Normally we make many jokes and off-hand remarks on this blog and I hope that we continue that stategy for a long time. Having said that, this is not such a post, as yesterday I had a cool day that was not really about goofiness.
The Turkey Hunter and I spent yesterday afternoon at the World Championship of Wheelchair basketball which happened to be here in Lexington, Kentucky. I was disappointed that this was not more publicized, as it was a great event that did not have the crowd it deserved. For 48 minutes, two teams from Milwaukee and Dallas were playing for the national championship in a sport that showed players who truly loved the game. Now I am not going to do some Rick Reilly-esque piece about how we learned the true meaning of sports at the game, but it nevertheless was a great event. When I went and saw “Murderball” last year, I took as the theme of the movie that the guys who played wheelchair rugby were just like you and I….guys who love the game, play hard and dont want to be seen as any different.
Well yesterday, the Turkey Hunter and I saw the same thing at Memorial. There were great, exciting players (Guillermo from Dallas was our favorite), big men who dominated the paint (Nickelberry was a beast) and villains who we wanted to boo (Turkey Hunter found his arch nemesis in a guy with a cheesy goatee). The game was well-played and there were lots of intricacies that you dont see in other forms of basketball (a strong low post player is crucial). The players were very gracious to children, some of whom were also wheelchair-bound, and the entire event was what sports should be like…..intense, great talent, but filled with humility. Tubby Smith was the honorary starter, throwing the opening tap, encouraging all of the players and watching the game with Transylvania legend, Don Lane.
This event was as enjoyable time I have had at basektball in many years. It will be in Lexington for the next two years and I hope you get a chance to attend. It is well worth your while.