You know what's funny? This morning whilst watching Sportscenter I saw a pretty chuckle-worthy clip. Let me set the scene for y'all. It's the final minute of the WNBA All-Star game (wtf? basketball is a winter game, yeah?) and the West is totally dominating the East (man, I thought the East would really have a shot this year. In fact, most of my friends and I thought that the East was going to pull it out. For weeks we've been talking about this game, trying to guess who would win, by how much, who would shine and who would fold). With a few seconds left, Lisa Leslie gets the ball around the top of the key and, miraculously, the entirety of the other team vacates the lane. Leslie runs toward the basket, unguarded, completely fucking abandoned, and leaps for the goal - strains may be a better word - and, miracle of miracles, weakly dunks the ball. The crowd goes wild, for they have not once in their lives seen a spectacle of such impressive physical strength and agility.
Did anyone else see this clip? Did anyone else get the same feeling I did? That it was sort of like when, during the last play of a high school football game that has already been decided, the home team, who's trailing by an insurmountable margin, whispers something to the other team and then they hand the ball off to the guy who has just run onto the field - you know the one, he's retarded and he's never played a game in his life - and though he's retarded he's also big and burly and can run sort of fast and, most importantly, he's got an unending reserve of school spirit and for the first couple of years they let him be the equipment manager but during his senior year they gave him a spot on the team, largely so he could have a jersey like everyone else, but now here it is, the last game of the year, and the parents and the fans already have tears in their eyes, so out with the dagger, old boy, just shove it in there and give a little twist, really pull on those heartstrings, and as the other team stands there with their arms to the side, sort of playfully running after him, the retard puts his head down and runs for the goal - whoopsie daisy, old boy! there you go, the other goal - his arms flapping like, well, a retard, and now he's to the 50, and now he's to the 40, and the crowd stands up, cheering, "Run you goddamn magnificent retard, run like the wind, run like you've never run before!" and now he's to the 20, now he's to the 10, now he's, hmm, well, around the 15, okay, give him a little shove, there we go, now he's to the 5, then in the goal, and a siren sounds, confetti is shot into the air, the people in the crowd hug each other, for they have witnessed the beauty of God tonight, they have stood before his face and they have - together, goddamnit - they've given a young boy his dream, they've given him more than he could ever hope for, and because they have given it, they in turn receive it, they let the joy and hope and peace wash over them, they are - for a few moments tonight, in this crisp fall air, complete; realized, whole.
Or was it just me?
But really, what's funny is that I was going to write a disparaging post about women's athletics and, in particular, women's basketball, but I just spent about 45 minutes searching for a video clip of the dunk from this weekend's game and came up a bit short. Quite a testament to the popularity of the WNBA, I should say, that after typing in "Lisa Leslie" in Google, you rather quickly get the Lisa Leslie hairdressing salon of Edinburgh.
Hey, you can dunk a basketball! I bet you can read, too!