Everyone loves Jackson Simmons. I even bet that there are same number of people in the “We Love Duke Football” and “We hate Jackson Simmons” facebook groups- zero. But as much as Carolina fans have taken a liking to number 21, the outlook for playing time for the would be junior is bleak. With so many talented options in the post, it will be hard for Simmons to find quality playing time at all in the Tar Heel frontcourt. Now while there may be some practical options to Simmons getting some playing time at UNC, including learning to play small forward, becoming a lights out free throw shooter, and becoming even more of a super hustle player, but none of those would really work. However, I still want to see Simmons running around on the court, somehow getting every rebound even though he is seemingly six inches shorter than everyone else. So here are some impractical ways for Jackson Simmons to find playing time, and maybe even more popularity, on the basketball court.
Become like Mark Titus
Unless you are a lost Ohio State fan reading this article, you probably don’t know who Mark Titus is. But you should. He was a team manager turned walk-on turned team prankster at The Ohio State University, “playing” on the basketball team while also writing a blog at clubtrillion.com. He did a lot of ridiculous stuff while at Ohio State, including trying to earn trillions, (basically a goal for all twelfth men around the country- getting your box score to show one minute played, and the rest all zeros, forming a “trillion” next to your name), pulling pranks on everyone on the team, forming a fan club, giving himself a ridiculous nickname, etc. He even wrote a pretty good book about it all, “Don’t Put Me in Coach.” How does this relate to our boy Jackson Simmons? He should be writing a blog, reaching out to fans and creating new excitement around the program. This may not lead to playing time immediately, but if fans were calling his name the entire second half, Coach Roy would have to listen. He could call his blog something ridiculous like “My Middle Name is Hustle” or a non-cheesy option like “Blue Steel Memoirs.” Wait, that’s still pretty cheesy. Moving on.
Become “That Guy” on the bench
If you don’t know who “That Guy” is, its someone like Kent Bazemore of the Golden State Warriors. Bazemore is known for going crazy on the Golden State bench after big dunks. Simmons could adopt some of the same tatics. Be the biggest cheerleader in the history of bench cheerleaders. Create ridiculous moves that have never been seen or even thought of before. Use props. Do whatever it takes to just be the craziest bench warmer in all of college basketball. If the moves get crazy enough, Coach Roy would be forced to put you in the game, just so you wouldn’t dance on the bench and cause crazy distractions.
Receive a super cool nickname
This is a tricky one, because there is a fine line between giving yourself a nickname and getting a nickname. Pulling a Dwyane Wade and calling yourself “Wow” is not cool. But earning a nickname, after many hours of sweat and toil on the hardwood, would be a great move for Simmons. I was trying to jog my brain for good options, but its not easy. All the good nicknames seem to be taken already, (the White Mamba would work, but that would be flat out stealing,) so we can try to come up with a good one together. You can share you best ideas in the comments below.
Remember, ESPN had Jackson Simmons as a three star recruit coming out of high school in basketball. Although three stars don’t mean as much in basketball as they do in football, Jackson Simmons has talent. He just needs the oppertunities to unleash it. This may be the year that not just Chapel Hill, but the world, learns about the greatness of Jackson Simmons.