A couple of days ago we posted that story about Joel Branstrom, the former Kansas walk-on and current-day Biology teacher, who willingly took part in a prank put on by the students of the Olathe, Kansas high school where he teaches. You probably remember, since this video has circled the globe about twenty times, but I’m re-posting it here. All those students think they’re putting one over on this man, telling him there is a prize of some Final Four tickets waiting on him if he hits this half court shot. Assuming he’ll miss the shot, the students are supposed to cheer like he actually hit it, and then they get to laugh at Mr. Branstrom when they tell him the truth — that he really missed the shot and there were no Final Four tickets anyway. Would have worked out great — except that Branstrom drilled it. And when it came time for the students to make with some tickets, of course, there were none.
The best part about this, knowing that Branstrom eventually sinks the shot, is the few moments before he lets it sail, when you look at the crowd and all the kiddies are snickering to each other about how they’re really getting the best of this guy. They’re all giggling and having trouble containing themselves, satisfied that this will be payback for that tough exam from last week or the time he made them dissect frogs.
Well, the joke’s on you, kids! Who’s the big winner today? Joel Branstrom’s the big winner, and he will be taking some time off in the spring. Why? Because, as he told the media today, someone came through with some Final Four tickets. In the ESPN report, he said he can’t reveal who this ticket-wielding Deep Throat is, but he and his family are getting transportation, tickets, AND lodging for that weekend. If I were Branstrom, unless the source is obviously legit, I’d do some vetting and make sure that this isn’t the REAL prank, or that the person providing my tickets won’t be asking me for, you know, any favors someday. Then, if everything checked out, I’d laugh my butt off as I scheduled about thirty pop quizzes in the week leading up to the Final Four, making them so tough that Stephen J. Freaking Gould couldn’t get half the points.