Five for Friday #106

Welcome to 106!

So, some of you know that I used to coach high school basketball.  I retired after the 2013-14 season, having spent 15 seasons coaching the varsity at my alma mater, South Burlington High School.

This year, I got back into it.  I took the job as the coach of the “B” team at Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School.

By the way, you know a sure sign of age?  When you coach at a school that is named after someone who worked in the system when you attended it.  Back when I was a student at South Burlington Middle School, Mr. Tuttle was the district’s superintendent.

Anyhow, back to 106.

I’ve noticed lots of differences between coaching varsity and middle school.  Lots.  One that stands out: the questions.  I love the guys, but, wow!  Can they ask questions!! Sometimes I feel like it’s 106 questions per day.

Often, the questions have nothing to do with what we’re doing. For instance, during yesterday’s practice, I reviewed a drill before we started it.  When I was done, I asked “any questions?”  A few hands went up.

(Middle schoolers still raise their hands.  It’s awesome.  High schoolers weren’t exactly into raising their hands.)

I called on a player.  He said “coach, do we have to wear a tie to our game on Saturday?”

Nothing to do with the drill.  You get the idea.

We had a lot of fun this year.  We worked hard, improved, and, using basketball as vehicle, focused on 3 keys to life: be on time, be prepared, be respectful. We even won a few games in the process, finishing 10-4 in advance of this weekend’s season ending tournament.

Last night was our final practice.  Over the course of the season, I realized that I didn’t miss coaching too much.  I likely won’t coach again next year. But, last night, I also realized that, once the season ends, I’ll miss the players.  Over a season, a routine develops.  Relationships develop.  I’ll miss those.

And, as I thought about it, I’ll miss the 106 daily questions.  The questions represent an innocence, almost a naivete, that won’t last as the players transition from tweens to teens.  As proud as I am of how they’ve grown as individuals and a team, there’s a certain melancholy that comes from knowing that, soon, they’ll no longer raise their hands, no longer ask the beautifully simple questions.  And for whatever reason, I find that somewhat sad.

I’ll end with my favorite question.

In middle school, the “A” and “B” teams play back-to-back.  At our first home game, I gathered the “B” players in the locker room as the final few minutes of the “A” game ticked off the clock.  I went over the 3 goals we had for the game.  When I finished, I said “any questions?”

Now, when a varsity coach asks “any questions,” the response, if any, tends to be something to do with the game plan.  For example, “coach, did you say we’re trapping ball screens or not?” So, when a hand went up, I assumed it’d be a question along those lines.


I called on the player.  He said “coach, when we go out to the court, should we turn the lights off in the locker room?” I paused, thinking he must be joking. Given my varsity experience, I expected another player to tell him to be quiet, albeit not in those terms.

But then I realized that 12 sets of eyes were intently focused on me, waiting for the answer.

I responded “why would we turn the lights off?”

“Coach, it would save energy.”   Several nods of agreement around the locker room.

Again, I paused.  Finally, I said “good question, but we don’t have to turn the lights off.  As soon as we go out to the court, the ‘A’ team guys are coming back into the locker room, so let’s leave the lights on for them.”

The player who had asked looked me straight in the eyes, pointed at me, and said “Coach, that’s why you’re the coach!”  Then, the team bounded out of the locker room eager to take on that day’s opponent.

Never discourage questions. Especially from kids.  Someday you’ll miss the 106 that drove you crazy yesterday.

Onto the quiz!


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  • Exception:  Question 5.  We try to play that one honest.
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Question 1

There’s a rule that applies only to a specific type of lawyer.  Per a comment to the rule, it’s a type of lawyer who “has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate.”

What type of lawyer?

Question 2

(this one keeps happening, so I’m going to keep asking)

Attorney called me with an inquiry.  Attorney said “Mike, I represent a witness.  The defendant’s attorney keeps contacting my client directly. I asked him to stop.  He said he doesn’t need my permission because my client is only a witness, not a party.  Is he right?”

What was my response?

  • A.   Yes, he’s right.
  • B.   The rule is unclear.
  • C.   The rule is unclear, but, by case law, no, he’s wrong.
  • D.  He’s wrong. The rule applies to any person represented in a matter.

Question 3

How long do the rules require lawyers to keep copies of advertisements?

  • A.   2 years
  • B.   6 years.
  • C.   Wait, what? We have to keep copies of advertisements?
  • D.  They don’t.  The 2-year retention requirement was repealed in 2009.

Question 4

True or false.

If a lawyer sells her practice, the rules require her to cease the private practice of law in the geographic area in which she practiced.

Question 5

Monday is Presidents’ Day.

25 U.S. Presidents have been lawyers.

Name the most recent U.S. President to have argued a case before the United States Supreme Court prior to becoming president.