Chipp 'Hoops' Munk

Chipp 'Hoops' Munk
Chipp 'Hoops' Munk | Source

Controversy seems to somehow always find star athlete Chipp ‘Hoops’ Munk. And, is it any wonder?

When you’re a 1’-8” tall acornball wunderkind among a league full of 6” to 7” opponents, you tend to stand out anyway. With such extensively elongated neck, limbs and torso — especially ones adorned with so much silly skin ink and laughable braids with beads — of course you going to attract attention (much of it the derisive or derogatory kind).

But it wasn’t always so for the young Chipp, off the old block, in his humble hometown of Akron, Ohio. From his earliest years, the gangly and gregarious youngster — an Eastern Tamius striatus — was a veritable verminiferous hero to his friends and neighbors. No doubt about it, he was an unrivaled running, jumping, chirruping phenom. Soon he carried the moniker of Chipp ‘Hoops’ Munk. To this day, he still holds more consecutive city, county and state records for nut-hoarding, SUV-dodging, crow-baiting and housecat-evading than any other red ground squirrel in Buckeye State history. (It was Chipp who single-handedly managed to wipe the name of that Cincinnati oak-orchard great, Oscar Nutberson, from the record rolls entirely.)

For his increasingly aggressively physical high school playing style and often brutal barreling on-court exploits, the young Mr. Munk was crowned ‘BullChipp’ by the local media, and was widely referred to as ‘Mr. Acornball’ across the Midwest. (Naturally, that early adulation would later sour, with many previous fans soon calling him simply ‘A Cornball’. A late-career poster of shouting, leaping Chipp, soaring above the 480-point type headline ‘A Cornball’ was yanked from sports memorabilia shops last year as an infringement of his rights to his own likeness, and also as being potentially libelous. The occasional bootleg of that poster comes up at the odd online auction site now and again.)

But Chipp was still riding high upon joining the Cleveland Nutbusters for his rookie season. He sailed through several seasons, leading his teammates to improved performance in the standings and in the eyes of acornball aficionados. However, through each successive season, it was becoming obvious that fame and adulation were changing the once quick, happy and carefree rodent from Akron into something new and unforeseen.

His play suffered after financial improprieties were revealed regarding his mother accepting a questionable sycamore tree burrow with no money down, and Chipp’s own acquisition of several large sacks of sunflower seeds at substantially less than prevailing wholesale. It was rumored that other favors granted ‘BullChipp’ were simply swept under the leaf litter.

The maligning of ‘Hopps’s magnificence struck in earnest after The Decision. In opting to leave Cleveland for the Miami WheatEaters (in a particularly tacky, insensitive and grandstanding manner), Chipp lost most of his remaining Ohio goodwill. In the process he became what he most truly is: an overpaid, overhyped, overadulated, yet still quite immature dude, outrageous in appearance, freakish in nature, quintessentially peripheral to anything that really matters, and commanding far too much of our collective attention.

But, as many might readily say, “Hey, what are sports heroes for, anyway?”

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