Remember when this used to be your
NBA halftime show? Good times, right?

NBA halftimes used to be so simple: Rise drunkenly (but dramatically) out of your seat, shamble awkwardly to what you can only assume is the line for the Men's Room, wait in said line for 15-to-20 minutes, take a long (but gloriously satisfying) pee, wander out and to the nearest concession stand, wait in line for another 15-to-20 minutes to buy more beer and (if you're driving smart) a "beer sponge" (hotdog/slice of pizza/popcorn/whatever), then finally head back to your seat for (if you're lucky) the last two minutes of the game. It's called the American Dream. Look it up.

Now, for whatever reason, the NBA wants to keep you in your seat during halftime. Which was fine back in the wonderful days when they just hired teenage girls to dress up like prostitutes and gyrate on the court. But now...now we're forced to watch regular men dressing up as inflatable men and dancing for our "pleasure." We also get eye-flogged by dance teams comprised entirely of fat women and sexy septuagenarians. How did we go from hot cheerleaders to this? Who's responsible? Because I have a little treat for him that rhymes with "cramming his balls into a rototiller."

We all have a traumatic NBA halftime story. The following is mine. Read on at your own risk.

This goes a few years back. My college roommate and I dropped what was, at the time, big bucks for floor seats to a Bulls/Jazz game in Chicago (we were huge Stockton/Malone fans). Anyway, the halftime show was called Duo Design, a "strength and hand-balancing act from Warsaw, Poland." Basically, it's two topless guys in ass-hugging tights and gold body paint doing gymnastics -- slow, sweaty gymnastics -- off each other's bodies. Seriously.

Now, I'm not homophobic, but this was the probably the gayest thing I've ever seen, unless you count the time a buddy of mine accidentally brought a movie called Hung Wankenstein to a bachelor party we were going to (this is not a subject that is up for discussion, by the way). In fact, Duo Design is so gay that you can't even describe it without making it sound like gay porn. Think I'm kidding? Here is the completely unedited writeup of Duo Design from the Washington Post:

"Jaroslav Marchiniak and Dariusz Wronski...Oozing from one outrageously difficult position to the next, one man does a one-armed handstand on his partner's smooth skull. Or places his beveled bod at a perfect diagonal in space, with only one arm rooted like a Lego piece into the equally beveled bod splayed below him."

Seriously, I think that was an actual scene from Hung Wankenstein. Not that I watched it. Since misery loves company, why don't you watch what I saw. And if you don't claw your eyes out immediately afterward, you probably don't even have eyes.

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Blogger Dave Fromm said...
I think I saw these guys at halftime of a PAC-10 tourney game a few years ago. At the time, I thought, you know .. it's just the PAC-10. Now I think it's sort of a thought experiment.

Blogger Wormboy said...
With all due respect, I do find it a little homophobic. OK, it's men in tights and no shirt. Just like the Olympics.

It's a damned sight better than inflatable toys dancing around. You have to admit, what these guys are doing is pretty amazing. Maybe more appropriate for the Cirque du Soleil, true, but still impressive. I admire all accomplished athletes.

And the fact is, I'd rather watch these guys be sweaty than watch Larry Hughes go 3-11 from the field, know what I'm sayin? Maybe we should reverse their paychecks. Larry gets what these poor schmucks get paid, and they split Larry's salary. Seem fair?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Do you know what the non-basketball entertainment in the Boston Garden consisted of back in the 80's? Some dude playing the organ over the p.a. system during timeouts and at halftime.

Back then the quality of the game was so much better, they didn't need the pyrotechnic, music video, circus atmosphere that has devolved into what it is today.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
dave fromm -- You know, you might be onto something. It could also be some kind of secret government experiment into abstract body art. Just a thought.

dave -- I think taking away Larry Hughes' money, for any reason, sounds more than fair.

80s nba -- Heh. You know, I once read that, before the last few years, the halftime "show" at Boston was a ballboy sweeping the floor and rolling out the ball cart.

The thing is, real basketball fans don't need all the hoopla. But they aren't trying to appeal to the real fans...they know we'll keep going to games pretty much no matter what. Rather, the NBA is trying to market to fringe fans and families. Girlfriends and wives kids who aren't interested, per se, in watching basketball. Couples out on a date night. Older people, fatter people. Basically, anybody who isn't already regularly going to see basketball games.

Blogger The Author said...
These guys have been at a few Spurs games that I've been to as well. My girl-friend and I laughed during the entire performance at the blatant homo-eroticism.

Those dudes are strong. That can't be easy. But, yeah, it looks super-gay.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
HAHAHA! Hilarious as usual!!! You have really good timing too, because I went to the mavericks/heat game a few days ago (which was dissapointing in itself due to the lack of shaq&wade, not to mention the mavericks shitty playing) and my friend and I couldn't believe that the half time show was a man in a fucking hamster wheel!!! Lucky for me I had already had a few drinks so it was hilarious.............

Blogger Josh Budd said...
Oh boy...brutal.

Did you see this?

The HP guys feel the same way you/me/any level headed fan feels.

My Halftime Horror? The World Champion of Simon Says. Seriously.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey there's some kind of connection here with alexandra's hamster story and the video of the ambiguously gay duo. Are they performing at a casino or chuck e. cheese?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I saw Duo Design at half time of the FIBA Americas championship in Las Vegas over the summer. I have to agree its gayer than AIDS. My buddy and I had center court side seats and when Duo Homo was done the entire Thomas and Mack Arena was silent. We heard someone from about 20 rows behind us shout "Thats pretty wierd!" The entire arena started laughing their asses off. Bottom line, Basketbawful I can connect to the exact same story.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Duo design drops your jaw. Why does david stern think queer du soleil is what international nba tv-watchers (full explicit half time show coz no commercials). we watching this at 4:30 am, well mayb gay porn time for some people called david S.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I just saw this duo in a beautiful theater with the symphony playing Ravel's Bolero behind them, after seeing several other aerialist and juggling acts. A packed house of 2500 for the second night at $20-$60 per ticket. This duo captured the crowd and was the star act. It's very sensual feeling, as were most of the acts, with matching music. Amazing skill and strength. I'd like to see an NBA player do the acrobatics they did. Different strokes, I guess.