For any of you who have sons, nephews or brothers under the age of ten, you probably know about the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. For the uninitiated, the Pinewood Derby is an annual rite of passage for Cub Scouts each spring. Each Scout receives a standard size wood block, four plastic wheels and four nails for axles. Beyond certain rules around maximum weight, height and length, Scouts are encouraged to use their creativity to come up with the coolest, fastest Pinewood Derby car ever. Each car races against each other (four at a time) down a wooden track, with nothing propelling them other than gravity.
At seven years of age, my son is on the shy side and he doesn’t tend to get overly excited about many things, with one notable exception being the Clippers. He comes with me to many of the home games and he totally lets loose. In fact, if you sit in the 100s near the Clipper bench and hear a young boy yelling instructions to the Clipper players to "play defense!" and "keep your hands up!," that is probably my son you are hearing.
So of course, when we received our wood block, it stood to reason that we should somehow build a Clipper Car, which then morphed into our "Blake-mobile." Leaving nothing to chance, we went through three prototypes before settling on the optimal design that tipped the scales at exactly five ounces (the maximum allowable weight.) But by incorporating one of last season’s game giveaways (which I had to saw at the waist and then hollow out before attaching him to his perch at the rear of the car), we raced a car that was wholly unique and full of Clipper Pride.
To be honest, I was a little nervous that my son would catch a lot of grief from the other Cub Scouts for being a Clipper fan. After all, my son joined Cub Scouts only a few months ago and kids (who are generally a bunch of big bandwagoners and thus probably mostly Laker fans) can be cruel. But my son received rave reviews for the concept and creative design from the other Scouts (and parents) – all of whom knew who Blake Griffin was (although I guess that is less of a surprise now that the All-Star Game is behind us). Best of all, out of twenty five cars, the Blake-mobile finished in fifth place. Not good enough for the Pinewood Derby championship, but just like Blake, it’s only my son’s first year in the big leagues. I can only assume he will mirror Blake’s rate of progress and bring home the championship trophy next year.
Blake, if you are a silent lurker on this site and are reading this incognito, my son would really appreciate your autograph on his car.