Monday, September 15, 2008

Things from Friday...

...that I meant to post on this weekend but didn't quite get around to.
I was buoyed from my usual cynical position by three things that happened Friday evening, which was a very good thing because I had being having a crappy day until then.
Anyway, the first thing (only because I am talking about it first--all three happened within about an hour of each other) is that NPR covered the Paralympics. It was a segment on, I believe, All Things Considered. The stars of the games including US swimmer Erin Popovich. The disqualification of an Irish soccer player because he was too able-bodied, and the doping scandals(there were four athletes sent home for steroid abuse).
Then I heard on that same NPR station--not sure if it was local or national news--that the Basketball Hall of Fame has formed a committee to look into basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, particularly during segregation. It will review records of teams, players and coaches who have historically been overlooked by the Hall of Fame. My understanding is that the same criteria will be used to determine if someone meets Hall of Fame standards, which could be problematic given that those are standards largely established by white guys that fail to consider things like historical and systemic discriminatory practices and barriers. We will just have to wait (about a year) to see what the HoF comes up with.
And lastly, a boy (a big boy, probably in his late 20s) asked ME to spot HIM at the gym--on the bench press--on which he had a lot of weight. A lot. Sure I was the default because I was the only one in the weight area Friday evening except for a middle age guy who looked very into his own workout. But I have been the only one in a weight room before and have seen guys go out to look for spots elsewhere. I like to think this time was because I clearly looked like I knew what I was doing as I went about my own workout. I was also looking particularly buff and serious in my tank top. (I think the accumulation of sweat from taking spin class also helped.) He was a little condescending, however, making sure to tell me that I didn't need to do anything unless he got stuck. Yeah, dude, I got it down. I spotted him twice, he didn't do a lot of grunting, which I appreciated, and he didn't hit on me or try to obviously impress me. So it was good all around.


Chus said...

This is what I think: Erin Popovich

Helen said...

About the historically black college teams -- some has been written on Bennett College (they played Ora Mae Washington's Philly Tribunes, IIRC) -- saw some stuff over at the LA84 foundation library: Rita Liberti: We Were Ladies, We Just Played Basketball Like Boys published 1997, North American Society for Sports History.

The Black Fives blog had a series of entries on black women's teams (

ken said...

I love Liberti's article. It's very well done. I just re-read it the other day, actually. Anyone who wants a copy--email me. I have it as a PDF.