Story:Inside the Mind of the Silent: September 2022
Inside the Mind of the Silent: September 2022
Written by LunsBalloons
September 11th, 2022 Sorry I didn’t write yesterday…I just arrived in Tallahassee. Yesterday was..hectic.. I finally joined the best basketball league in the world, and I was the 6th pick…It was cathartic. But I know this is just the beginning. I have to get better, I MUST get better. After I got the call and walked the stage, Jack and Dad helped me research Tallahassee(The location of my new team The Typhoons…Kinda a cool name..). My father looked through all the safety rankings, my brother looked for places to live, and I was in charge of pricing out a budget based on my bank account. I was the only one good with math and numbers, so…I had to do it. Once those things were established, Jack found a place that was near the Stadium. After my father concluded that Tallahassee was one of the unsafest places in Florida, I ran the numbers and concluded that the place Jack picked was cheap enough for me to buy two units. So I went ahead and did just that. At first it was so my father wouldn’t room with me, but then I realized…The team is drafting my teammate who will be in the same spot as me. Scrambling for a place. So I decided to give the extra condo to my soon to be teammate. Today; I’ll find out who that teammate is. While the draft is going, I just started moving into MY condo..Where my father will be headquartered while I’m gone doing team stuff. Note: The team drafted a Bigfur named Mayzie-Mae Pelletier. The name is fun to say. Mayzie-Mae…Not as fun to write.
September 12th, 2022 We finally finished moving into the condo. I never really got a chance to look around and enjoy it, but this place is really nice. I think I heard that Mayzie was going to arrive in a few hours, and so I’m going out to explore the town with Jack so my father can deal with her. I know it sounds horrible…But I’m too anxious to meet someone under the pretense that I bought them something. It was merely for her to get to work faster. A stressed teammate will only worsen Team morale. Just finished exploring the town with Jack. It was a disaster. Apparently, Tallahassee has more basketball savvy fans than I thought. I was recognized everywhere. Pictures, Special treatment, autographs, I nearly had a panic attack. Jack had to act like my bodyguard half the time before being mobbed by females (and males) who wanted to date an FBA player's brother. We had to end the day early and escaped via the back of a Motel 6. However, I now know a back way to the condominium…so yay.
September 13th, 2022 Today, I officially joined the team. I signed the contract, took promotional pictures, and had my first interview. It’s safe to say that today was draining. However, I was today years old when I found out that America has wayyyy fancier sports equipment. During my tour of the facilities I was shown how expansive and rich these teams really were. It also gave me insight on how tough practice was here in America. The team was practicing today for the first time all off-season, however Mayzie and I had to watch until our physicals came back positive. Meaning, we were most likely starting tomorrow. Within minutes the entire team was sweating…and the coach..She looked horrifying, and acted the part. I met her before, but I never saw her in action…until now. But if this is what it took to win..I will follow whatever she says. She led the team to a title in 2017 after all. The team was buzzing about some guy named Adge Martin returning..Apparently he was the center of a bidding war and tonight he was going to make his decision. If he accepts, I’ll meet him for my first practice, if he signs somewhere else..he’ll stay a name. I tuned into Tweeter for Adge’s decision. From how the vets talked about him, he was the real deal and if he joined back, I’d like to pick from his fruit so that in the future..I am talked about in high regard like he was. He made it super dramatic, but in short, he joined back. But what caught my attention is that..I caught his attention. He mentioned me in a public statement about why he was joining the Typhoons and no one else. It put some extra pressure on me. I wasn’t aware that the team needed me as much as they did. But after learning this, I had to immediately get to work. I sent Adge a quick tweet, and went to the gym downstairs. I had to get better. The FBA wasn’t going to be as easy as the EFBL was. I am truly starting from square one. So future me…I will make a promise to you. I’ll keep getting better so you will be the best.
