Previous installments: Part 1
, Part 2
, Part 3
, Part 4
, Part 5
, Part 6
, Part 7
Never let it be said that I don't love you people. Instead of getting sweet, sweet sleep, I've just spent the last few hours answering (I think) every FAQ question that was submitted
. Hopefully these answers will sate everyone's burning curiosity. If not, I'll do my best to give follow-up answers.
If comments aren't published immediately, it's because I'm in Italy and might not have access to a computer and/or the Internet. I will complete Part 8 of Livin' Large tomorrow...sometime.The only thing I want to know is whether or not you have any pictures of Jennifer and/or Shelly:
Alas no. Neither Mat nor I owned a camera. He took one round of pictures with a disposable, and strangely enough none of the pictures he took were of his girls. I could probably use stealth and cunning to obtain some current pictures of Shelly...but she's had seven kids. So, uh, yeah.Do you remember what character you played in D&D? Class? Name? Any other geeky games played?
Oh, man. I'd tried to avoid this, but apparently my geek past is catching up with me. Sadly, I was a goody-goody back then, so I typically had lawful good or neutral good characters, usually straight-up fighters. I did so much thinking in real life that when I role-played I just wanted to hit things.And: Can you give us a numerical estimate as to just how many VHS tapes were in this mystical pile of old basketball games? I didn't see them in the pictures, were they flowing from underneath your bed?
Rough guess: Around 200-ish. Some of them had only one game, others had as many as three.Did Mat at least use some sort of contraception during his many random sexual encounters? God knows we don't want any of his bastard offspring wandering the planet.
I actually had to squeeze some thought juice on this one. I must have tried to erase all thoughts of anything relating to his penis from my mind. At first, I didn't think he used protection because I couldn't remember seeing any used condoms in the trash. But upon further consideration, I do recall seeing condom boxes in the debris covering his desk...12-packs of course.Yeah, I have a question: what happened after what happened in part 7 (and before what will happen in part 9)?
Okay, okay, I get it! I'm behind! Part 8 will be published tomorrow. I promise.What kind of impact, if any, did watching Mat's sexual exploits have on your future relations with women?
None whatsoever. Mat was a selfish and careless lover. And I have to say using the word "lover" in reference to my old roomie gave me a bit of a wiggins. But even though I was, ahem, less experienced than Big Mat, I wanted to be nothing like him, sexually or otherwise.Do you realize how easy it was for anyone who's a decent fan of basketball to figure out the school, your roommate, and the former NBA All-Star from the last post?
I cannot control the amazing powers of deduction you people possess.Are Matt and Mat actually just 1 person, ala Fight Club?
Nope. Or, at least, I don't think so. Would I even know if we were?Did you end up screwing that girl's friend? The one that Mat ordered you to bang?
No. But somebody else in my hall did. And he continued to hang around all year hoping Mat would throw some more scraps his way. Never happened.You were pretty active on the pick-up basketball scene. You even gave us your height and weight. How would you describe your game? Strengths and Weaknesses? In a full court game to 21, how many points can I expect you to score? If both teams had captains picking, where would you be chosen?
Since this FAQ is intended to cover my time in college, I'm going to describe my game from that era. If anybody wants me to expand on this answer in the comments to describe my current game, I will.
In college, I became an offensive machine. I never stopped running, and I picked up a lot of easy buckets by sprinting downcourt on every possession. I developed a nearly unstoppable post game (assuming I wasn't fouled or double-teamed) and an awkward but efficient turn-around three-point shot. I could also stick the mid-range shot from the foul line area with regularity. I had a really good first step. I was a very aggressive rebounder, especially on the defensive glass. In a game to 21, I usually scored at least 10 points, and sometimes I would score 15 or more. I was known for hitting an extremely high percentage. There were games in which I didn't miss a shot (as BadDave will attest).
