When I was 8 years old, I got brought to the local library, where sports writer Sam Smith was doing a book signing for his recently released book The Jordan Rules
. This was the time of Bulls (and particularly, Jordan) mania: I was a huge Bulls fan, and although the book -- a 333 page non-fiction tome -- seemed massive to me at the time, I was in love with it, and read it repeatedly.
In the front of the book, the inscription that Smith wrote -- in between all of the others in line, to what must have been at the time a somewhat odd-seeming 8 year old presenting this book for a signature -- an inscription that I still haven't forgotten: "Maybe I'll be writing the Schmidt Rules next?"
Until looking it up just now, I had no real memory of what the Jordan Rules were. ("a defensive strategy employed by the Detroit Pistons against Michael Jordan in order to limit his effectiveness on offense" -- Jordan Rules, Wikipedia
) Instead, what I always thought was that these were a set of rules that I could make: Like, they'd be writing about the rules that I wrote to bring order to ... whatever.
Recently, I've found myself making a handful of joking references to rules about me within the YouTube Gaming livestreaming community: things like "Chris is always watching", or "Chris should always cheat." And I just realized: it's something like the first time that I can think of when there has been something that I could realistically think of as the Schmidt rules has been written down.
I'll never be the kind of offensive basketball player -- or player of any sport -- that requires a professional team to generate a set of rules against me. Nobody will ever write about the Schmidt Rules. But that doesn't mean that they're not there. And then can be whatever I want them to be.