With the recent news of Walter Herrmann’s departure to Spain it makes sense now to unveil the Walter Herrmann rhyme I’ve been hoarding all to myself for the last few weeks. My previous rhymes about NBA players can be found here.
But first, the
Corny But True Story
I’ve always loved my pets and have always loved sports, especially hoops. Me being a lonely only child, I consider the household pets I’ve lived with to be my siblings. My first word was the name of the family dog at the time. It seems like I’ve always had a critter at the foot of my bed to keep my feet warm. I’ve even trained for long distance races with a few of my dogs. I taught one of my cats to walk on a leash (not true). True dog and cat people will understand– the critters can be integral parts of the family if you wish them to be.
Basketball started becoming important to me right before news from my mom that the household would be welcoming in a new kitten. There was just enough time between when my hoop fandom started kicking in and when we were supposed to pick out a kitten to familiarize myself with a decent amount of NBA player’s names. I really got into the NBA pretty heavily. At least as heavily as a youngster can anyway. And then this idea came to me: start naming new pets after NBA players. I thought my idea was brilliant and cool—basically legendary. I was only 8 at the time.
Understandably mom didn’t think that my naming idea was brilliant at all. She probably thought I’d want to name the kitten Jordan or Malone or something. But in the end she agreed to let me name it whatever I wanted as long as the name fit. Well, the name I came up with (and it stuck) for the little 12 week old female kitten was Penny, you know, after Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. Ingenious, right? A couple years later we got a sidekick for Penny. This time it was a male kitten. I named him Murray, after former journeyman Tracy Murray. Bet you haven’t seen that name in awhile.
But being that canines are my favorite furry critter of all, naming a pup after a pro baller was a pretty special stuff. The special jet black male lab, chow, shepard mix we first called ours in 2000 would be known as Reggie, after one of my favorite NBA’ers of all time, Reggie Miller.
Just a short time ago in 2008 I got another opportunity to throw my weight around and name a pup after a baller. This guy was a beagle, rat terrier mix. Cute little devil. The initial shy stage most dogs and pups go through at their new residences last anywhere from a few days to even a week or two. Well, this little mutt would have none of that. He was dominating the household agenda by the evening of day one– prancing around like he owned the joint, challenging our only other dog (who was six times the weight of the pup at the time- a rescue dog that already had a name) to constant wrestling matches, terrorizing lil’ Penny, and attempting but hilariously failing hundreds of times to jump on the furniture. Good times.
The unfortunate part about this is that I had named him Walter, after Walter Herrmann, surely one of the humblest, grounded athletes around. Certainly no correlation to the newest furry addition to the household. It’s like naming a Dachshund, Diesel– or better yet an Irish Wolfhound, Buttercup. Of course, the name did settle in nicely and I can’t imagine calling him anything else. Besides ‘satan’.
I, like many Pistons fans, found it difficult not to enjoy Mr. Herrmann and everything he brought to the court. There’s an innocent charm and mystery about Herrmann that tugs at your innermost curiosity. The big hands, the ponytail hairdo and the animated foreign flair would be enough to draw even the most casual NBA observer to his corner, not to mention the most ardent ‘know almost every player in the league’ type fans. But I’d reckon Herrmann’s tragic 2003 nightmare of losing his mother, younger sister, and fiancée in a car accident gives fans the most righteous perspective of who he is and what he has accomplished. I certainly hope so. The dude is the real deal.
The Herrmann Rhyme
some don’t notice both sets of double consonants in his surname
or fathom the unorthodoxly artful manner he plays the game,
he’s just too rare not to embrace
nothing a sane being can just simply efface
when he’s not flailing his arms in the corner
the D’s crowd favorite token foreigner, (not any more, Jonas step right up)
he’s swooping towards the hoop under noses
makings moves even Dr. J opposes
his lackluster stay in the D was lame
though the coaching carousal was part to blame,
his flavor was just not the right fit
that was the word he had to admit
some just come and go without a sound
just a byline never to be found,
it’s with a foggy disgust I somehow plea
all is well with those that are free