Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We Don't Care that the Harlem Globetrotters are More of a Show Than a Team

We want to be entertained!  That's what the kids always tell me and the missus every Saturday and Sunday morning.  Maybe not in so many words, but that's certainly the jist of their looks last Sunday morning when they roused us from sleep at 6:30am.

"Can a friend come over?"  No, not at 6:30 in the morning.

"Will you play basketball with us outside?"  No, it's 6:30 in the morning.

I can, however, accommodate my daughter's request.  "Will you put a show on for me downstairs, Daddy?"  Sure.  Wow Wow Wubbsy or Tom and Jerry?

"Are the Celtics playing?"  No, it's 6:30 in the morning.

Luckily, I had the foresight to see what was happening this bleak, cloudy Sunday.  The Boston Sports Blogapalooza was cancelled, so we were free, not having planned anything that involved the five of us driving somewhere far.  I checked that morning and yes, Harlem Globetrootters tickets were available.  Maybe they weren't as popular as when I was a kid, or maybe basketball fans were waiting for the Celtics game later that evening.  Either way, our Sunday afternoon itinerary was set.

1pm.  Boston, MA.  Oh no! We're walking around the Garden and notice that no one was holding beer cups.  I know that this is predominantly family entertainment, but isn't that all the more reason to sell beer?  Before I started becoming really concerned, my wife notices a couple of similar-minded parents who indicate that the beer lines are long, but they are just around the corner.  Of course.  I also notice a solitary kiosk selling Globetrotter trinkets, jerseys and balls.  Little did I know that it was a harbinger of the chaos that I fondly remember as "Halftime."

We sit down to watch warmups.  One thing I notice is that the Washington Generals have a couple of good outsde shooters.  They actually look a little frisky this afternoon. (Hey, I know, you don't have to tell me that the Globetrotters are going to win.)  The Globetrotters on the other hand can't hit a shot over 12 feet.  One of the guys, I don't remember his name, kept the tradition alive of trying to hit a half court shot - to no avail.  Another player, Cobra Coley, was trying to hit a three pointer while sitting on the visitors' bench.  The one he made garnered quite a cheer - myself included.

A staple of Globetrotters basketball is then featured, the Magic Circle to the tune of "Sweet Georgia Brown."  Admit it, you're probably whistling as you read this.  Brings back great memories of Curly Neal, Meadowlark Lemon and Sweet Lou Dunbar, I tell you. 

Although it lasted about 10 minutes too long, Sweet Georgia Brown then made way for player introductions.  Nothing unexpected except that we discover that the Generals' coach is a Yankees' fan.  What a startling coincidence!  Booing ensues on cue.  At this point, even my seven year old asks me when the game is going to start.

First Half.  The friskiness is evident as the game starts.  The Generals  come out hitting virtually every shot that they take.  Meanwhile, the Globetrotters' signature weave, interspersed with some outside shooting keep the Globetrotters in the game.   A couple of fan favorites are also showcased - hitting a player/referee with a bucket of water, hypnotizing some players and an appearance by Globie the Mascot.  The kids are going crazy.   I have to admit that this is really entertaining.  The Generals, though, lead at halftime, 32-31.  I can imagine the anti-pep talk being given to the Generals as we speak.  Miss more shots.  Smile more.  Play NO DEFENSE!

Halftime.  I thought we were in a Moscow bread line during halftime. I was genuinely concerned about the boys during the crush for Globetrotter basketball and wristbands.  Thre were at least three hundred angry kids and their parent holding out cash loking for stuff.  The two 70 year old guys at the one kiosk selling Globetrotters paraphernalia looked like they were selling these things with their hands tied behind their backs.  Like girls after a Justin Bieber concert we get out of line a little bruised, but otherwise fine.

Second Half.  Surprisingly, the Weave really starts to confuse the Generals defense.  They can't stop the onslaught of alley-oops, dunks and uncontested lay ups.  Their three point shots seem to be missing their mark on the offensive side of the ball too, the Trotters start dominating the game. 

One new invention that I had never seen before was the Football play.  Special K Daley donned a Tom Brady jersey and called a play that included a touchdown pass/hoop to Cobra Coley.  The best part was that they then completed the whole play backwards.  Very entertaining as they nailed the reverse look exceptionally well.  I can only imagine how this plays in Oakland. (Do they boo as Special K puts on a JaMarcus Russell Raiders jersey?)

Finally, the Globetrotters put the game away 77-73.  The Harlem Globetrotters record of no losses to the Generals since 1971 remains in tact.  The kids leave the back staircase of the Garden literally skipping while dribbling their new Harlem Globetrotter basketballs.  Another successful Sunday, I can safely say. 

"Can a friend come over?"  My five year old asks me as get into the car - an hour later after getting lunch.  Maybe tomorrow.   

1 comment:

  1. The Harlem Globetrotters always means fun for all