September 14th, 2022 Today was my first practice. And as promised from his tweet, I saw Adge first thing in the morning. In fact he was the first teammate to welcome me in person. I kept it short with him and the rest of the team, but I did have a warm feeling inside. Though, I’m sure this welcoming attitude will fade once Mayzie and I get comfortable..I know how rookie hazing works. They get you nice and comfy and then make your life miserable. I still remember being Nikola’s pet my rookie year. He gave me a collar and I was forced to follow every command or I’d be punished in some inhumane way by the team. It was that way until I finally had enough around 5 months in…I hope it’s nothing that horrid, but with how overdramatic America has been so far…I'm in for a rude awakening. The actual practice itself was…hard but standard. It was like the coach wanted to test our limits and that she did. I was exhausted by the end of it. Admittedly, the kind words of Mrs.Smoot kept me from succumbing to my fatigue. She claimed to have a daughter around my age, which I found crazy because she looks really young and athletic. After practice, Coach Tetreault called me into her office and gave me a big speech about expectations, and that she chose me because I was a winner and stuff like that. I listened. And tomorrow I will apply. But at the moment I’m dozing off just trying to write this
September 15th, 2022 Today was a day of change. Two players were released mid practice..It was very awkward. The two were talking it up with the others like normal and…then they both received a tap. This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a teammate get cut..But I haven’t seen it in the middle of a practice. It reminded me that not only is this a business…It’s a cut throat business. At any moment, your dreams can fade away with a simple tap. Just for not being good enough. In other news, Carson is back on the team..so that’s good. No pun intended. After practice, I stayed in the gym for a few extra hours to perfect my shot. It was a bit off during the scrimmages and I can’t afford to be in a slump at this time. I need to be at the top of my game. I also worked on my finishing since Mayzie blocked me a few times today..In all, today was productive, but I wasn’t pleased with my performance at all. It was my first bad practice in months and seeing Mr.Redfield and Mr.Fisher get the ax like that, didn’t help my psyche at all. I felt like I deserved to be tapped more than they did. But tomorrow is another day, and I will do my best times ten like always. I can do this. I hope I can do this. I HAVE to do this.
September 16th, 2022 The weird recurring dream I've had for the past few days has finally stopped. However, in this dream..this fur named Tania was getting attention from O'Toole…Then she turned him down. I've never met this woman in my life but upon looking her up, she is indeed real..Weird. Anywho, today was weight room day. I was a bit embarrassed that my weights were significantly less than everyone else's. However, I did out pace everyone in the agility and speed drills we did. So, it balances out. I was invited by a few teammates to go to some Italian place called Paladino's. We had a day off tomorrow, and Mrs.Smoot thought it'd be nice to do some team bonding..so I went. The food was excellent, and in all honesty I had a lot of fun. However, I had to leave early because my father gave me a curfew of around 9PM. I think it went well, though I don't know how everyone else felt. I know I'm not the most vocal, nor fun, but I wasn't a buzzkill..I kinda just vibed, ate, and listened. I was like a friendly fly on the wall, though Adge and Mrs.Smoot always made excuses for me to join in the conversation. That was nice of them. Oh! And Ms.Albins actually rented the whole place out so we wouldn't be bothered. I don't know if she did it for me specifically, for herself, or if it was just a general thing someone on the team always did. No matter the reason I appreciated it. Once I got home, Dad unfortunately fixed me dinner completely forgetting that I went out for dinner..but to make him feel better I packed some for tomorrow. Tomorrow I have literally..no plans! It's the first time since…Last year's off season in France..Oh man. At around 11PM, I received a call from Blayke, who I'm talking to now whilst I write this,…He says "Hi". Anyways, he was filling me in on all the stuff going on in Pittsburgh. It's weird…having someone to talk to at hours like this. I never did this with any teammate at any level..no one at school either. I guess I never really had a legitimate friend before. It's nice. I appreciate Blayke. Okay, he's being annoying so I hung up on him. Anyways, today was great and I can't wait for tomorrow.
