Once upon a time, there was a group of good friends. Their names were LaMarcus, Damian, Mo, Wes, Nicky, and Robin*. They loved hangin’ out, doing fun stuff, taking cardboard out of dumpsters and sliding down hills, catchin’ frogs, wrasslin’ on trampolines. Their friendship was cheered on by 19,980 people and also by more people who were watching their friendship on TV. It was super fun to watch, but people weren’t hung up on it or anything. Everyone was even surprised that it had been this fun!

But then one day, the friends were playing against another group of friends. Their names were James, Dwight, Channy, Germie, and Crazy Pat**. They played a game that was really exciting, where they threw M80s at each other, and everyone watching loved it. Then at the end of the game, when James and Dwight and their friends were on fire and running away, LaMarcus and his friends found a strange creature named “PlayoffseriesLead.” It was a very strange creature; small and cute and purple and novel. All of the friends and the thousands of people who had once enjoyed their games without really expecting much to happen decided that this creature was VERY important and they began defending it with their lives.

LaMarcus and his pals were successful in keeping the strange, alluring creature, even after close call after close call. One day, a strange wizard named “TheRulesOfTheNBA” approached them and told them that they could keep it forever and get the opportunity to fight for another creature if they won 4 M80 battles*** with Dwight and his posse. They had already won 2, in Dwight’s yard, so only two more wins were necessary.

Even while our heroes were winning these M80 battles, there was a sneaking sense that perhaps they were getting a little lucky. For instance, in the first two M80 fights, LaMarcus was SO GOOD at throwing M80s, it seemed unsustainable. Also the fights were so close, and advanced M80TRICs have always suggested that close M80 fights were the product of luck instead of inherent skill. Not to mention the other group of pals’ strategy: they often went to Dwight standing with his back turned to his opponents and turning around and tossing up an M80 kind of casually, even when it was pretty apparent that it was a lot more effective for James to run around Dwight and throw an M80 at someone instead.

Two days ago, the Slippy Grippers Crew, which is where now called, just had to win one more M80 fight and they could keep the magical creature forever. They weren’t able to pull it out, in part because Jeremy tossed the M80s around really well kind of randomly and for some reason LaMarcus was doing a really awful job throwing M80s. But there still have two more chances, including one chance in their M80 combat field, where the M80 combat officials were more likely to call the M80 fight their way.

This has become very stressful for everyone involved. Once, it was just a fun game of firecracker tossing; now the emotions involved have come to resemble those felt in an all out firecracker war.

Hey, hopefully it goes their way.

*These are the names of players on the Trail Blazers

**These are the names of players on the Rockets

***The M80 battles represent basketball games

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