However...I had some gaping holes in my game. My defense was aggressive but sorely lacking in fundamentals. Honestly, because I became an accomplished scorer, I wasn't that concerned with defense. That would come later. My passing was, at best, okay. I wasn't a black hole, exactly, but I was looking to score first (and sometimes second). My handles were okay for scoring in the post or making quick moves to the basket, but I could not bring the ball upcourt without getting picked. I was also a bit of a hothead, and my temper occasionally took me out of the game.In retrospect, is there anything you remember about Future NBA All-Star that totally makes sense now considering his career? You know, kinda like how crabdribble-gate was just kind of funny at the time, but now was clearly just the tip of the iceberg as LeBron keeps topping himself as a prima donna.
Looking back, it's rather obvious that Future NBA All-Star relied heavily on his natural physical gifts. Too much so. He had other high-level skills, but he was the kind of ball player who never had the kind of mental toughness and inner reserve that the true greats had. That was proven in his final college game in the NCAA tournament. At the time, I thought it was an abberation. Now I realize that Future NBA All-Star feasted when he had a clear physical advantage over his opponents...and he starved when he did not.How noisy was the sex? Are we talking porn overdubs...gasping moans? Tell it in detail. Then describe how the ladies looked.
It totally depended on the girls. All Mat ever did was grunt. If the girl of the moment wanted to put on a show, it got crazy...gasps, moans, screams, laughing, squealing, name-calling, praying, speaking in tongues, you name it. If the girl was nervous or modest in any way, it stayed relatively quiet.
As for looks, the girls were usually either hot or very hot. Jennifer was the least attractive of the batch, and she would have been considered very attractive, especially for a freshman. I never saw Mat tap an ugly girl. I never even saw him tap an average one.So, when did you first see your roomie go ballin', and realize that he wasn't ever going to amount to anything other than Tremendous Upside Potential?
I attended a practice during the semester we lived together and watched him working one-on-one with an assistant coach. At one point, he bricked a dozen or so short hook shots and then bonked a couple reverse layups. He even blew a dunk. That's when I started to get worried.I still would like to know what your Clark Kent job is. I think you may have mentioned being some kind of programmer, but I'm not too sure.
Like I said above, I'm trying to limit questions to my college life, But I'll give a quick answer to this one. I'm a technical writer for a global computer software firm. I write release notes, help text and user guides for various software packages. You know, that boring stuff that everyone ignores and throws away without ever reading.
Our software is specific to the financial industry, so most people will never user or even hear about it in casual conversation.Did you ever play a game with/against your roommate?
Sort of. That will be explained in a future installment.What is your roomie doing in 2009?
I don't want to give away too much information about his current whereabouts, but it seems as though he has become a professional ass-kicker. No, really. The big liger. That's all I'm saying.Besides himself, who were Mat's basektball heros? Or was he too egocentric to have any?
As far as I can remember, he didn't have any. Mat wasn't interested in basketball. He never wanted to watch it with me. He really didn't discuss anything outside of our men's team and his past as a prep school baller. He knew some pro players, but he more or less only knew their names. I have always believed that his disinterest in the sport is why he failed at it.This is two sided. 1) Did you ever take the sloppy seconds? 2) You always mention how you buried your head under your pillow while he was with one of his girls, did you ever watch? Sorry for the loaded questions but I am curious as to how a hormone enraged 18-year-old reacts to that kind of situation.
I never took sloppy seconds. I never even considered it. However, I will admit that there were a few times I was unable to prevent myself from sneaking a peek at the girls. And I took a few long, lingering eyefuls of Shelly, both during her initial visit and her follow-up trip. I tried not to. I did. But I was 18, I was male, and, well, that pretty much sums it up.To go along with chris's question, once you realized Mat was basketbawful and would never measure up to his potential, did you ever feel guilty for not passing this info along to the thronging horde of young ladies who were throwing themselves at him for a shot at someday being an NBA wife or girlfriend?
