Did I Watch The Winter Paralympics?

moviws

Howdy!

First off, I wanted to ask how everyone is on this lovely morning? I hope you all are enjoying or have enjoyed your Monday, hopefully you had a good day overall. We are now in April, and spring is in the air, but just because our calendar says “spring” it doesn’t that the snow will suddenly go away! If you live in an area that has had these experiences in the month of April, you should know better!

I wanted to talk about something today, as you can tell from the banner above, we’re going to be discussing the Winter Paralympics, but before I answer the question, I wanted to ask if you got a chance to watch any of the sporting events? A family friend of mine had some issues finding a channel that was airing it on her television, so she ended up having to use Google Play to see it, but unfortunately they didn’t have closed captions so I don’t think she could really keep up with it as much. As far as I know, she was the only one close to me who showed some interest in it.

I don’t know who thought about scheduling the Paralympic games in March, but it was the worst idea ever! I knew that they were going to be airing the events back in December, but I also knew the Big East conference was going to start up too, and I also had to add in any of the professional basketball games that were on during those two weeks! As those coming weeks got closer, I realized I had to make a decision about whether or not to watch the Paralympics at all.

I didn’t think I would like it as much as the summer games. So I made a last minute decision and didn’t watch more than like ten minutes of both wheelchair curling and sled hockey. After watching all of the basketball games, I just wanted to have time in the afternoon to relax and if I wanted to watch anything, it could be one of my food shows or a Disney movie. Sometimes when I was actually sleeping good during the week, I was literally recording any of my games that came on at 10:30pm, because I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer!

So did you get to watch the Winter Olympics and/or Paralympics? If you did, could you tell me what were some of your favorite highlights? If this was your first time ever watching the Paralympic games, were you ever surprised by a certain event or athlete? 

snowflake

Why Basketball?

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Howdy!

There are some days I wish I could go back in time and smack myself upside the head. I’ve been wanting to do it a lot lately, I’m not going to lie! One of the reasons why I want to do this is because I still have memories of being in the kitchen at my grandparent’s house, I’d be watching my papaw just sit silently–or in some cases yelling or cursing at the TV–while he watched a basketball game. The thought of seeing my papaw resting his elbows up on the table, his hands clutched together and face glued to the screen is still so adorable to me. I don’t think he even knew we were there sometimes because he was so into it.

I never once thought I’d be like that. Whenever I was in high school, yes, I did enjoy going to games but I figured since I didn’t know what exactly they were doing, I shouldn’t be counted as a fan.

When it was football season I would parallel park my wheelchair against the wired fence that separated the sidewalk and bleachers to the black track and football yard on the other side. I was smart with my placement. I could see the players, cheerleaders and anybody going up to their seats above. It was the ultimate spot.

In August, everybody would be wearing T-shirts and shorts because of the summer heat, but towards the end of September and throughout October, you wore hoodies and blue jeans to help stay warm from the cold breeze. I would be lying if I didn’t mention, I was in two layers on both upper and lower halves, but I wore only one pair of socks so I could still grip my controller with my foot and a blanket on my lap for good measure. I was determined to never go home early because I was too cold. If everybody else can make it through, so could I.

Whenever it was basketball season, I had another lucky seat. I wouldn’t parallel park to the bleachers per se, but I would get so close that anybody that sat above me would ask me if they could put their bags underneath my chair to protect it. I don’t believe those “court side seats” would ever be handicapped accessible. Why? Well, just because I was by the bleachers doesn’t make it safer. I’ve had basketballs (and volleyballs) thrown in my direction and one or two players have passed me in a very fast pace. No injuries to either party, but still it’s the fear that lives in the depths of my being and I’d never want to experience that again!

However, there was one game that still lives on in my mind. During my Junior year of high school, we had a sectional game at home. I was escorted to the space in between the extra set of bleachers. I was confused because my normal spot wasn’t occupied or anything, but I guess since all four of us in wheelchairs decided to turn out to the game that night that we’d get special seating. For the most part, it wasn’t that bad. I remember taking a lot of pictures with my friends and I sat next to a very nice lady, a grandmother of a basketball player on the other team. Everything was going good until the first quarter started to dwindle down. I knew from experience that when the players chances of scoring was fading, they’ll throw that ball to whatever side they need to, to get that point.

And then a fear came over me.

We were in the worst seating imaginable. We were right behind the damn basket.

Once I made this assessment, I began to freak out mentally and sweat started to appear  down my back from second quarter to the end of the game. By the time my mom came to pick us up later that night, I had my sister take off my varsity jacket that I had on all night and I never felt so relaxed in the cold temperature in my life. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you whether or not we won, but you can’t necessarily blame me.