September 17th, 2022 Today, I found my new hang out spot. It’s this nice little coffee shop called “850 Brewers” . It’s very quaint and the best part is, no one knows who I am. I went in, got some pastries and a hot chocolate, then I proceeded to watch film on my laptop in a corner. No one bothered me. I hope it stays that way. After spending all morning cringing at my faults, I decided to go to the practice facility to work on my defense. Luckily, Mrs.Smoot happened to be there as well. What a surprise. However, I was too anxious to actually ask her to help me, so I just used the Team’s simulation training in the Facility of Athletic Science..Or FAS for short. We didn’t have this type of tech in Europe, so I wanted to test it out ever since I laid eyes on it. A few of the team staff were there to help me out and eventually I got hooked up and was running defensive drills against a hologram with imported game sound and everything. It was really cool. However, mid way through my simulation run, I was tapped on the shoulder..Which freaked me out. I almost cracked onto the fur that was responsible…But, I didn’t. I just froze. Regardless, the tap came from Mrs.Smoot. Apparently, she was offended that I was practicing with a simulation of her instead of the “real deal”. Which..was fair. I apologized but it turns out she actually wasn’t angry at all and was “joshing” me. Crazy. Anyways, this ended up leading to Rosalie challenging me to a 1v1 where I was promptly destroyed. She was so much stronger, and she didn’t let me get comfortable at all. All while she was able to score whenever she wanted. I scored a few tough 3’s but she pretty much dominated me. After the lopsided affair, she took it upon herself to force me to stop her twice in a row. She never stopped trying to score, always going 100%. Even when she saw me get discouraged, she gave me encouraging words as she drained a mid ranged fade in my face. It took hours, but eventually..I stopped her 5 times in a row. I figured her out, And I worked smarter not harder. Her dribbling wasn’t the best, so I’d spin off her once she backed me down, and would swipe the ball from behind her. It worked each time. One time I ended up getting a lucky block. In all, today was wonderful. Frustratingly wonderful. Tomorrow, the team is to gather for a full team bonding activity..Yay.
September 18th, 2022 They lied. Team bonding was a full day of a 110% effort Gauntlet. Nothing brought a team together like suffering together. Practice was hell. Coach was relentless, we had limited breaks, and any tiny mistake was immediately pointed out and dealt with. I LOVED IT! I don’t know if the coach was trying to start off on the write paw last week but, she was completely different today. The journey to our 2nd title starts now! After practice concluded, Adge, Rosalie and I stayed behind and worked on our respective weaknesses. Coach said I didn’t release the ball fast enough during practice. So I worked on my form. I never thought about it, but she was correct. The faster the draw, the harder it is for defenders to close in and block my shot. I need to be fast in everything I do to truly compete in this league. The only issue with changing my form's speed, was that I had to relearn my shot. So for hours, I shot the ball over and over. I had a personal trainer time my shot and work with me. It was frustrating and I never got it right..But I have a lot of time to get it before the pre season starts. I like that Tallahassee seems to really care about me. They offer a lot of avenues for me to better myself, and I appreciate it. At any time, if I wanted to work on anything, they’d have something for me. I have never felt so lucky in my life. This place is perfect…well, minus the humidity. I finally got kicked out at around 5P.M, with an entire evening to kill before tomorrow's practice. So, after my mandatory Ice bath, my father thought it’d be a good idea to actually acknowledge my fans. He was correct, I probably did need to. But I didn’t want to. I had other things to worry about. Regardless, at 7:30, I was signing jerseys and posters at a local school. I thought I’d hate it. And I thought correctly. I’m not a huge fan of kids. But..it did make me happy that my suffering was amusing them. I took a few photos with the little buggers, before returning home. Today was good.
September 19th, 2022 Practice was alright. Nothing interesting happened except for Adge trying to cover up the fact he was hungover all practice. I stayed for only an extra hour this time though.(So did Adge actually…What a trooper.)And the reason is because I got invited to play in an amateur Soccer League! It happened yesterday, while meeting with the kids, some of the parents struck a conversation with me..and Soccer was brought up. And from there, I was invited to try out for their club, Tallahassee United. They sent me a kit and I'll admit it looked very cute. Anyways, the actual try out was pretty chill. They had me do standard drills, and I did pretty well despite how rusty I was. They were a bit disappointed that I was this good but going to be inactive once the season began. I found it unfortunate myself, but hey, what can I do? I get paid to play Basketball not Soccer. They had their first game this upcoming Sunday at 7, in Vero Beach. I really hope I can go. I wish I could have joined a club earlier, but unfortunately I was too busy. I intend to enjoy the small amount of time I have with this little club for as long as I can. For my first game, I decided I will be wearing the Tallahassee United Kit during warm ups. I’ll take the fine..I don’t care. I’ll never feel ashamed about supporting a local business.