No. For the most part, I felt like they were idiots for being interested in the guy. I only ever felt sorry for Jennifer.Now for my own question: was Mat's weirdness well known among the other people in your dorm or on your floor at least, or did you keep it mainly to yourself? Like, did you go vent to anyone else about the Heineken sign or tell people about how Mat stole that giant chair from a sorority, or did you ever bring anyone else in to listen to the phone messages girls left for him? Or did you just keep it all bottled up inside not knowing who to confide in?
I told my R.A., Brett, and my next door neighbor, Nathan. But I didn't tell anyone else on the floor because I didn't know who I could trust. Mat was semi-famous. It wasn't that guys on the floor liked him, exactly, but many of them were angling for perks: girls, entry into frat parties, etc. And some of those guys thought there was something wrong with me for not doing the same thing.Did you ever play Mat one on one in hoops? If so, did his size negate your skills? If you never played, do you think you could have taken him?
We never played one-on-one, but I did play in a pickup game with him. More on that in a future installment.Did Mat ever try on the Larry Bird shorts? If so, did he look like Shaq when he put on John Stockton's shorts?
Mat was big, and he was strong. However, it would have taken a nuclear blast to break into the safe in which I kept the Larry Bird shorts.I assumed you played second edition D&D rules, god what a nightmare.
Sadly, yes.Follow up on Wild Yams question on Mat's weirdness -- just what was Mat's reputation around school? Was he generally well liked? Put up with? Did he have actual friends, or was he too busy working his way through the groupies to even care?
Mat never had any close friends that I was aware of. But he had plenty of people who wanted to hang around with him because of his status as a school athlete. However, most students were aware of him as a flop and failure in terms of actually playing basketball. Sometimes I would overhear him being mocked in casual conversation in coming years. For example: "Hey, [Mat's last name] scored a point last night. Must be a season-high." Stuff like that.Do you like the cocktail that shares its name with your school's sports teams?
Not really. But I have to drink it, you know?Whenever I see a blog post about any hot girl, it's frustrating without pics. Do you have ANY pics of ANY of Mat's conquests? If so, can you post? Of course, you can blur out their face or whatever to protect their identity.
No. Keep in mind, this was pre-cellular phone days. Not everybody had cameras. There were exactly three PCs on my floor during freshman year. It basically worked out that everybody had one specific piece of technology they used to barter the use of someone else's piece of tech.Now that you mention it, what were Mat's favorite foods?
The only thing I ever saw him eat was pizza. Dude ordered pizza almost every day. I know he had to eat other things...he had to. But I never saw it.Did you ever see Mat play?
Yes. It was...not pretty.Who got more punani in college, Mat, or the Future NBA All-Star?
I don't know anything about Future NBA All-Star's sex life in college...but I'm certain he got at least 10x the punani.Why was "Future NBA All-Star" (By the way i watched some you-tube clips of him in college last night, he was a true talent) so keen on having him play that season? Was his defensive presence that intimidating? I picture Mat as the perfect alternate candidate for the 7 footer Vince Carter dunked over in Sydney Olympic Ball 2000.
Why was Bryant Reeves a lottery pick? Why was Darko Milicic chosen over Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony? Why did guys like Greg Ostertag hang around the Association for 10+ years? The allure of the Big White Guy is strong. Our basketball team didn't have size. Mat did have size. It was just assumed someone big, strong and athletically gifted -- remember, he was a black belt -- would come in and dominate. I mean, he was Shaq-sized! How could he fail?!How come you haven't had any posts about the recent signings, trades, free agents, summer league, and new players/potentials to the NBA?
My time is limited. I can write Livin' Large or I can cover all the other stuff. And, in general, my readers seem to prefer one to the other...Did your roommate use protection? Seriously, because how he missed out on Herpes and AIDS is beyond my belief with no "glove".
I never saw him use condoms. I don't know how he disposed of them. But he had them. Since he never knocked anybody up, he either used them or was/is mercifully sterile.Did girls ever catch on to Mat's game? As in, did word spread that maybe they should stop throwing themselves at Mat, either because of his basketbawfulness or because of how he treated women?
