Did a Wrong Turn Compromise a College Basketball Coach's Guinness World Record?

Dr. Dribble Wrong Way

Did a Wrong Turn Compromise a College Basketball Coach's Guinness World Record?

First there was Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels, whose wrong-way run in the 1929 Rose Bowl is still considered to be the worst blunder in college football history.

Then there was Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, who inadvertently flew a domestic flight overseas in 1938.

And now there is Darren Weissman, also known as Doctor Dribble, who made a wrong turn when attempting to defend his coveted Guinness World Record as the fastest marathon runner while dribbling two basketballs at the 2013 San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

Dr. Dribble Wrong Way 

This fatal missed turn forfeited him any chance to hold onto his vaunted Guinness Record against former title holder and challenger Jerry Knox. After Doctor Dribble went afield, Knox proceeded to break the Guinness World Record and dethrone the champion.

Or did he? 

As this story unfolds - it will take on more twists and turns than a "Homeland" television season.

Well back to Doctor Dribble's infamous journey. 

While a tad bit embarrassing, his marathon misfortune was not as grave as it sounds.

And fortunately for Doctor Dribble - unlike his wrong-way predecessors - he has an opportunity to reverse course by winning back the record. 

Sadly for Riegels, there were no more Rose Bowls to score a game winning touchdown and for Corrigan - after his major aviation gaffe - airlines were understandably reluctant to have him pilot their commercial flights on the "friendly skies."

But for Doctor Dribble there are plenty of marathons to run and dribble throughout the year - 711 to be exact according to findmymarathon.com.

Even after being seemingly impaled by a crushing blow at the hands and legs of Knox at the San Diego Marathon, Doctor Dribble got back on the proverbial horse three weeks later by entering the 2013 Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

Jerry Knox Marathon Finish Line
Knox sprints past the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Finish Line to win his third Guinness World Record

Despite a valiant effort, Doctor Dribble was unable to attain what he set out to achieve in Seattle - taking back the record. Nonetheless, this time there was some light at the end of the tunnel. He not only completed the race, but came oh so uncomfortably close for Knox' taste to breaking the record - falling short by a mere 19 seconds.

Even with Doctor Dribble's near hit or miss (depending on whose perspective) in toppling
the Guinness record in Seattle; the moral victory could not shield him from the dark cloud hanging over his head after the San Diego marathon debacle.

It was at this very race where Doctor Dribble or more befittingly "Wrong-Way Weissman" mistakenly made a right turn rather than a critical left-turn. This costly mistake
steered him away from the full-marathon and landed him on the half-marathon course.

So for Knox, three times was the charm. The Southern Californian won back his treasured title from the previous holder Doctor Dribble. It marks the third time Knox has broken a Guinness basketball dribbling marathon running record - with both one and two basketballs - in his storied career.

After the marathon, one lingering question remained unanswered. Why did Doctor Dribble make the wrong turn?

The underlying reasons were three-fold. He came late to the race, he missed the beginning of the 6:15 am marathon, and he unknowingly entered the following 6:45 a.m. half-marathon field.

The actual wrong-turn occurred at a dividing juncture in the race where the half and full-marathons branched off into opposite directions along Park Boulevard. The half-marathon veered to the left and the full marathon proceeded to the right.


Dr. Dribble Marathon Map 

It was at this point in the race when Doctor Dribble opted to follow a throng of runners rather than separate from the pack and choose the proper course. This one wrong turn became Doctor Dribble's death-kneel. It instantly separated him from the full-marathon race - just when he was starting to get into his stride.

When it was time to either break away or follow, Doctor Dribble chose the latter - which ultimately became the difference between contention and detention.

It wouldn't be until mile five when Doctor Dribble awkwardly discovered that he was running and dribbling literally off the grid. At this point in the race one of his fans spotted him and curiously asked him why he wasn't running in the 26.2 mile race. 

In retrospect, it didn't really matter whether Doctor Dribble made a right or left turn on Park Boulevard. He never could have recovered from his late start to defeat Knox, who went on to shatter the record.