September 20th. 2022 Today was interesting. We ran scrimmages pretty much all day, I guess the coach was testing out different lineups. I got to play with pretty much everyone on the team. Performance wise, I did well. I could’ve done way better, but anything is better than my performance last week…Regardless, I was able to prove that I belonged today. Adge and I had a little rivalry(I’ll be honest..he won), that lasted all day. For some reason that bloke was seemingly targeting me. Any shot I put up, that was blocked, was blocked by Adge. He bullied me in the post, isolated me on defense constantly and he fouled me the most today as well. Despite him getting the better of me this time, I do pride myself on putting him on skates in our penultimate game. Not many furs know that I have good ball control, but at least my team knows now. I treat the ball like it’s another body part. I always learned to use the ball as a weapon, and I feel like I’m on my way to mastering that. Anywho after practice, I was invited to another team function, however I turned it down. I’ve been using my free time to do social activities for a while and I needed a break. Practice was actually SUPER draining today. I got a bit snippy with Adge, thinking about it. I didn’t yell or anything…But I was a little sarcastic, passive aggressive and distant with him today. I’ll have to apologize..I haven’t done anything like that since my AAU days. I’m a bit ashamed of myself for taking out my frustrations on him. He was just playing hard, and making sure I got better. He was doing his job, and being a great teammate. I let him down today. I let the team down today. I’ll show up tomorrow at 3AM instead of 4AM..So I can run laps for my behavior today. Then I’ll apologize to him. For now, I have to sleep. I just cut a whole hour out of my night.
September 21st,2022 The apology was delivered, but not received. Apparently, Adge wasn’t offended nor did he even notice my shift in attitude towards him. He couldn’t tell if I was angry or not, which I don’t think..is a good thing. He told me not to worry about offending him, and that if he was REALLY bothered about something I said or did, he’d tell me. With that saga out of the way, practice came and went like normal. I’m finally starting to get the hang of the routine. I don’t have to look at the instructor during team stretches anymore, and I actually know where the bathroom is now. So yay. After practice I did nothing, I took a full on relaxation day to clear my head, and rest up my body so I’m not overworked. I took this time to binge watch a few shows on FurFlix. I won’t tell anyone..but the kids section has some pretty decent content. Not all of it..is good. But, some shows are actually grand. Honestly, ever since the Bluey team invited me to voice..myself, I’ve had an unrelenting respect for other kid shows and the work behind them. I wonder when my episode will be released….
September 22nd, 2022 I got comfortable. That was a mistake. Today during practice, Coach had Adge lead it while she went to a meeting of some sort..Weird, but believable..he and Mrs.Smoot are the team leaders after all. Adge would lead us in stretches..and then normal practice began and I was lost. He spoke in the THICKEST accent I've ever heard. It sounded like he wasn't even speaking English. Mayzie and I were completely in the dark with even the simplest drills..while everyone else seemed to have gotten the message. It took me a minute to realize that this was a joke. At the end of practice, he would drop his facade and address us all with a "Good job". This naturally prompted the place to go wild with laughter. What made matters worse, was that Coach was watching and so since Mayzie and I "slacked off" we had to stay and clean the equipment. It sucked, but I'm glad that the hazing was so tame compared to other horror stories I've heard around Europe and even from fellow draft mates…Today was great. Though I feel like it wasted a day I could've spent getting better.
September 23rd,2022 The gym is starting to fill up. Today, Mr.Umaechi and Mr.Anderson-Rhodes joined the team. Their first day of practice is scheduled for the 25th. So that’s neat. Anyways, I feel like today was certainly the best day of practice. Firstly, we were split up by position all day so I only had to interact with 4 furs all day. I love my mates but, I would rather not interact with all 9..about to be 11 of them. I enjoy 1 on 1 and on occasion small groups of us, a day. When it’s everyone talking, it freaks me out a little. I wonder if my mates even like me. I don’t make it easy for them to like me, I’m very reserved. As you know..me..I’m self aware. Maybe I’ll ask everyone tomorrow, one on one. No that’s a horrible idea..I’ll write a note and drop it in everyone's locker! After practice I went to a toy drive to volunteer. Unfortunately I needed to let go of Butterscotch. I still remember when mom got me them. To this day I couldn’t decide on a gender for it. Maybe the next kid to use them will be less indecisive. (P.S DO NOT DROP A NOTE IN A FUR’S LOCKER THAT”S WEIRD) I’ll find out how to find out eventually..
