I don't think I ever beat Johnny in HORSE, but I did learn two shots that made me nearly unbeatable.
One was a spin/layup shot in which the ball started on the bottom of the rim and crawled over the rim into the basket. I even used it once during a game of one-on-one. My opponent whined, but he saw the ball go in.
The other shot wasn't as automatic, because I couldn't make it every time. I learned to look down at the floor, find the circle above the free-throw line AND BANK THE BALL IN WITHOUT LOOKING. It worked great in HORSE because no one else could do it, and, as far as I know, I never missed in a game of HORSE.
Occasionally, I used it in a pickup game because no one knew I could do it. I could score a couple baskets before people realized they needed to guard me when I was looking at the floor. Not automatic in a regular game, but close.
Sadly, I haven't played HORSE in 30-some years; two shots wasted.
More blog entries by Tom Gillispie
• Advice for be and would-be novelists
Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie
Entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)