For Doctor Dribble, this lost opportunity negated all the hard work he expended preparing for the marathon - billed by promoters as a "Once in a Lifetime Race."

Dr. Dribble and Knox, The Challenge

There was no love loss between Knox and Doctor Dribble prior to the Guinness Record Challenge

After all the training, planning, promotion, and 3,000 mile flight - when it was go time - Doctor Dribble came late to the ball. But the "half-full" "and "partly sunny" Doctor Dribble quickly came to terms with his misstep and vowed to right the ship. 

Despite experiencing two agonizing setbacks in San Diego and then Seattle, Doctor Dribble never lost his sense of humor. Even while his wound was still raw, he managed to make light of the situation by inserting the hashtag #nowrongturns onto his Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Now you don't have to sleuth like a JFK conspirator theorist to fully comprehend why Doctor Dribble made the wrong turn in San Diego.

The reason was plain as day. Doctor Dribble's head was pointed downward in order to concentrate on his dribbling. This is in turn distracted him from keeping his eye on the all-to-vital marathon signage. When this dynamic was combined with his late arrival - what ensued was the Perfect Storm. 

Despite this major setback - not all was lost for Doctor Dribble - who’s known for making lemonade from lemons. He lived up to his reputation by finishing the San Diego race with a time of 1:38 - good enough to break the half-marathon double dribbling Guinness World Record.

While the half-marathon record was a nice consolation prize, it was not part of Doctor Dribble's grand scheme and certainly not the reason why he made the transcontinental flight from Miami to San Diego. 

This trip was all about Taking Care of Business (TCOB) and in Doctor Dribble's line of work it involved ensuring his two-month young Guinness record remained intact. Missing the show was simply not a part of the equation.

After the navigationally challenged Doctor Dribble learned about Knox triumph, he cleverly tap-danced around his directional mishap when addressing his ardent following:

"The bad news is that I made a mistake and got on the course for the half marathon race," Doctor Dribble artfully glossed over by circumventing the details about his ill-fated sojourn.

He then went on to spin the story as if he was a Harlem Globetrotter rotating a basketball on his fingertip.

"The good news is that I set a new world record for running the fastest half-marathon while dribbling two basketballs."

He went on to reveal his plan to retake the crown from Knox.

"I will go to Seattle for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and get it right," Doctor Dribble asserted.

Well, he ended up keeping his word and taking his talents to the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon for another shot at the Guinness Record. 

Amazingly, while still a relative marathon newbie, he nearly made good on his pledge to win back the title by pushing Knox's record to the brink. When Doctor Dribble completed the race only 19 seconds separated his 4:20:19 finish from Knox's benchmark 4:20 record time.

Whether or not Doctor Dribble's absence at the San Diego full marathon had any impact on the end result is unknowable, however, based on his performance in Seattle, he is definitely more than just a well orchestrated stage production.

So what is knowable? That Knox is the real deal too. He didn't just break the record. He crushed it by 19 minutes in a sport where every second is an eternity. It was one of those statement performances.

The coverage leading up to the event was dominated by the more media savvy Doctor Dribble. He jetted Knox to Miami to produce a video and inundated the Social Media digital waves with photos, updates, or anything else that would optimize his brand awareness.

Dr. Dribble All Star Game

Doctor Dribble performed in the South Beach Celebrity All-Star Game

Doctor Dribble broadened his impressive marketing campaign by launching a web site, printing tees, and showing up in what seemed like every conceivable event related to basketball, running and charity including marathons, fundraisers, motivational speeches, and even a celebrity basketball game to boot.

At every one of these gatherings there was one common denominator - Doctor Dribble always had two basketballs on his person.

Doctor Dribble's community outreach has spawned tons of prominent media coverage including ESPN, Runner's World and the Huffington Post.

It is no secret that Doctor Dribble has captured the fascination of the marathon community on a national level and has become quite the media mogul. 