September 24th, 2022 I was tricked, not only do we not have practice today; but my father decided to tinker with my alarm so I was forced to sleep in today. The sun was blinding! Seeing the sunrise every morning gave me ample time to adjust, but waking up with it already blaring in my face was just completely unnecessary. After chastising my father verbally for his blatant betrayal I finally started my day. My plans were ruined, and so I had to improvise, luckily for me that wasn’t hard. At around 2PM I received a call from Kevon..Which is weird because we never talk. He’s very polarizing, while I’m very discreet…so naturally I stay clear of him. Regardless, I answered and apparently he was choosing me to be on his team for rec league runs. He felt like it’d be a good way to get to know each other, along with giving me time to shine. So, I accepted. I needed my day to be productive somehow, and playing basketball is VERY productive. We met up at a local recreation center and immediately we drew a crowd. Lucky for me, he knew how to work a crowd so well that I was able to slip away unnoticed. Maybe I’ll be hanging with him more often. After he was done, wowing the crowd, we’d finally get to run a few games. Him and I took over the gym. It really wasn’t hard and was to be expected, but playing with Kevon was very fun. You know, I never realize how far ahead professional basketball players are until I see them in unprofessional settings. Kevon hit three fadeaway threes. I‘ve never seen him pull up beyond the free throw line. We had to leave due to things getting a bit rowdy. But it was totally HIS fault! He kept pressuring me into shooting from halfcourt. I made a few in a row and the crowd went crazy and then we were swarmed. I don’t remember what happened after that, but I woke up in my room. Weird. Was today a dream?
September 25th, 2022 Practice was standard, I went through the motions before, during, and after practice. Though, I did get to meet Mr.Umaechi and Mr. Anderson-Rhodes in person. They were alright, but what got me excited was that they both were ready to win. I can get behind old guys that are ready to win. After practice I immediately had to head to Vero Beach for my soccer match. Despite some traffic I got there an hour before the game started. I wish I missed the game. I had multiple chances to score but I just..shanked it each time. I’d shake a defender, nutmeg the next and would hit the post. One of my wayward shots hit a child. I gave them an autograph and promised I’d buy them courtside tickets to my first game. We ended up drawing nil-nil against our opponents which was unfortunate. I thought I was at least a little good at soccer but today just proved that it will always be a hobby. Oh well. Next week we play at home. So maybe I’ll actually show up this time.
September 26th, 2022 Practice went very well today. I feel like everything is finally clicking. My shot has gotten faster, the plays are fully memorized, and I can make no look passes consistently now! My fur is also finally beginning to enter its spring stage, so that's nice. I've begun shedding a little, but let's be honest..I'm not going to shed too much..It sucks that my fur is constantly in Australian time..so when I'm in the Northern Hemisphere, my fur just defaults to floof. After practice(and post practice, practice), my father and I had a father-daughter day. We went to the movies, ate out and just..spent time. It's been a while since we've done it since I've been so busy…It was nice. I think I'm going to like it here in Florida.
