Friday, November 25, 2011
Sure, the court was a little slippery, the temperature got a little chilly, and if Maverick missed the memo an F-18 coming in for a landing would have ruined the evening - but a basketball game on an aircraft carrier was pretty awesome.
How in the 235 years of American history had we not thought of this idea before?
Grab two of the college basketball teams in the country, the President of the United states, some pretty spiffy camo uniforms and a few thousand fans and slap the on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson and you've got one unique experience.
North Carolina wound up beating Michigan State in fairly pedestrian fashion, but that won't be what's remembered about this game when it's put into sports trivia calendars for years to come. It's the fact that the game was on a bleeping aircraft carrier.
The only thing more stunning to me than the fact that no one had come up with this idea before was that the NFL had not gotten to it first.
Mind you, our most professional sports league thinks a flight of B-2 bombers after the national anthem is subtle and understated. Somewhere, in the league's marketing office, an underling just lost his or her job for not getting to this one first.
I fully expect in a few years the Super Bowl will be played in Camp Pendleton with the VIPs in the audience watching from circling B-52s, the goalposts mounted on tanks (which fire after every touchdown - best not to be sitting behind the end zones), helicopter gunships delivering water to the players and instant reply provided by Predator drones.
That's the only possible ace the NFL can have up their sleeves, because that is how awesome the idea of having a basketball game on an aircraft is.
Sure there have been some pretty awesome sporting events at some unique places over the years. Football at Wrigley Field - neat, if flawed, idea. Hockey at Wrigley Field; also pretty neat. Boxing matches in Yankee stadium were cool. When Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras played tennis a couple hundred feet above Dubai on a helipad, that was also pretty neat.
I must say, though, using an aircraft carrier as an outdoor court was much better than the NBA's execution of the idea a few years ago when they played an exhibition game outdoors at a tennis complex in Phoenix.
Of course playing at a tennis center is better than the NBA's current fantastic idea of not playing at all.
It's going to be pretty hard to top basketball on an aircraft carrier for me.
It's also going to be pretty hard to top.
I mean at this point, what's left?
Perhaps a rugby game at the bottom of the ocean?
Football on the wing of Air Force One? While in flight? At 10,000 feet?
Or perhaps baseball on the moon.
Yeah, that would be pretty cool, and just might top basketball on an aircraft carrier.