Apparently not. Even during his fourth year on campus, I would see him out at the bars every weekend with hot chicks.Did the Jennifer story spread?
No. It would seem that the only people who knew were Mat, Jennifer and me. And now anybody who reads this site.Did Mat have any friends outside of basketball or his hookups? If so, were they like him?
Not close friends, not at school. He had a group of close friends from back home (Holland). More on that in a future installment.I know you love pick up games, so when was the first time you got to actually play basketball with your roommate? How did you do? (Don't be modest) and did he have any more respect for you after playing or less? Did you get the chance to play against the Future NBA All-Star?
This will all be covered in a future installment. I didn't do much. And the Future NBA All-Star dunked on me. With prejudice.I'm impressed by the details you provide in this 15 year old account. Out of curiosity, did you keep a journal or something, or do you have an unusually good memory, or were these events so permanently seared into your brain you couldn't possibly forget them?
Actually, the answer is: all of the above. I kept journals from the beginning of my freshman year with the intention of writing a book. I also have a mutant memory, especially for interpersonal events. Most importantly, I have told and retold Mat stories so many times over the years, I couldn't forget them if I wanted to. It has become an oral tradition among my friends.Did Mat have any redeemable skill relating to basketball other than being a gigantic ham beast and just generally clogging the lane?
Mat had no game whatsoever. If you've ever played ball with someone who has never played basketball before, then you know what it was like watching him try to play. He had no sense of the game.Do you think you would've told Mat off had you both been built similarly?
Oh, I tried telling Mat off. You'll have to keep reading to find out how that went.How long did it take for the coaches to find out Mat was rather useless on the floor?
He hardly ever played, so I'm guessing they figured it out pretty quickly. But they never cut him. I guess hope springs eternal.What was Mat's favorite NBA team/player if any?
He liked Michael Jordan and the Bulls. That was pretty much it. He knew Rik Smits personally, but he never spoke of him in glowing terms.Using the power of 20-20 hindsight, do you think the mere fact you attended the same university as the Future NBA All Star, particularly during an important run (not to mention the college experience itself, once it stopped blowing) inflated your opinion of his abilities in any way?
Absolutely. Keep in mind, I had season tickets that season. Watching a guy AVERAGE 30/10 and just destroy people live, with everybody freaking out and high-fiving all the while, made me crazy. Plus, I had a lot to learn about the game. I still do, as a matter of fact.why did you decide to release the story now?
I have intended to release it the previous three summers...and I talked myself out of it every time. It felt too opportunistic. I wanted people to read this blog because they enjoy it for what it is. Using this experience too early felt like cheating. I don't know if that makes any sense, but I'm weird about Basketbawful. It's my baby.Did you ever ask Mat what had happened when you were gone that weekend that he wanted you to sleep with his girlfriend's friend? Did he ask someone else to fill in for you or did he just take care of both of them?
I never asked, but I found out that he had a guy down the hall stay in the room -- in my bed -- to "entertain" his ladyfriend's friend. So I figured out who soiled my sheets. Yay.So did you ever actually get laid in the time you lived with Mat?
... No.Can you tell me why everyone wanted Mat to play when he couldn't even...play?!
It was all about his Tremendous Upside Potential. People figured that he HAD to be good. You can't teach size! People figured it out eventually, but when he first arrived, there was talk about him being the next Shaq. Seriously. All because he was big.Did you ever use being Mat's roommate to get something?
I used him to get into a frat party. Didn't go so well. More on that soon.Did you meet your current wife/girlfriend while you were roommates with Mat?
The only girl for me at that time was Aimee. We did not end up together.How big was Mat's penis?
I have seriously considered contacting Shelly to find out. After all these years of repression, I'm finally curious.From your story you never seemed to think much of 'wow, I am rooming with a potential NBA player' -- did you ever have this thought, or were you not so easily swayed by a man's size?