The last high school game I ever went to was sometime in 2012. One of the bigger reasons why it’s been so long is because I don’t know anybody playing now. I’m also a bit afraid to see the “friends” that I used to hang out with in school, but I think I’m just afraid I’d act like we are fine and no harm done, when that’s far from the truth. So I’ve found an alternative route, and I find it really odd it would show up around the time my papaw passes away.

In November of 2016, I just had this strong feeling to watch a Butler game. Maybe I was missing my papaw or it was papaw who just wanted to watch a basketball game from heaven, who really knows!

I knew there was one on because I had seen it all over Facebook earlier that day but since my dad hadn’t watched a basketball game since the previous season, he was having the toughest time trying to find out what channel this game would be on. It took three people and two TVs to search for it. We never did find the game, but I started scrolling through the sport channels on the guide–something that I never did before I might add–and I ended up finding over four channels that I actually played Butler games. I was even impressed with myself!

I watched the crap ton of college basketball in 2016-17 season. I watched most of the games that appeared on FS1 and I even watched the two out of three games the Bulldogs played against Villanova (and won!). Beating out a #1 team always makes you feel good, for both the player and fans too! I went on to watching March Madness, which was that, absolute madness! I watched more games than I had most of the week. Everyday there was a different game and I basically let it consume me for a while. Even after Butler was done for the season, I continued to watch and was impressed by some of the other teams in the tournament.

When March Madness was over, I was a little crushed.

Now what the hell was going to do?

I had watched basketball for five straight months. I felt empty in a way, and then of course I found the NBA playoffs and then I was fine again!

Since I’ve never watched a professional basketball game before, I didn’t necessarily side with either team. I just went by whatever location they were in. I ended up watching majority of the playoffs and even the final game. I was glad that the Warriors had won, but I was even happier to finally go to bed that night too!

And then I was back to feeling gloomy because now I knew basketball was definitely over.

When August came around though, I don’t think I lasted long when I bravely asked my mom when college basketball started back up! If it wasn’t for Blondie’s wedding, I probably would have asked that question sooner, but I was good I kept it to myself for another month.

What’s crazy though is that instead of obsessing over college basketball this season, I’ve been watching a LOT of the NBA! I was only going to watch Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavilers, and San Antonio Spurs but somehow I started getting into Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Oklahoma City Thunder. I don’t know how that part happened, but I’m not complaining considering I’m starting to learn names on the Celtics, Lakers, and Rockets team. Since my birthday landed on a Wednesday last year, my own birthday gift to myself was getting through the two games that played that night, but Christmas was even better as I even watched four out of the five games!

Don’t worry, I’m still watching Butler. I’ve even started watching over college teams. I had only watched one IU game in the 2016-17 season, and I didn’t even watch any of Purdue games, but this year I have seen four of Purdue and I want to say two of Indiana games. I’ve watched a lot of the pre-season games of Duke, Seton Hall, Xavier, and even Villanova too!

What has always bothered me is that I still have quite a bit of people who think I am only watching basketball because I must think somebody on the team is cute. In high school, yes, this was the way I worked, but considering I’m watching over eight teams I don’t think this assumption works for this! Although there is one professional player I do like, but he is not the reason why I have continued to watch his team play, however it is a perk!

I think the main reason why I’ve felt the need to smack myself though is because why didn’t I pay attention more to whenever papaw would explain the different positions and terms. Thank god for my mom as she’s been helping me a bit. I have been trying to really pay attention to the announcers so I think I can safely say I am learning, but I just wish I had done it while my papaw was alive. I think he would still be proud of me anyways!

snowflake

REVIEW | Disgraced

Last time I reviewed a basketball themed documentary because it was still March Madness, well on the 31st, I watched another one that was similar, but instead of a happy ending this one wasn’t…

Showtime premiered Disgraced and it was about an incident that happened at Baylor University in 2003 involving the entire basketball team. A college student and basketball player Patrick Dennehy, was shot and killed by another team member who was supposedly was his best friend. Patrick and the one who shot him, Carlton Dotson were again supposedly paranoid about another teammate Harvey Thomas and his friend and cousin, Larry Johnson after having them over. The story goes that both Harvey and Larry had guns on them and were using them to scare the boys from accusing them for any wrong doing.

