Jeremy "FNI" Barker

Mercurial Bocce Legend

 

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(CJDT)

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...... Jer, notably white, grew up with the privileges that such a thing bestows: a cottage with a spacious field suitable for all sorts of pseudo activities during the hot summer months. The Barker cottage was a breeding ground for great athletes: Jer's youngest brother, Curtis once tried to jump over a camp fire and hilariously fell short, leading to severe burns on his legs. Jer's other brother, Patrick, despite stacked odds against such a goal, spent a whole cottage weekend watching every episode of Lost. Not to be outdone by such incredible feats, Jer found himself drawn to the bag of bocce balls hanging in the boat house for generations, mostly because he never understood how a single nail could support the weight. Despite comically small and dainty hands for a man of his height, the touch required to dominate the sport was apparent early. Humiliating his grandmother, Elizabeth with a slew of impressive eight-bangers was a common sight during these formative years. It wasn't long before Jer was predicting bocce victories over groups of friends that he hadn't met yet in the years to come. Jer's father, skeptical that his son had what it took to have groups of friends, encouraged him to use all his focus to harness these burgeoning skills. His growth as an athlete has been compared to one Larry Bird - both honed their skills with tireless, but also somehow lazy efforts in the backwoods of small towns. Scugog Point is to Jerry Legend what French Lick was to Larry Legend.

 

Along with Big Al, Jer is a mainstay of the annual Neilson (Humphries) cottage weekend, and with it - The Krupnik Cup. Despite a severe lack of focus, an uncanny ability to drink away ALL of his common sense, low confidence, sore knees, always being embarrassingly under-dressed, and having a knack for injuring himself in the most ludicrous of ways (fake, or otherwise), Jer has shown a grittiness that has allowed him to put in a competitive performance every year but one. This culminated in Jer's first Krupnik Cup title in 2016, and as only Jer can, followed up on this by getting an ill-advised tattoo celebrating the event on his right thigh. Jer's wife, Cezan, still chooses not to recognize her husband's victory and tattoo, out of protest. Which I guess is understandable.

 

Looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss in the semi-finals in 2017, Jer has spent a large part of the year thinking about how best to make a spectacle of himself in 2018, and for decades to come.