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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Has our sport really become that boring?


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This evening I stumbled across a random blog entry, on a random blog, from a random blogger. He was your average Joe, not a basketball fanaticist lunatic like the rest of us that read and write what you see on ...a stern warning.

This man attended an NBA game and seemed stunned by the level of pageantry and spectacle that goes on at a basketball match, outside of the sport itself.

Here's what It Blows My Mind! had to say:

Last week I went to a variety show in Atlanta and in the middle of the dancing and singing a basketball game broke out. I was chaperoning a busload of teenage hormones on a field trip in Atlanta. One activity was an evening at a National Basketball Association game. It was hard to think of the evening as a sporting event.

The warm-up before the game included dribbling, shooting and running. In addition several players were prone on the court and having their legs bent back over their head, twisted and messaged. It was apparently a chiropractic demonstration for the couple of hundred in attendance in case they should injure themselves exiting the game.

A game did begin, but only after an introduction of players that was accompanied by dancing searchlights, raucous music and flames belching out of a rafter-mounted cannon as each player was introduced. The heat from the flames melted my ice cream cone.

Part way through the game, one team called a timeout and the floor was flooded by a dozen mini skirted young ladies who danced and sang to some hip hop tune. I assumed it was modern music, as I could not understand a word. When they dashed off the court, the floor was quickly mopped by another group of scantily dressed nubile young girlies.

The huge scoreboard TV screen continually distracted the audience from the basketball game with contests, quizzes and mini biographies of the dancing girls we had seen earlier. During other breaks in the action (on the court) the screen encouraged the audience to dance and kiss their companions and play a game like the Price is Right. I was just getting into the swing of things when the damn game started again.

During half time we watched a five-minute game played between two teams of eight year olds, which was far more entertaining than the actual game. The grand finale was the Flying Hawk, a man dressed in a hawk’s costume, who raced down the court, jumped on a trampoline, did a summersault and slam-dunked a ball into a basket. He received the largest ovation of the night.

I don’t know who won the NBA game but nobody seemed to care. We had had our fill of pretty girls, fireworks, dancing, singing, gymnastics, explosions, and an endless menu of drinks, hot dogs and cotton candy. And I won’t even begin to describe the antics on view the next night at a National Hockey League game.

Oh, what has become of professional sport? When did it
become a circus sideshow? It blows my mind!


This all got me thinking. Why is it that basketball has always found itself dedicated to a sideshow performance at every game? Does basketball not warrant the same level of respect as other sports? Do we as basketball fans not value our sport in the same way as other sports fans? Or perhaps, did the invention of possibly the most famous basketball team ever, the Harlem Globetrotters, forever assign basketball as a sport of sugar-puff entertainment to the masses?

What do you think? Am I being too sensitive as a basketball fan and defending my sport -- do other sports suffer similar degradation in their half-time entertainment? Set me straight.




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8 comments:

PaulieDanger said...

Was that written by an alien? It really seems like the author is so completely disconnected with the world that the idea of stretching before physical activity amounts to part of the pregame show.

I wonder what else "Blows his mind"? The magical moving pictures on that giant box sitting at the focal point of his living room, maybe. Or that such a small piece of metal with points and jags can start such a beat of a machine like a car. And the radio conducting music from one place to another through invisible "waves" must be world-altering.

Horrible, horrible, read. And a worthless assesment of basketball.

brandon hoffman said...

I think the sideshow is about attracting casual basketball fans. I've attended games with friends and family members that had zero interest in basketball, but enjoyed themselves because of the extra fireworks.

mookie said...

I agree, I've always thought the value of the sideshow was about entertaining the casual fans, who might otherwise grow bored through a ful 48 minutes.

And One said...

I'm speechless.

mookie said...

... as in, without speech? That is unlike you C!

Anonymous said...

There's a main problem and several minor problems. The main problem is that the games don't matter. Change that (reduce the reg season to 7 games) and people will watch.

Minor problems are:

1. 'Bling image'
2. Attitude of players,
3. Excessive trade restrictions,
4. Style of Play: Drive to the hole and kick out is boring.
5. focus on 'stars' instead of team basketball
6. Teams have no personality/identity whatsoever.
7. The death of travelling (thanks to Allen Iverson)
8. Guaranteed contracts
9. Too much foul calling/fouls are too vague.
10. An All Star Game that is beyond unwatchable.
11. A draft system that encourages tanking.
12. The Knicks
13. Wimpy players (remember when Carmelo bitch-slapped a Knick and then ran away like a little girl?)
14. Lack of fundamentals, especially shooting the basketball.
15. Intentional fouls and time outs at the end of games drag on forever.
16. Flopping
17. Incessant complaining about calls. (although it's gotten a little better since they hand out technicals)
18. Rookies who are way too young and untested.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

mookie said...

Thanks for your comment -- one of the most detailed ever! I have to agree with you on most of those points... and they are things that should all be on the radar of David Stern.

-- Mookie

Trish Stratus said...

I personally gets bored easily if its not a championship game.