Earlier I asked some advice about attending my first basket ball match: between Macedonia and Estonia. I had some nice responses so I owe you a report. That’s why it’s posted here.
We arrived early to get good seats, and by the time the game started the 7000 seat arena was packed with fans, mostly young, decked out with the red and gold of the Macedonian flag. One corner was occupied by the so called ‘Committee’, hard core local fans who led the singing and chanting around the arena. In a new young country in the heart of the Balkans what can you expect but patriotic passion verging on the extreme (but never spilling over into ugliness). Still, the uppermost row all round the arena was occupied by riot police with shields in case things got out of hand! Huge cheers as the team came out to warm up and jeers at the poor Estonians. In all the riotous noise a touching scene as a young boy, clearly the son of one of the local players and afflicted by (what looked like) cerebral palsy, joined the players for the warm up, fetching balls and then awkwardly but accurately tossing a ball into the basket from outside the 3 point line The crowd went wild!
In such an intimidating atmosphere Estonia never stood a chance. They were 25 points down half way through. In the third period the Macedonians started playing to the crowd and showing off. Estonia got back to within 9 with a succession of three point shots. People started looking nervous. But in the final period the locals upped their game and ran out winners 87-75. This means that Macedonia have qualified for the European finals and the crowd was vociferously pleased with that. Poor Estonians slunk of for the long flight home.
Some impressions as a basket ball novice.
I followed the action OK, except I could not work out the whole business with fouls. One minute they are playing the next they are all wandering up the other end while some one has 1 or 2 free throws for no apparent reason.
Some moments of breathtaking skill and dexterity and interplay. Sometimes it seemed like there was a magnetic bond between ball and player.
An amusing moment was when one giant Macedonia executed a spectacular slam dunk and succeeded in dislodging the whole basket-supporting rig and tearing out the electric supply that powered the clock over it. Rapid repairs required.
Growing up with soccer and rugby, I am not at all used to the rhythm of this game. In those sports it is hard to score and there are long tactical battles in the middle of the pitch. Here everyone just runs from end to end and are expected to score every time. I could not figure out the tactical aspects of what was going on, so it was often exciting but rarely absorbing if that makes any sense. Still that’s probably because I did not know what I was seeing and it was quite a one-sided game
One of the great joys of travelling is doing things like this. Getting to know people I work with outside the office, learning more about them, their culture and their country and doing things I would not consider doing when at home. Next time I am here it will be the European Women’s handball championship. Book me a ticket!
Well this got interesting , I did`nt even think abt. Belafonte , .. Cool , Thank you for the history lesson Mark !! I`m kinda like oroboros , I love knowing the history behind the music... Harry`s first album was named "Midnight Speacial" that is also interesting , considering in the late 70`s early 80`s (I think) there was the television show that featured many diferent bands , hosted by "Wolf Man Jack" it was called "The Midnight special" ..
From what I understand the "calypso" style music was used to try to keep people`s minds off the cold war and everything else that was depressing to people .. And it was introduced to the U.S. via "Disney" writers who travled the world to find new ideas for the "Disney" theme parks ... And also brought back from some of the soldiers from WW1, who where stationed in the Islands .. OH , and Bob Dylan ,, wow !! I never would have thought about him during that era .. Very cool !! Nice research Mark ... This kinda turned into an interesting topic ,,
future forum maybe ? "History lessons".. Love food for thought !! I really enjoyed this .. Take care everyone ,, and thanks for playin' !! Hope everyone has a nice sunday !! Stu ...
...other than the Banana Boat Song. Then I read the Wikipedia article and find out critically important information like:
*the "Calypso" album was the first million-selling album of all time (but it didn't make the Rolling Stone top 500 list)
*his album "Midnight Special" has the first recording of a obscure harmonica player - Bob Dylan
*The first TV show he sang "Day-O" on was the Muppet Show.
Well, there ya go, mon.
Cool Idea-TL-will have to find where Harry Belafonte is playing near my mom & take her-that'd be fun! xoxo Gypsy Cowgirl
I'll have to look for that episode of "Lucy", that sounded hilarious when I read the article. It's kinda weird to think that as the war was going on in Korea, the Cold war was starting to heat up and the fight for civil rights was starting to get attention - the US had a "calypso craze"!
I don't know if you guys listen to CDs put out by the Putumayo world music label, but they do ethnic/regional/genre albums, mostly local artists. They have a bunch of great ones from the Carribean, and the "Calypso" album is awesome. Got some good reggae albums too. Rough Guide also has a good series.
Harry Belafonte brought a sexy twinkle to me old Mammy's eyes-so heard him alot as a kid. Mom always said "he is soo classy and sexy" and perhaps Mr. Belafonte is the only man on the planet where my mother and I would see eye to eye on that comment. Besides Paul Newman, of course.Took her to see him in concert for her 55th birthday, and he was just marvelous live. Charming, intelligent, classy, and very kindly there with his audience. Also probably the only concert that I ever saw AND enjoyed with my mother.
AWESOME basketball story marye-and C.B. am looking forward to your report on the big game tonight. After the tips you got here, you should be able to deport yourself like an old pro of basketball viewing. Just remember "slam dunk" like we were discussing last night, and you will be FINE :-)
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live.
Hey everyone gets it !! The I love Lucy show 1957 .. I just seen the show on tvland at like 4:00 am , and though wow well thats interesting .. wonder how many people Knew this ..
Thank you !! And thanks for the history lesson ,, very cool ..
Hope everyone has a beutiful weekend !! stu ...
Mom played Harry Belafonte all the time in the '50's -I was under 10.......
Daylight come and me wan' go home
Day, me say day, me say day, me say day
Me say day, me say day-o
Daylight come and me wan' go home".......there's more of course........Gypsy Cowgirl
Nice history lesson, thanks, much appreciated. Hearing the story behind the songs is a favorite of mine.
Good stuff, King Radio, grate name!!
King Radio wrote and recorded it on a trip to NYC in '36. Belafonte had the hit single in '52, and included it on his "Calypso" album in '56. Couldn't find a specific citation that Belafonte sang it on TV but I'm guessing he did; I'm not too savvy on your '50s variety shows. Belafonte appeared on TV several times in '55 and '56 (Colgate Comedy Hour, Nat King Cole Show, 28th Academy Awards) and I'm betting he sang this song on one of them. My official guess will be Harry sang it on the Colgate Comedy Hour in '55.
I did find out this:
"The song became so popular during the 1956-57 American calypso craze that Lucy, Desi, Fred and Ethel even sang it during an episode of the I Love Lucy television show."