vintage-basketball-shoesAfter visiting some friends last night, we decided to stop at our local Sport Chalet.

It was to be a quick trip and for the first time in a long time it was not to purchase something for the kids.

Much to my wife’s chagrin, her out-of-shape, middle-aged husband is still playing basketball with his buddies every Sunday morning.

All I needed was a pair of basketball sneakers.

I am not that picky when it comes to stuff like this.  Just get me something that works at a price that is reasonable and I am good to go.  I don’t care much about colors and style and have very little brand loyalty.

One of the things guys brag about on Sundays is the deal they got on their most recent shoes.  So I sort of had that in mind as I trolled the bottom rack for sales.

I found a $45 shoe by Nike that looked like it would work and asked the sales rep for my size.

He came back.

Nope, no size 12.

OK, I looked around and found a $50 Adidas.

“How about this one?”

The sales rep left, came back….

Nope, no size 12.

I looked at my wife and smiled.  Pretty convenient not to have the two cheapest pairs.  OK, I’ll play along.  They must have my size in the $60 shoe, right?

Nope, no size 12.

Now it was getting funny.

And adding to this circus act, was my 3 year-old riding around the store in a trike and my 5 year-old hula hooping in the aisle, which their pleasant staff was tolerating.  I actually felt bad for the staff, because this had nothing to do with them.  It was management who was dropping the ball.

I took one last shot.

I tried for the $70 Nike.

Nothing.

In Sport Chalet world, size 12 basketball sneakers had become a rare and translucent object, like a Faberge Egg or a Dodo Bird.

So we left.

Went to Big 5.

Asked for a pair of size 12 basketball sneakers.

They had them.

We bought them.

End of story.

Sport Chalet: I know you guys are hurting.  I read the recent LA Times article.  Your stock is in the tank.  But there are still loyal customers out there who, out of habit, drive to your stores.  To experience such a shoddy performance like we did, tells me one thing.  Game over. It’s time to find a buyer.