.

When Kevin is not self destructing in the Edmonton Alberta, he finds time to write stories with deep meaning.