Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Evening with the Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters 2009 Spinning the Globe group photoI'll be the first to tell you that I'm not a sports guy. I played a bunch of different sports when I was in elementary school and early middle school, but I jumped ship when things became less about just having fun and more about leagues, winning, and picking up cheerleaders (which, I suppose, would technically fall under "just having fun.")

Furthermore, I'm not particularly fond of watching sports. For me, Super Bowl Sunday is about hanging out with people, watching funny commercials, and eating lots of food--the bowl of vegetable dip is super enough for me. And though there are a few sports I do enjoy watching in person from time to time, often the highlight of any game is the hot dog I get.

Yes, I like food. Lay off, man.

All that being said, I am happy to report that I attended a sporting event last night that I truly, greatly enjoyed--and I didn't even have anything to eat! You see, my father and I went out to see the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters.

A Harlem Globetrotter does a slam-dunkThe Globetrotters have been around since 1926, but I swear these guys didn't look any older than 30. The lineup included men with names like Special K, Bam Bam, El Gato, and Tiny (who, ironically, was rather tall), and though they played basketball, it was unlike any game I've ever seen.

The Globetrotters can do things with a basketball that seem to defy physics, or at least the normal standards of human coordination. Before the start of the game, each player is introduced and has a chance to show off his crazy basketball skills, rolling a ball off of his back and around his arms, or spinning a ball on his finger and then relocating the spinning ball to his shiny bald head. Words really don't do justice to these guys (their skill, not their baldness).

The game itself was, ostensibly, a basketball game, but there was so much theatre involved even non-sports-fans could have a great time. There were occasional breaks where their mascot, Globie (or any of Globie's alleged family members) came out and got launched into cans of Campbell's Soup or, in one case, ate one of the audience members whole.


The players cracked jokes, performed amazing tricks, brought out slapstick humor, pulled audience members onto the court, chased after the referees, argued with the coach of the other team, and put on little theatrical shows in the middle of the game. And yet, they still played a mean game of basketball.

The Globetrotters are kid-friendly; they're a riot for the young'uns in the audience, and they honestly make the adults feel like kids again. And considering a ticket to see them probably costs about as much as it does for you to go out for dinner one night, it's affordable family fun.

Check out their website here, and you can read more about there history here on the PBS website.

If you get a chance to see the Harlem Globetrotters, I would highly recommend going. Unless you're planning on getting eaten. We need as many readers as we can get.

The Harlem Globetrotters mascot lands in a pile of huge soup cans
[Pictures from The Globetrotters are good, clean fun, so there are no foul shots.]

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