Tuesday, March 22, 2011


They play basketball all over the world, and there was an unusual ending to one in Italy. Thanks to MJ for the link.

Video and article

The most remarkable thing about this isn't the play, unusual as those events may be - nor is it the histrionics of the announcer, who is after all paid to be enthusiastic. It is this from the end of the article describing the action:

In a perfect world, all basketball games would end like this, and all announcers would repeat lines like "Tell me I'm not dreaming!" (translated) and laugh maniacally after every game-winning shot.

We all know the precious feeling that comes from being part of something special, so the enthusiasm is understandable. And who hasn't had a wonderful dream about watching some guy you didn't know throw a ball through a metal ring?

At the very height of its decadence, Rome had professional chariot racing where the different racers would group in teams, and all the fans and partisans would wear the colors of "their" teams.

Chariot Racing

They took it surprisingly seriously. Romans obsessed over the sport, made celebrities out of the participants, and wagered enthusiastically on the outcomes. So prominent were the organized teams that their leaders, spokesmen, and athletes were able to parley athletic success into tremendous influence in political, social, fashion, and even religious areas.

It seems so quaint how quickly they threw themselves over for this artificial and pointless closed-system conflict.