Friday, January 21, 2011

Like a dog to his vomit

I just came from a youth basketball tournament. Here in Samoa they call it basketball even though it is more like rugby. It is the same every year they have this tournament: The refs are crooked and never call the game right; the other teams cheat and play overage players; the players play dirty and scratch, trip, and punch; and then everyone bellyaches and moans about it but then continue to turn up year after year for the same torture.

Would it be too much to ask that we as a team boycott the tourney on moral grounds?or maybe on physical abuse grounds?? Today I saw a dislocated shoulder, multiple elbows to the face and LOTS of frustration. Why do we return EVERY year to the same treatment? Why does everyone tolerate it in the name of "fun" or exercise or title defense or some other rubbish reason? Sometimes I think I am the only realist of the bunch. Why complain about the tournament and then continue to return to it year after year? JUST STOP PARTICIPATING!!! Why is it so hard? It is quite refreshing actually to walk away from the stinking pile of vomit.

Don't get me wrong I LOVE basketball but what this tournament is doesn't even come close to basketball. The game of basketball when played right is a beautiful thing of fluid motion. A quick layup, an impossible pass, a 20-foot swish, an unimaginable three-pointer. It has excitment, finesse, and can be pure poetry in motion. I think an entrance requirement to play (or ref) in this tournament should be to watch games from 25+ years ago. The names of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Kareem Abdul-Jabar are lost on these players and refs who try hard to immitate thugs rather than play out of love for the game. The name of this game is: who can win at any cost or how much damage can we inflict on the other team.

I remember my high school basketball coach. He was always more worried about us than our win-loss record. He would always tell us: you are ladies first, representatives of this school second, and lastly basketball players. Don't get me wrong, he trained us and coached us hard and we had our fair share of success, but we were taught our priorities and that helped the defeats taste a little better. Thanks coach for all the memories and life lessons! Too bad they don't teach the same thing to the youths and officials in this tournament.

I for one am boycotting the rest of the tourney - everyone else can enjoy their vomit - steaming fresh!

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