Apparently, there are no limits to Doctor Dribble's unquenchable thirst for adulation. At one manic moment leading up to the "Big Race," he even considered inviting the Guinness folks to the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon to pile on to the media circus

Throughout Doctor Dribble's self-manufactured pre-race media hype, it was almost as if he was the star in his self directed motion picture and Knox was his foil. This appeared to be fine for Knox, who seemed more intent on winning back his former record and less interested in getting caught up in all the hoopla.

One often overlooked facet about Doctor Dribble, concerns his unbridled devotion to helping those in need. This selfless quality is often overshadowed by his insatiable desire for the media spotlight; however, if one examines his entire body of work, it is quite evident that he is a man who possesses a huge heart. 

He is using his new found star power as an agent of good by becoming a leading advocate and donor for the "Our Kids" foundation - a non-profit group that provides care to abused, abandoned, and neglected children and their families.

Recently, Doctor Dribble was named the "Inspirations For Youth Miami Dolphin's Hero of the Week," for his benevolent work supporting youngsters in search of a role model.

Dr. Dribble, Dolphin Award
Doctor Dribble in his glory winning the “Miami Dolphin Inspiration Hero of the Week”

Perhaps, Doctor Dribble's commitment to the betterment of others less fortunate than he can be best exemplified by his life altering decision to adopt a foster child when he was at the ripe age of 23 years-old.

The foster child who moved into Doctor Dribble's cozy one-bedroom flat was then 14-year-old Jonathan "Sponge" Holton - now a looming college basketball star entering his junior year at West Virginia University. Doctor Dribble provided Sponge with a retreat from his untenable habitat where he shared a tiny one-bedroom house with 11 family members.

When sizing up Doctor Dribble and Knox - it's hard to find two more disparate individuals - aside from the fact that they share the same esoteric hobby. The more demure Knox is shaped from the mold of the stereotypical laid back Southern California, whereas the self promotional minded Doctor Dribble mixes in perfectly with Miami's glitz and glamour sub-culture.

Doctor Dribble further connects with his native Miami - adopting the Magic City's less is more life style. He is often seen shirtless exposing his ripped upper body physique, while the more modest Knox is perfectly comfortable donning his less revealing marathon running garb.

Both Knox and Doctor Dribble even differ by the way they both arrived at the same place - chasing an obscure record. 

If it had not been for Knox's nine-year-old son - who initially discovered the mere existence of the record four years ago at a Borders bookstore - his dad would probably not have pursued it. After learning about the "cooler than cool record," Knox's son persuaded his dad to attempt to break it. In contrast, Doctor Dribble simply responded to a dare served up by one of his running partners. 

Knox more modest persona was reflective in his just the facts victory declaration that he pronounced on Facebook shortly after sprinting past the San Diego Marathon finish line.

"I just broke the world record for the fastest marathon while dribbling two basketballs with a time of 4:20," Knox flatly reported. "The previous record was 4:39."

Dr. Dribble Marathon
Doctor Dribble – shirtless – letting it all hang out at the San Diego Marathon

Knox did not need to elaborate since his cult-like following more than made up for his plain-spoken delivery. Among the 356 Facebook likes and 75 comments on Knox's Facebook wall, there were taunts, jabs, and an occasional plaudit by his diehard supporters aimed directly into the cross-hairs of none other than Doctor Dribble himself.

Sometimes the teasing was subtle. In one instance, Doctor Dribble was more than humbled when referenced as the "other guy" by one of Knox's Facebook pals. 

"Jerry do you know the other guy's time,"quipped Knox's fan, Janet Cook Dutton, who was apparently referring to Doctor Dribble in jest.

It must have been a hard pill for Doctor Dribble to swallow particularly since he is quickly emerging as a rising star not only in his South Florida neck of the woods, but on a national scale as well.

Then there were the cat and mouse games between Mark "Doc" Ott, another one of Knox's buddies and Doctor Dribble. After Knox broke the record, Ott posted the outcome on Doctor Dribble's Facebook wall, which seemed more like a dig than a friendly FYI.

"According to Jerry's Facebook page, he won the record back." Mark "Doc" Ott mischievously informed Doctor Dribble well after the conclusion of the race.

