Originally published February 11, 2021.
Tom Brady is 43 years old and just won his seventh Super Bowl. His athletic dominance at such an age is awe-inspiring and a topic that has been (justifiably) beaten to death. I sure hope he celebrated his win Sunday night and treated himself with a couple of strawberries before sleeping in his hyperbaric chamber. And we’re thrilled he got to enjoy himself yesterday during the victory parade.
But unlike Tom Brady, many of us are well past our athletic peaks but still think we’re good athletes. Given the demand of jobs, families, and life in general, our windows for athletic endeavors are slim to non-existent, so how do we scratch that athletic itch? For many of us, it’s bringing whatever athletic talents we have left to our ordinary, everyday surroundings. One of my favorite things to do growing up was whenever I’d walk past our attic door, I’d jump up and slap the string like I was LeBron James pinning Andre Igoudala. No one can pass up an opportunity to lean back and fire a piece of paper towards a trash can (but please, no more “KOBE!” while we do it. It was never cool, and you all look like Philip Seymour Hoffman when you do it. But RIP to two legends.)
This was a hard list to winnow down, but here are the top seven athletic moves to perform around your home or workplace (if you are so bold). And why seven you ask? It’s just a great number and name, and I defy you to come up with a better number than seven.
*Disclaimer: It is an irrefutable truth that basketball is the greatest sport, so this list is naturally hoop-heavy.
7) Spiking something like you just scored a touchdown
This is a move that can be pulled in many different environments and one that leaves you feeling empowered. Whether you’re putting away dirty clothes with some authority or throwing away your kids’ half-eaten dinner, a Gronk-esque spike is always enjoyable.
6) Free kick
If there is a pair of socks lying on the ground in my home, it’s getting the full Leo Messi treatment from me before going back in my kids’ dresser. Whether it be a door jamb or legs of a table, there’s always a makeshift goal nearby. This move also provides pathways to other moves like celebrating with those around you on the pitch or ripping off parts of your kit after scoring.
5) Bombing a drive down the fairway
I love golf but am not very good at it. But when I’m squared up in my living room, swinging clubless, I feel like Tiger in 2000 at Pebble. Working out swing flaws through slow, deliberate backswings is also a satisfying feeling that brings a nice element of escapism as well.
We alluded to the appeal of the jumper already, but it still deserves more shine. You can really diversify your moves here with one-legged Dirk fadeaways of cups into the sink, or absurdly deep Steph Curry-like heaves of stuffed animals into the toy closet, and many other options. It’s nice that this action has a make/miss element to it as well.
3) Drawing a charge / flopping
This is a controversial entry (and a favorite of @drdigits), and it made its way on the list for its humorous element and workman-like vibes. In a crowded space, whether it be your den or breakroom at work, try flailing back like Manu Ginobili the next time someone inadvertently bumps into you. It’s sure to get a reaction and shows you’re always looking for a competitive edge.
2) Slam dunk
The committee of one waffled back and forth between who should claim the throne here, and any argument for the slam dunk to be #1 is likely a strong one. This Vine (RIP), is a world-class demonstration of fake-dunking on a person and wall. The stare-down of the victim, the glare to the camera, and the production as a whole fully demonstrate the force and joy of jamming anytime you can find a reason to do so.
1) Crossover / Eurostep
There’s no better feeling in basketball than crossing someone up. Actually, dunking is probably better but still, snatching someone’s ankles can be just as satisfying. If I’m walking through my house and my daughter is in front of me, I’ll cross her up. If my dog is in the way as I head to the kitchen, my Luka-esque Eurostep sends him reeling. We’re not above crossing up inanimate objects either.
Here’s to hoping we can all re-capture the athlete that once was, every now and again. Let us know what moves we missed or had no business making the cut.