I was born in 1970, which means I got to spend a full decade in the 70s and then the 80s and 90s — and on and on. The 1970s was a unique decade, especially in terms of pop culture. It’s the decade that gave us “Star Wars,” Evel Knievel, Fonzie, Fat Albert, KISS, disco, punk rock and Tab.
It was also the era in which the Harlem Globetrotters were king. While the Globetrotters organization has been going for about 90 years, the 1970s was the heyday for the basketball show, with stars such as Curly, Geese, Tex and, of course, Meadowlark Lemon.
They were so popular that they had their own Hanna-Barbera cartoon, twice, their own Saturday morning TV show (”The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine”) and they were guest stars on the “Love Boat.”
And if that wasn’t enough, they were also guest stars on “Scooby Doo” three times and they went to “Gilligan’s Island” to play basketball against some robots built by the Professor. (Spoiler alert: The Globetrotters won, but only after Gilligan and the Skipper helped them out.)
Needless to say, the Clark family, well, at least Papa Clark, was pretty excited about the Globetrotters game Monday night in Biloxi. The last time I saw the Globetrotters was in the early 1970s at either the Astrodome or Summit in Houston, Texas. I don’t think those places even exist anymore.
Before we get to the game, and as a method of suspense building, it’s worth noting that the Globetrotters are ambassadors of goodwill. They go out and about in every city in which they perform and carry an anti-bullying campaign to local schools. They are also partners with the American Red Cross and raise money for disaster relief funds.
I tagged along when El Gato Melendez spoke to the children at Nativity BVM on Friday. I also got to fulfill my dream of being an honorary Globetrotter.
Monday’s game was everything one would want from the Globetrotters. It was fast-paced, exciting and funny. They happened to be playing the World All-Stars, which was one known as the Washington Generals.
The All-Stars had some pretty big players and they were their to win. They really gave the Globetrotters a run for their money.
The game was a little too-close for comfort for me as the Globetrotters were only up four points at the half. And I decided that was too much for me to handle. After watching both my Alabama Crimson Tide and the Dallas Cowboys lose heart-breakers with two seconds left on the clock, I decided I couldn’t watch another close match where my team goes down in flames as the clock runs out.
I’ll never know what happened that night in Biloxi and I’ve been too frightened to check the sports wires. I really hope the Globetrotters were victorious.