Over the weekend, PT and I went on a man-date to Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of roundball, for the Naismith Memorial National Basketball Hall of Fame.
It was pretty much a perfect Saturday for me, but I can't say I would recommend it to everyone. For instance, Wifey just answered the question "Do you know who Isiah Thomas is?" with "Sounds like a Black guy." She probably would not have appreciated the two hours I spent learning about the history of rule changes and ridiculing the women's game. ("They still couldn't dribble more than once without passing in 1953? Really?") So you really need to be into the game, and even then, you don't have to mind half the attractions being broken. If you can get past that, it's worth the trip.
Here's the experience in pictures. Be careful: the second floor gets interactive.
"Hey, let me take another one. You kind of terrabulled that one with your face. Hey, let me put that first one up here instead of the one I took after it that looks a lot better."
The third floor view of the Ring of Honors. The dude operating the elevator pronounced New Orleans "N'awlins." Check.
The first floor is taken up by a full-sized court. Most people pay twenty bucks to play basketball instead of reading any of the boring shit we did.
Each player gets his own informational plaque and a portrait above you on the wall. Going around looking at all the legends, my snarkiness turned in on itself. At one point I told P.T., "I wish there were funny crappy players in here that I could take pictures of. All these guys are pretty legit."
Sense of irony restored. That was close.
But, for the most part, pretty legit.
Interspersed with the plaques and portraits are memorabilia boxes with cool stuff like:
Bob Knight's sweater.
Or Pete Maravich's floppy socks.
Or James Worthy's prescription goggles and Robert Parrish's ill Champion hi-tops.
More stupid: Pat Riley's 15 Strong box or the idea of a Cable Ace award?
It's worth mentioning that sometimes the Hall doesn't know the difference between timeless...
And just outdated.
The second floor...
Where we have hunger for motorized rebounds.
Where I might have to take my shirt off.
Where I can't really have a thirteen-inch vertical...right?
Where wingspans are framed to look more imposing than they are.
Where you can't tell if the game is broken or just stupid.
Where you move to your right and pretend it's 1994.
Where it's possible to learn too much.
Where I kind of knew how tall I was before I came here.
Where it looked more impressive up close.
Where the ball bouncing back at you from that angle means you made it.
Where a guy can still dream.