From day one, his lack of interest in the sport worried me. I honestly thought he'd make it to the NBA. Why? See the collected works of Kite, Greg. But I never thought he'd be good. He didn't care about or respect the game. Plus, he was an ass. I was pretty happy when he have me the practice shorts though.Another question: what were Shelly's measurements? More information please. And a pic if you've got one. What kind of panties did she wear (or DID she?). Odds are they are probably basic white, cotton, underpants. But I sort of think well, maybe they're silk panties...maybe it's a thong. Maybe it's something really cool that I don't even know about.
Hm. It's been a long time, but I would guess she was a...hey! You perv! I can't believe you asked that. I can't put that in a FAQ! (Ask again in the comments, though, and I might answer.)Did you two ever go out to parties together?
I went out with him once.Are you still in touch with Mat?
Nope. I never spoke with him again after freshman year.Did Mat ever get with Aimee?
No. Thank Zeus.Did Mat ever watch the old basketball tapes with you?
He sat through maybe five minutes of one game before he got bored. Mat didn't enjoy basketball. At least, not when we lived together.Did you ever get into a physical altercation with Mat?
Almost.What is the motivation behind the greatness that is "Livin Large"? Was there any intention of revenge or was it just flat-out funny that you were compelled to post this?
I don't want revenge. I've been telling friends these stories for years and years. Never once have they failed to entertain a group. I had to share that with my readers.What happened to Jennifer? Did she end up back in college? Move home? Start dating another athlete???
I never found out. I can only hope she made better dating decisions.What was your major?
I started out in journalism, moved to public relations, and eventually picked up a double major in PR and tech writing.Why 5 years of college?
Ooooh boy. Well...I was set to get my PR degree in four years. I was going to get my masters while I was there because, by the time I left, I was going for free. However, there was this whole flap with Aimee and marriage and her going to law school and not wanting to wait two years. I had accepted a job for my fifth year, so I had to stay. Instead of going to graduate school, I crammed all the classes necessary for a tech writing degree into one year. Aimee was going to get a job until I finished up, then I was going to support her during law school, then I was going to go back to school. Only shortly before we graduated, she started a conversation with, "Oh, by the way, I'm moving to Texas..."Did you ever get the Future NBA All Star's autograph that you were so afraid to ask for?
Never got it. Afraid to ask.Do you know the words to nearly every Michael Jackson song? (MJ owned MTV in the early 90's did he not? I would expect his music to be playing constantly in your room what with Mat's MTV obsession.)
No. But I karaoke a mean "Beat It."You said you had a CD player -- what kind of music did you listen to and did Mat approve?
At the time, I listened almost exclusively to Joe Satriani. I also got into Meat Loaf that year.Why didn't you ever buy ear plugs? Or a blindfold?
Because I became a master of the wrap-around pillow.Did you actually enjoy D&D, or did you only play because you had nothing else to do?
I enjoyed it.Did you ever request to move out of your dorm room? Or were you afraid of angering Mat/getting him in trouble?
I did. More on that soon.Was there any point in "Fifth Year", Matholomew, where you realized some of your habits were starting to channel those of your first-year roommate?!
Yes. When I had successfully used the same incredibly lame "get it on" line for the umpteenth time. I literally woke up one day and went "uh oh..."You'll probably cover this in the last chapter of the story, but where is Mat now, or when/where/what was the last you heard of him?
Some resourceful readers dug him up for me during this series. All I can say is, check out some YouTube links in the comments sections..."Little Mat and Big Mat"? Why? Was "Poindexter and The Ogre" taken?
A Revenge of the Nerds
reference?! Ouch. Major ouch.How, in the name of Steve Austin, did you even bother to attempt sleeping from a dude banging chicks 5 METRES AWAY?!? As a non-U.S. citizen, who didn't attend an all-gay boarding school, i just find it impossible to comprehend that a) you didn't leave the room everytime, b) the girl involved would be uncomfortable with the nerd in the corner wacking off, and c) this is some kind of common practice you just 'have to live with' when your not even drunk or stoned?!?
