Globe Trottin’ in the Valley (with Girls in Cages?)

Last night, Kevin and I got to experience the infamous Harlem Globetrotters thanks to Laini from Laini’s Little Pocket Guide! Chance timing and a random bit of knowledge (the Globetrotter’s theme song is called “Sweet Georgia Brown”) won us tickets to see these comic athletes at Lehigh’s Stabler Arena. I really had no clue what to expect, other than their theme song and tricks involving basketballs, but I have always wanted to see the theatrical display of athleticism. It seemed to me like one of those experiences you should just try to have sometime in your life.

Warmup

We got to the stadium just before the "game" started, and, as last minute spectators shuffled to their seats and vendors yelled for people to buy cotton candy and snowcones, we watched the athletes warm up.

The performance included exhibits of a wide variety of talents, from slapstick comedy to exemplary athleticism to acrobatics to choreography to acting. I was in awe of the number of skills these men displayed. At one point, I even leaned over and asked Kevin, “If one of these guys had to get another job, would they be athletes, actors or comedians?”

Howard Johnson Game

Like minor league sports games, this event included lots of family-friendly activities throughout. This race reminded me of the sleeping bag relay race I have my Girl Scouts do. It was sponsored by Howard Johnson hotels, though, which apparently now goes by HoJo. HoJo?! Really?! I am pretty sure the announcer even said to "Go to bed with HoJo." Um…

The game also included a penalty box, where unruly players were sent, usually after pants-ing a ref or throwing water on someone in the crowd. Spectators were encouraged to enthusiastically count down the seconds until these players were allowed back in the game. Circles on the floor marked special “4 point zones” where team members could make challenging shots. And, of course, a dramatic slam dunk or long shot always accompanied the sound of the buzzer at the end of a quarter.

Globie

The Globetrotter's classic mascot, "Globie," fired up the crowd from the sidelines.

Big G

This large, inflated character, "Big G," amused the crowd with self-deprecating antics. It was pretty amazing to see what this person could do from within a huge inflatable suit!

So, all parts of the Globetrotters performance provided a fun, lighthearted, family-friendly atmosphere. And then, there was the halftime show. I doubt the Globetrotters themselves had anything to do with selecting this dance group or approving their routine, but whoever did approve it, in my opinion, dropped the ball (no pun intended!). I couldn’t catch the name of the dance school over the half-time chatter and echo of the sound system, but it was a local group, and I think the announcer said they are performing at the 2012 Olympics! I hope this isn’t what they are performing to represent the US.

As the group of dance students (children, looking like they ranged from older elementary school to high school) gathered, I first noticed their outfits—dark, kind of goth, pretty suggestive, although several girls had leggings underneath. I didn’t think much of it—I don’t get bent out of shape over costumes. Then, I noticed two large black boxes. I then realized they were huge dog crates and wondered what they might be using them for—perhaps an animal component to the show?

I wish there had been an animal in the half time show. Instead, three young girls crawled into each cage and shut the door.

Child dancers in dog cage

THERE ARE LITTLE GIRLS IN THIS CAGE! And parents were okay with this?!

The rest of the group went on to do some sort of choreographed routine to a medley of songs, including “Roman’s Revenge” by Nicki Minaj, featuring Eminem. I am not sure if the part of the song they played included these particular lyrics, but to get a taste for the message of the song, here is a segment:

I’m a bad b*tch, I’m a c*nt
and I’ll kick that h*e, punt
forced trauma, blunt
you play the back, b*tch, I’m in the front

I don’t even know exactly what sort of choreographed routine the rest of the group did because I couldn’t get over that there were little girls in suggestive clothing in dog cages on the court. This went against every Girl Scout leading fiber of my being.

Finally, after several other girls laid themselves over the tops of the cages, the girls inside were released. But, upon their release from the cages, they dramatically crawled towards a dancing solo male.

girls crawling to man

Where the person stood up in the middle of this picture, there is a single man dancing. The girls are crawling, dog-like, towards him.

Perhaps I am wrong in my interpretation of this routine. I hope I am wrong. I hope that the dance instructor is instilling confidence and self-worth in these girls, rather than submission and low self-esteem. But, if the instructor is instilling those things in them, it’s certainly not coming across in their performance.

So, Globetrotters= Fun, unique, laid back and enjoyable (We really had a great time. Thanks, Laini!!!)

Halftime show and whoever booked it= Discouraging and disturbing

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