Later, after feeling extra paranoid of their situation, they in turn buy their own set of guns and told their other roommates that if Harvey or anybody else came looking for them to not let them in. So clearly, this raises some flags I would say! I guess though, they went to their coaches and asked if they should go to the police, their main coach Dave Bliss, said to keep things “in house” meaning don’t tell anyone as I imagined. This is where things began to get very strange because within a few days later Patrick Dennehy ends up missing and it’s within these days that people are now looking into the team and the coaches of Baylor University.

I was very much amazed by the amount of things discussed or in some cases, not talked about it within the mystery of how Patrick is dead and how Carlton, who was like a brother to him, would kill him. I mean, if they were as paranoid as they said to be, the mental statuses of Carlton kind of makes sense. You’ll learn more about what I mean when you watch the film. My thing was what the coaches did though, assistant coach Abar Rouse recorded the head coach, Dave Bliss as they began to create a cover up for the rest of their team on how much they knew about the situation of their players. Now a lot of people would think this was wrong and that he should have went to the coach and told him about his feelings about it, but like everybody said he was literally backed into a corner and Bliss even told him “I can hire and fire assistant coaches at will” now would you want to tell him after hearing that? I wouldn’t, I’d probably record him too honestly!

The film was very interesting and like my dad told me too, they’re not the first ones to have this type of scandal and sadly, I don’t think they’ll be the last either.

So did you watch Disgraced yet? What were your thoughts on the documentary?

REVIEW | Perfect In ’76

The month of March is a time for beloved basketball fans and the most dreaded time for anyone who loathes it as well. March Madness is exactly that, it is madness! I’ve sadly just realized that it’s not all about college basketball though, for high schools around the United States have their sectionals, regionals, and state championships all in this time too! I don’t know why I am just now figuring that out, but I am.

Showtime took it upon themselves to use it to feature a number of specials on the network for any basketball fans, and since I go back and forth with loving and hating it, (yes, there was a time where I’ve hated basketball!) I found a documentary that I thought would be cool to watch despite the fact that it would premiere on the weekend of my papaw’s passing. I recorded it and hoped that maybe I would leave it to the weekend after so I would (hopefully) get through it in one piece. I barely made a day!

It was called “Perfect In ’76” and was narrated by a fellow Hoosier and musician John Mellencamp and the whole thing discusses the perfect season of Indiana University’s Hoosiers in 1976, it included some of the former players on the team and announcers whether on local TV news stations or radio. It also had the infamous coach Bobby Knight talking about not only the undefeated season in ’76 but also the near-perfect season of the year before when they were beat by Kentucky in the NCAA championship.

One of the things that they first show is Indiana’s landscape of both city life with the campus in Bloomington and rural country sides that is probably the most known feature about the state. The first thing that John explains to the viewer is that “Basketball was invented in Massachusetts, but it was made for Indiana” and included that children were raised on basketball and IU was at the heart of it all. Everything about this scene was true, at least in my family.

My family is a fairly large basketball family, it ranges from IU, Butler, Purdue; my sister’s fiance is actually a fan of North Carolina, so he’s the only non-Indiana team in our family, which according to a number of my family members my papaw seemed to hate them with a passion. He was probably not happy how the 2017 NCAA championship ended. Anyways, this man would tape (well, most of the time it was my nana setting it up) almost every game on television so he could watch it whenever he was at home. We’ve had bookshelves and cabinets full of VCR tapes of basketball games around that house! I remember the late 90’s and we’d have family in the living room watching the game and all of us grandkids on the floor not exactly understanding what all the excitement was about basketball, later on majority of my family played basketball in school, I think everybody but my cousin Amy did it outside of elementary school.

Back to the documentary though, I watched it not really understanding some of the stats – I don’t know all of the correct terms and what the difference between a “forward” and “guard” but I have never had a problem with watching it! So whenever they were discussing the different players and Bobby Knight wanting a better offense when he first became the head coach of the team. I think it all went in one ear and our the other. I really liked it though, it was interesting! We all think of Bobby Knight as this angry dude who threw a chair across the court and got escorted off, but to see him like this especially in the last scene where they’re all sitting in the diner and he makes a speech to his former players and gets choked up a bit about how amazing they were and how he always appreciated them. It changes what we see in this person that has such an intimidating persona.

What I really found sort of hilarious, is that literally four days before I watched this Indiana University actually fired their current coach Tom Crean and everybody in my family about had a field day with this news because my papaw called it a long time ago! A month earlier, Bobby Knight had called into a radio and expressed his feelings against his former bosses and I couldn’t contained myself, I had to laugh at that! Gave it a few years and Tom will probably do the exact thing same and we’ll be back rolling our eyes at him.

Have you seen this documentary yet? Do you love (or hate) basketball? 

snowflake

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