Lefty LamarAs a fellow lefty, I’m glad that BKS brought up some of the injustices that we face.  To quote Jack Black in a Tenacious D song, “The tyranny and the bullshit’s gone on too long.”  Most of our plights go unnoticed by our northpaw brethren until we shed light on them.  For example, how many of you have to take off your watches in order to change the date on them?  That’s what I thought.

I’ve realized for my entire life that we lefties are in the minority.  Therefore, every time I see a guy on a tv show or in a movie writing with his left hand, I lean over to my lovely wife and say, “He’s a lefty.”  This also happens with waiters, department store cashiers, and every other category of person I might see writing.  And yet despite that daily eye-witness account of how few of us there are out there, I was still surprised by something I saw on espn.com.

Marc Stein is an NBA writer, and he too is a proud lefty.  He wrote a piece recently (see item 2) about the left-handed players in the NBA, and I just had to share.  At the time of his writing (a couple of weeks ago now), there were 430 basketball players in the NBA.  Of that, how many do you suppose are lefties?  I was astonished to see the number 29 as the answer.  That’s 6.7% of the league, below the national average of PCL (Per Capita Lefthandedness).  Fortunately, two of those 29 are on the Lakers (Fisher and Odom), so they’re doing their part.  29!

The thing that surprises me most about that statistic is that I’ve found being left-handed advantageous in playing basketball.  Most not-so-good players can only drive toward their dominant hands, so defenders get used to playing toward that side to cut off the drive.  With me, I can’t really go right, so my natural instinct to go left catches people off guard a little.  The same is true with my jump shot.  Defenders are used to the ball coming up and out from the shooter’s right hand, and so the slight hesitation that I cause by shooting with my left probably gives me a fraction of a second more to avoid getting my shot blocked.   That, in turn, leads to fewer “Get that weak shit out of here” taunts which are directly proportional to my feelings of inadequacy.

Speaking of sports and handedness, I was once urged to take up fencing by a guy in a college I sat next to for a quarter.  It was my very first quarter and he was a wise and worldly junior (and a Philosophy major at that), so his words naturally carried a lot of weight.  He told me that lefties have a natural advantage in fencing, and I nodded along to show that I found it interesting.  I think he was trying to get me to join the Fencing Club or something, but I remained non-committal.  You see, with my level of body control and coordination, I wouldn’t get through one meeting of the Fencing Club without seriously injuring myself.  So instead I just took that tidbit about my natural advantage as truth and stored it away.  If he was right though, I’d fully expect more than 6.7% of professional fencers are left-handed.

Thanks for bringing this up, BKS.  With our leftiness and MC Squared’s ambidexterity, we’re doing our little part to stick it to the Right Man.

(By the way, Marc Stein’s list shows zero left-handed Celtics, so that’s just another reason to root against them.)

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