clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Life and Times of JoJo Tann

New, 4 comments
If you haven't read the ESPN Magazine article about Patrick Trahan, you can do that here. It's somewhat interesting. Upon reading it, I decided to write a similar, though completely fictitious, article about one Joseph Chambers Tann.

First of all, did everyone catch that important word? This is fictitious. In other words, I would love for JoJo Tann not to sue me.

Champion
It was only two years ago in the SEC tournament Semi-finals when JoJo Tann was put in as a pinch runner against the Alabama Elephants (What the hell is with that logo anyway?). He stole third on the first pitch, but the throw was wild, allowing him to advance home to give the Rebels a much needed run. The Rebels went on to win the game 9-2 after the run gave them a slim 8-2 lead.

Mike Bianco praised Tann that day saying, "Yeah, JoJo's probably the best player I've ever coached. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I let him approach the plate without asking him to bunt."

Little did Tann know at the time that his career at Ole Miss was destined to be cut short for something out of his own control.

A little bit of backstory:
Tann was born on September 24th, 1985. Two years later, he was ten years old. That's right. You see, JoJo has a disorder of which many people are generally unaware, rapid aging. With an aging disorder as severe as Tann's, he knew he needed some special help, but his hard knocks upbringing in the Greater Jackson Metro area had taught him a thing or two about adversity.

Tann's mother, Becky, is a successful realtor in the Jackson area. Her signs can be seen in front of thousands of homes in Jackson. So you can see that JoJo wasn't afforded all the opportunities that a doctor or trial attorney's children might have seen. JoJo had to play the Sega Genesis instead of the NES. He had to buy knock-off brand slap bracelets. He was even forced to attend Jackson Prep instead of Genesis One.

At Prep, Tann struggled with his teachers. They couldn't understand his problems. They thought he was just tall for his grade. Actually, as a seventh grader, Tann was 32 years old. The other kids would tease him, calling him "Fully Grown Man". Think about what that can do to a 32 year old kid.

Luckily for Tann, he excelled at baseball (mostly because he was taller, faster, and stronger than all the rest of the kids). Coach IDon'tWantToResearch TheNameOfPrep'sMiddleSchoolBaseballCoach recognized JoJo's talents and made him a starter. Tann practiced day and night (except when he went to Destin for wicked awesome summer vacations). By the time he was in high school, Tann was a terror on the diamond. In Tann's senior season, he batted .620 (and I'm actually not making that up). He caught the eye of Mike Bianco who would later offer him a scholarship to attend Ole Miss.

At the time, Bianco was quoted as saying, "He's the best player on the field at Jackson Prep." What a statement!

Once Tann got to Ole Miss, he had trouble fitting in. At the age of 43, Tann was unable to get hooked on Halo2 like the rest of the baseball team. He didn't understand these new-fangled games. He barely even liked Super Mario Brothers 2, casting it off as a sell-out. I mean seriously, a dinosaur that blinks before it spits eggs? Come on.

Still, Tann was able to keep a 4.0 at Ole Miss (also not made up). The tutors thought he was a smart kid. He couldn't convince him that he had 43 years of knowledge under his belt.

And Now the Story Sours
Unfortunately, as they like to do, the NCAA did some investigating. While they made special allowances for learning disabilities, no one had ever challenged their stance on aging disabilities. They discovered that in his three years at Ole Miss, Tann had completed thirteen seasons of eligibility (even if not thirteen seasons at the plate). Unwilling to make allowances for the problem that had been plaguing JoJo for his entire life, the NCAA denied his attempt to play in a fourteenth season. He was getting older at an alarming rate. Why, just the other day at practice, Tann had slid into third and broken a hip.

In an instant (well a proverbial instant... we'll call it an NCAA instant... six months later), Tann's baseball career at Ole Miss was over, and there was nothing he could do about it.

NOW
After being cast aside by the NCAA, Tann had to settle for dating hot chicks and living it up at Ole Miss. Still, the idea of playing baseball had been dancing around in his head (in a totally ungay way). That's when Tann found it, the Azalea Gardens intramural baseball team. There, Tann can be surrounded by his peers and still play the game he loves in a competitive atmosphere.

Says JoJo, "It's all I could have asked for. Constance Jones has a solid knucklecurve. I'm getting great practice against a pitcher as solid as she is. Who knows. Maybe next season they'll let me crack the batting order."