September 27th, 2022 Today was media day and it was a bit horrifying. The day started with me alone in the gym, and as soon as I was about to start my pre practice routine, Coach turned on the lights and screamed at me not to get all sweaty. It startled me, but it wasn’t too bad. I’d sit in the locker room bored out of mind, for hours waiting on my teammates to arrive. Coach wouldn’t let me leave except for bathroom breaks and even then I was monitored. I ended up doing my first TMI Tuesday out of sheer boredom. I got a pretty good question from Tyler. It’s why I love him. Anyways, once everyone arrived, we were given a speech about media etiquette and were told to get game day ready. So we all put on our game day jerseys for the first time since..well picture day. It was…pretty nice. I adore the jersey’s and it was cool to hang out in the locker room while wearing them. So, how the event was set up, one player would be thrown into the media room and would answer any question that was given for a total of 15 minutes. The rest of us wait in the locker room and vibe until it’s our turn. Once you’re done you’re sent to practice where your position coach will have something for you. Since my last name is Hopkins, I went 7th (Tara, Marshall, Mayzie, Carson, Quintessa, Gwenn, and then me.). That’s 105 minutes give or take of just sitting on my ass doing nothing. I decided to be productive by reading a book, but when I looked for “To Kill a Mockingbird” in my locker, it was gone! Luckily, I had “Call of The Wild” on my phone..and of course TMI Tuesday from twitter. But most of my time was spent on my book app. Once 96 or so minutes passed (The media cut some lucky furs short if they didn’t have many questions), it was my turn. When I walked across the little stage and sat in my..warm ass seat, I was greeted with surprisingly bright eyed faces. The stamina of these reporters was very commendable. Majority of my questions were speculative and a small few tried to cause drama by talking about my current roster spot which I am not even aware of, as of yet. I kept my answers quick and showed an obvious disdain to this whole entire event. But of course the questions kept coming..In all different sorts of twists and turns, they’d ask the same question to try to get the answer they wanted. It was bothersome. I felt like I was in a boxing match where my goal was to Survive and nothing else. Well..I never cracked. 15 minutes and all these guys got were what I WANTED them to get. Which is how it should be. I’d make it to practice and find out..it wasn’t much of a practice at all. It was just a shootaround with an option to go home early if one wanted. So..Long story short. Today sucked.
September 28th, 2022 Hurricane Ian is approaching, and so practice was cut short today. The team and I began to donate stuff for the TyphoonAID program the team runs for hurricane relief and other natural disasters. I donated cans of soup, blankets and 10 gallons of water. Once the storm dies down, the team and I are going to take 2 days off to volunteer with the Hurricane relief team. It’s not the way I envisioned my first season in America, but life has been everything but predictable thus far. I just hope everyone is safe…I also wish furs took the storm more seriously..I saw a few..intriguing blokes at the most southern part of Florida waiting for the storm to hit. I ‘ll never understand why you’d want that..but oh well. American’s are odd.
September 29th,2022 We had full practice today, and it was normal. Coach put me in with the starters during scrimmages just to try things out and it went decently well. I don’t have much chemistry with anyone but Adge but that comes with time. I had plans to go to soccer practice tonight but, apparently a resident of the condominium figured out I lived here and decided to rat me out to the media. So, I may have to relocate. I came home to a bunch of cameras shoved in my face. It scared me, I didn’t know what to do, but luckily the staff was able to rush me inside. They’ve been so supportive and nice so far…so i’m not mad about the security breach but, I’m still a bit annoyed it happened. I’m hoping whoever ratted me out steps on a lego. Sorry, that was a bit too intense..It just sucks I’ll have to cancel practice.
September 30th,2022 Today is the last day of free agency and so far all over my feed has been talks of this Tyriq guy. The team and I took a bus ride to South Florida to help those affected by Ian; and the whole way there tweeter exploded with news about the Cards signing Tyriq. Apparently he burned their contract offer and insulted the entire team…Just to join the same team he spent days attacking. I don’t know what’s going on in Vegas but it saddens me. They are still one of my favorite teams…Hopefully he’ll apologize, because from personal experience, a team can’t win with a cancer on their team sapping their strength. Enough about that..The remnants of the Hurricane were..horrid. It was very rough going back to our shelter, nice and safe, while knowing that there are furs out there that didn’t know if they were going to wake up underwater or not. Not knowing if their life will ever be the same. I worked my hardest to supply furs with food and I volunteered on a single rescue mission to search for survivors so we could get them to safety. We managed to find a few furs and I nearly cried at the sight of this scared little girl who was separated from her parents. It was a painful day. I wish we could stay an extra week or month, but we have a job to do. But after coming here..We definitely have another reason to fight this season. Brisbane was my city forever…then Paris adopted me, but now I have a new city..and they need me more than ever. I want to give these furs a reason to smile again. The hurricane broke us apart but the Typhoons shall bring us back together. It’s safe to say, determination is at an all time high.
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