If you commute via Golden Gate Bridge and you felt the ol’ international orange shaking a little bit more than usual yesterday, well don’t worry – We weren’t hit by the Next Big One (yet). No, it was merely cartoon basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters making a grand entrance into the Bay Area by walking from Vista Point to Fort Point. Do you know how far that is? It’s a mile and a half (just over 84 basketball courts long) and it’s a feat normally only accomplished by tourists in sensible shoes and freshly-purchased San Francisco Polar Fleece, because geez who knew it would be so cold in California?
What I mean is, no one is going to accuse the Globetrotters and their support staff for working too hard Thursday morning (wouldn’t want to strain the boys before a game, after all). Rather, in true Globetrotter fashion, what’s impressive is the way they everyone lights up when they see them. Fit ladies on expensive bicycles were hollering to let the guys know they’d see them at the game tomorrow and assuming those ladies were talking about bringing the kids, that means Harlem Globetrotter groupies are the most wholesome groupies on Earth.
They’re such an American myth at this point that not even San Francisco could rustle someone to come out and protest the racial implications of having a bunch of black guys in pajamas come out to entertain the surburbanites. It’s not even worth it, that would be like getting mad at Frank Chu because his sign doesn’t make sense. I’m betting even the poor suckers on the Washington Generals, who presumably took their tour bus directly to the hotel and didn’t get to stop for a photo op, don’t begrudge their rivals one bit.
To be honest, I never made it to a Globetrotters game as a kid, either because my parents didn’t love me very much or none of my friends in the 4th grade had birthdays when they were in town, but I do remember being very fond of their Saturday morning cartoon show where all disputes were eventually settled by basketball games. Imagine if we could actually settle disagreements with a basketball game. Obama would have gotten Healthcare Reform passed in under an hour and no one would have cared if we had to sit through health insurance commercials at halftime.
My point is: the Harlem Globetrotters don’t live in the same world we do, they live in a better one where everyone can sink an impossible buzzer-beater from half court.
The Globetrotters appear at the Cow Palace tonight at 7, HP Pavilion at San Jose on Saturday at 1 and Haas Pavilion at UC Berkeley Saturday 7:30. Tickets available here.