In case the bludgeoning overflow of advertisement hasn't tipped you off, the Harlem
Globetrotters are on tour right now. THE UNFORGETTABLE TOUR, which is like THE INVISIBLE
MAN or THE PURLOINED LETTER, except that it isn't 19th century genre fiction. But did
you know about the special connection between Pigdog and the Harlem Globetrotters?
Well, a few years ago, I wrote an article on Pigdog entitled "Finding Your Patron
Globetrotter." Don't bother following that link, though. It points at nothing,
because six months after it went up, Harlem Globetrotters sent MONSTER ROBOT ATTACK
LAWYERS after us.
Mind you, Pigdog has its own team of ruthless steel-eyed law sharks,
but I took it down. The idea of the article was that each individual is guarded and
protected by a Harlem Globetrotter, who watches over them, guides their personality, and
occasionally possesses them in a Sweet-Georgia-Brown-whistling horse-of-the-Gods frenzy.
No doubt you've heard this theory before. Furthermore, the article helped you, the
reader, determine which Globetrotter was your own maitre de tete. But then they changed
team members, so the whole thing made no goddamn sense at all and was obsolete, so, well,
down the article went. Which is why that link is no good at all. You
can check if you want. Just click the link. I double-dhole-dare you.
Told you so.
Anyway, HGI. Threatening to sue. Monster robot attack lawyers verses ruthless
steel-eyed law sharks. A bloodbath of secret violence. Underwater battles between
knife-wielding SCUBA divers and robot sea urchins. Oh, fuck, yeah. It went down, and it
went down ugly. Let that be a lesson to you, enemies of Pigdog.
So, when the Harlem Globetrotters came to town, renowned international troublemakers St. Mae and Shaggy bought me and a gun-toting maniac friend
tickets to their show at the Colliseum. And they gave me a big sign that read "Harlem
Globetrotters Sued Me! Go Team!"
(I only flashed it briefly, and you couldn't see the part about Suing Me, but this is a
review of the Harlem Globetrotters, and not of my personal mettle as a subversive.)
The other crazy thing about it was, they didn't tell me what the tickets were for. They
said, "Hey, cancel what you're doing January 25. We're getting you tickets to something
better, but we won't say what." And then they told all my friends, and my mother, and
all kinds of people, and made them all swear not to tell me, and, somehow, everyone kept
a secret. The moral of the story: THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS CAN DEFEAT THE FORCE OF
Well, I would've have written about the Globetrotters to begin with if I hadn't liked the
Globetrotters. It was cool.
The audience was mostly the under-13 hipster crowd that haunts these kinds of events,
along with their drivers, and the show was mostly aimed at that crowd. At the same
time, it was monstrously corporate. There were like four different time outs,
specifically for the purpose of bringing out sponsors onto the stage. Some of the
sponsors were good - the unfortuantely-named Burger King Coca-Cola Tumblers were as cool
as the coolest thing you saw at Burning Man, and if you didn't go to Burning Man, then,
um, go this year and then come back to read this review or something - but some of the
sponsors were boring like Sunday morning. There were two or three contests, sponsors by
various faceless megacorps, which were things like "Shoot a Basketball into the hoop and
win some goddamn T-shirt or something". Well, that's nice, guys, and I'm glad you made
money, but, like the kid behind me heckled, "Start the Game Already!"
As far as basketball games go, this wasn't one. The people playing against the 'Trotters
were the Nationals (What happened to the Generals? Who knows?) and I was the only one
cheering for them. It seemed like some of the plays were actually competitive, and both
sides did basketbally compete-y things, but some points were strictly the Globetrotters
doing tricks, and the Nationals just kind of followed them around not actually trying to
stop them. I think there was some kind of hand-signal for the Nationals, that said,
"Okay, we automatically get this point, so stay back and look like doofs for a while and
we'll run circles around you." I think there were fifteen or so of those, which meant
that, if you give the Nationals a 30-point spread, it would start to become an
interesting bet. I think the Nationals lost by less than 30, so, uh, good for them. Will
Atlantic City take book on Globetrotters games? Somehow, I doubt it.
The game started with the Globetrotters doing some shots from the other side of the
court, and the fact that they failed over and over actually made it impressive when they
made the shot; it wasn't special effects, it was just really talented talenty people on
St. Talent's Day. They also did basketball tricks. Are you allowed to call it contact
juggling if it's not at a Rennaissance Faire? If so, that's what it was. Cool shit,
The one guy on the Globetrotters, "Showbiz" Jackson, had a microphone while he was
playing, so he could, like, say Globetrottery things and do clever skits, like sneaking a
kid from the audience on to take shots, or stealing purses, or that kind of thing. Which
was cool, except that the microphone was all whammied and wiggy, and kept shorting out
and going quiet and things, so instead of a cross between a juggling-show and a
basketball game, like it should have been, it was more like a cross between a juggling-
show, a basketball game, and a junior high theatre performance. Anyway, boy howdy, they
were impressive and funny. They did flips, they jumped up and hung off the rim, they did
crazy trick shots, and all kinds of rad things. My own personal patron, Orlando
"Hurricane" Antigua, played a mean game, as did the lanky Mongolian who kept making
kickass 3-point shots. The action and comedy were enough to justify the irksome
corporate bits and technical problems. You should go. You'd like it.
But, there's one other thing. WHY WOULD YOU SIGN UP TO PLAY ON THE NATIONALS TEAM? I
mean, other than being able to be in a Globetrotters show despite being a cracker,
there's little incentive. You look like an ass, you're in someone else's shadow, you
must humiliating surrender rather than giving your proverbial athletic one-hundred-and-
ten percent, and, to top it all, at the end of the game the audience storms the court,
douses you with gasoline, and sets you on fire.
Okay, nobody gets set on fire. Or maybe they did - I left before the half-hour-long
Oh, and the whole place smelled like garlic! Did I mention that? I think the concession
stands were selling mostly garlic fries, because the whole place smelled like garlic!
That was good, too.