Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harlem Globetrotters 2011 Redux

Here we go again.  We had several entertainment choices this past Saturday night.  We could have seen the Whale play in Hartford with the Howe Family reunion, or perhaps the New England Revolution's season opener against the D.C. United, or my personal favorite sitting on the couch with a beer watching the NCAA tournament.  UCONN was playing this night for a chance to make its fourth Final Four, after all.  But no.  In a repeat of last year - I think I Remember saying the same thing about watching the 2010 NCAA tournament, my boys talked me into going to the Harlem Globetrotters in Boston.  Tonight promises to be a night of $40 basketballs, ice cream and popcorn and tears.
10:00am.  Home.  We thought making a day of it would be a good idea.  With this in mind, I thought we would begin our day in Kenmore Square at a Fenway Park tour.  It might be a little cold, but the kids seemed excited.  When I finally got to the ticket office, I asked for five seats to the 3 pm tour.  The ticket booth guy glared at me and told me that there were no tours today.
"What are you talking about?  It says winter hours until March 31! its only the 26th!" I excitedly grumble.

"If you read the website, you would see that it was closed on the 26th, sir." he squeals.
"It wasn't.  I checked myself and that message wasn't there."  Now I'm getting excited.
"It was updated, sir, I saw it last night."  the sincere ticket-twit tried to explain.
Knowing I wouldn't get anywhere, I walked away - but not without shouting to no one in particular "Well maybe you should check again!"  Yeah that showed him.
So then we tried the New England Sports Museum.  The main number we called directed us to another phone number.  That telephone number ended up being out of service - Great.  I guess that option's out.  Desperately seeking something to do with the kids, I made the executive decision that we were going with Phase 2 of our culture experiment, somewhere that I wanted to go ever since we went to the Museum of Fine Art, the ICA.  I'll leave that experience for another day, though.
Excited Children galore!
7pm.  Boston.  Some of my notes from the game...Well after walking around most of Boston looking for our seats and popcorn for the kids, we finally get to our seats.  Not bad.  Behind one of the backboards, but still pretty close to the action.  Can't complain about that.  I immediately notice that a lot of this year's show was the same as last year's. Globee running around with his dance crew and the MC talking about the show and the two new rules for this year - the penalty box and the four point shot (circles about 35 feet from the hoop that were activated with three minutes left in each quarter).  My 6 year old asks me if the Generals are any good.  We're watching the lay up line as he asks and I remark that some of them were, but I then point to the short bald guy an example of a General who is not any good.  (More on him later.)  The only thing memorable about the Sweet Georgia Brown-inspired Magic Circle, that's starts up shortly thereafter, is that one of the guys, who looked like Marquis Daniels, actually, couldn't spin the ball on his fingertip despite trying about 6-7 times.  I could do that.  On to the game.
Unlike last year, when the Generals couldn't miss a shot and the game had to be modified half way through to make sure that the Generals didn't win, this game was the Globetrotters' from the start.  They built a 12-0 lead before we could even sit back down from our 20th trip to the bathroom.  On their way to a 16 point first quarter lead, the show begins.  First, Globetrotters left and right are having to go into the penalty box to give the Generals a chance to catch up (really, that's what my 8 year old told me!).  My 6 year old remarks that #4 on the Generals, Dante Hall, looks like his favorite former Celtic, Nate Robinson..  The guy shoots like Nate Robinson too, missing all of his 4 point shots in the first half.  I can't believe that I paid money to be able to see guys wildly miss 4 point shots.  The Globetrotters, despite playing most of the second quarter 4 on 5 (Norman Dale would be proud of these guys), keeps a half time lead of 66-55.

The second half is mostly the same as the first half, with Big Easy, Hammer and Scooter showcasing the usual Globetrotter staples like the pail of water trick and the pocketbook from some random woman trick. Still got us to laugh though. What is most notable is that Globe writer, the short and bald Tony Mazz looks embarrassingly awful, not even hitting the rim or backboard on his three shots.  Even Big Easy stops in an impromptu moment and explains in all of the games in all of the countries he's played that Mazz is the worst basketball player he's ever seen.  High praise.  Needless to say, we didn't see Tony Mazz after that.  I wonder if he's playing on Sunday?
The other remarkable tidbit about the second half is that after a slow start, Bull of the Trotters starts canning a bunch of 4 pointers.  Hitting 6 in the second half alone.  You could tell after a couple of shots that the crowd was getting into Bull's run.  It's actually pretty incredible, the morphing into Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette
In the end the Globetrotters wins 123-94.  It wasn't even that close, what with the 4 on 5 situations and all.  DLG had fallen asleep by the end of the game and the boys started pushing each other, so it was unfortunately time to go home - even though Big Easy was signing autographs right after the game behind our section.  It was a long, successful day, though.  Hopefully they'll remember this day.  See you next year, probably.

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