I was awkward and inexperienced. Looking back, I should have just left for the five minutes it took for him to finish and go to sleep.Have you considered turning this story into a novel or movie script? There is some serious film potential here. Basketball nerd goes to college, has asshole student-athlete roommate, meets some quirky nerd friends, tries to hold things together with his girl back home (while roommate gets it on with numerous girls). I'd watch that.
I honestly had never thought of it before writing this series. I might have to add it to my "To Do" list though.Did little Mat ever get involved in any sexual activity / menage e trois with Big Mat's lady friends?
No. As it was, I was terrified their herpes would leap across the room and crawl in my mouth while I slept. I would have let Shelly wrap me around a tree though.Did Mat ever talk about his home country? Where he lived, his basketball club, family et cetera. Did it change your opinion about The Netherlands?
He did. He spoke about his family, is group of friends, things he did, stuff like that. Mind you, I was a country bumpkin back then, so it was the first time I realized that, wow, people in other countries are just like us! Only, you know, different.How about the raunchiest sexcapade night you had to deal with.
Mat wasn't particularly creative at that time. The only raunch happened when the girls talked dirty...and it was basically porn script stuff.I was wondering how far apart time-wise the pictures of you in your room and with your buddies outside were taken. You look really different in the two pictures, as you no doubt already know.
Those pictures were one year apart. I grew up a lot in a year.Was there ever a role-reversal: you hooking up in the room while Mat watched MTV?
Actually, yes. And that will be an entire installment of its own.Did Taco Bell Jennifer move to Atlanta or Connecticut
? I don't know, but my money's on Atlanta.Did you ever use Mat's courtship advice, and, if so, what were the results?
Never. And I did go to him for advice exactly once. His answer: "F*** them both." Keep reading for the full story.Was Mat friends with Future Runner-Up To The NFL Champions?
No, but he did hang out with some of the football players from time to time. Just not that one.Did Mat ever do the girl that Brett had to follow into Future Runner-Up To The NFL Champions' room?
Not that I know of. She was African American, and I never saw Mat hook up with anyone who wasn't Caucasian. It's possible, I suppose, but doubtful.When did you finally say, "yes," to the sweet cheeba? (Understanding that your answer would, in no way, imply that you do or have done anything like that since the first time; and, also, understanding that you'd be a lot cooler if you do).
I...I'm not sure what you're asking. Don't make me Google this. I feel so uncool for not knowing. Am I just getting old or something?Did you only have tapes of Celtics games? You were a Pacers fan at the time, too, right?
I taped everything I could. Mostly Pacers, Bulls and Hawks, because those teams were shown on local stations. That and anything shown on CBS or NBC.In school, did Mat look exactly the same as he does in the YouTube video?
He was younger and fitter, but otherwise he appears unchanged.How many times did Brett write you up before you became friends with him? How many of those times were deserved? And, were you eventually his boss?
He wrote me up three times, none of which were deserved. Of course, once BadDave and I started drinking in the room, he turned a blind eye many times. Of course, Brett IS blind in one eye...so...yeah.Did you ever talk about the Mat/Shelly situation with Brett afterwards? What sort of discussion was that? Did Brett laugh about it, eventually?
Brett has done nothing BUT laugh about it since. When I see him in Florence next weekend, I'm going to bring it up again.Did you ever see Mat just flat-out pummel anyone, a la his muay thai video?
No. But he threatened to do it to me.Any fall-out from the game when he popped a 15-foot jumper off the shot clock? I remember my trainer buddy saying he was nearly in tears in the locker room after that game.
Alas, that happened long after Mat and I parted ways. But BadDave and I laughed our asses off over it.How much money did Jennifer spend on Mat?
I don't have an exact number, but hundreds of dollars, maybe a couple thousand. She brought him food on nightly basis, bought him gifts, paid his phone bill once and gave him money.Did Mat ever get/give from/to STDs?
Not that I know of, but I wouldn't bet against it.Part 8
Labels: college stories, FAQ, Livin' Large