Subsequent to Doctor Dribble's breakout performance at the Seattle Rock 'n' Rock Marathon - that sent shockwaves throughout the Knox' camp - the social media commentary emanating from the champ's group were reduced to more sobering remarks. In some cases there were only one word retorts like: "Phew."

Even with Doctor Dribble's stunning display in Seattle - earning him well deserved respect – Knox’s reputation remains unblemished.

One Knox admirer had an interesting take on his achievement.

"Running the fastest marathon while dribbling two basketballs is far more impressive than many of the other Guinness' records, like the one for the most sandwiches eaten under water." Knox’s friend Tyler Daschuck postulated. "Jerry's world record stands out because it not only requires tremendous athletic ability but endurance as well."

Knox, not a flashy guy by any stretch of the imagination, is more concerned about teaching his students the inner workings of Cyber Forensics, than gallivanting on the Hollywood strip "flossin" his Guinness World Record certificate.


Jerry Knox Students
Knox, a geography teacher by day, other passion is his students

His students swear by him. Even though he is their geography teacher foremast; they take pride in his high profile extracurricular activity. In fact, prior to the San Diego marathon, they were convinced the geographer would not only find his way to the finish line, but also break the world record.

The much ballyhooed showdown, pitting experience versus youth was anti-climatic at best. In the end, the 43-year-old Knox reclaimed the record surprisingly uncontested from the then 30-year-old Doctor Dribble.

For many who watched the promotional video, it appeared that Doctor Dribble was the hands-on favorite to win back the record. In front of the camera he demonstrated scintillating ball-handling skills looking like a reincarnation of Harlem Globetrotter star, Curly Neal. 

Knox, on the other hand, resembled a member of the Washington Generals basketball team  - the long time straight-men opponent for the Harlem Globetrotters - with his more mechanical dribbling style.

But In the end, the race was not about velvet ropes and posture and more about cool waves and tasty buds.

It was Jeff Spicoli over Sony Crocket.

Kobe over Lebron. 

In short, Doctor Dribble received a cruel orientation from the "School of Hard Knox."

Now that Knox, apparently at the time, won back his coveted Guinness World Record crown, he has already hinted that he will let it stand and has already tried his hand in new ventures. 

The present record holder, had been struggling recently to complete a 100 mile marathon as a prelude to the even more ambitious Badwater Ultra Marathon - a  135 mile non-stop extreme running race through Death Valley. 

Despite several abortive missions, Knox finally prevailed in finishing the 100 miler on his fourth attempt. 

So, let's get back to the puzzling fact that after running the fastest dual dribbling marathon on the planet in April 2013, more than nine months has passed and Knox still does not have the Guinness World record certification in is his possession. 

Furthermore, if you pay GuinnessWorldRecords.Com a visit you will still see Doctor Dribble as the champion. 

Knox has been suspiciously unresponsive to queries about his Guinness status, which begs the question- does he have any intention of submitting the requisite video documentation to officially regain his record. And maybe it is too late – as Guinness has been known to enforce stringent rules when submitting a world record.

Dr. Dribble Guiness Record Book
It is a plain as day as to who is the current Guinness World Record Champion – Doctor Dribble according to the good book (above)

So for now it appears to be advantage Doctor Dribble in the Guinness World Record "claim game."

If in fact Knox follows through and submits the required documentation to Drummond Street in London, England - Guinness' headquarters - this could be his final tour.

If Knox should be unseated for the fourth time, he sees lacing up his sneakers and inflating two fresh basketballs for another go at the record as a pointless undertaking.

"It simply does not make sense to keep going on and on, endlessly, to win back my record." Knox rationalized with the same logic he uses to reach his students through a geography lesson. "Doctor Dribble will just break it again and he has time on his side."

No one will really know why Doctor Dribble arrived late to the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Was it his alarm clocks "snooze button," am pm settings, or maybe it was the volume control that was the culprit?

In the end, after the white smoke signaled a Knox victory, everything else was immaterial. That is until the Doctor returns for his next house call.


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