Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category
Now that I have stated my demand, clearly and concisely, I’d like to note that once again in 2012 the Paralympics follows close on the heels of the Olympics. Once again it has been relegated to a Youtube channel, various other online live feeds, etc, while the Olympics (the Walkie version) is again a world-wide network TV 24-hour a day, weeks-long extravaganza. It’s probably on TV right now. Let me go check………….Yup. It is. Water polo.
Eighteen percent of the U.S. population has some form of disability. That statistic throughout the world is comparable. Everybody knows someone who has some kind of disability that would be represented by athletes in the Paralympic Games. Why is this not on NBC? Do we need a specific TV network just for disability-oriented programming much like African-Americans did with the BET network?
Come on, NBC, it’s 18% of the population! Think of the ratings! Even if just out of curiosity, huge numbers of people would be tuning in to see this. Think of the new ad revenue you would generate from a wide variety of sponsors.
And lastly, you would be providing a service. Network exposure for Paralympic athletes would show the world at large a new side to disability. For one thing, it would demonstrate how many disabilities are not visible, yet very real for the person living with that disability. And it would help able-bodied people become more knowledgeable about a wide array of different types of disabilities. This can only be a win-win situation. The Olympics this year got Paul McCartney to play the opening ceremony. I say we get John Mellencamp to play the 2016 Paralympics on NBC. He’s got spina bifida. See, a disability that is not visible. You’re learning something already.
If you agree, please pass this on.
If you are a fan of adaptive sports, you can voice your desire to see the Wheelchair Basketball National Championships on television by going to the facebook page below and click the LIKE button. Let ’em know there is a market and the networks would do themselves a favor by looking into wheelchair sports and consider televising them. Here’s the link:
Of course you’ve got to be a great athlete too, but…
Does anybody else find it disturbing that to qualify for the Paralympics, all you need is a pair of contact lenses? Yes that’s right, apparently anyone whose vision is a little blurry can be a Paralympic athlete.
Granted, I have spent a good amount of time on this blog and on others reminding people that the definition of “disabled” can be extremely broad, even reminding my readers that, in fact, one could argue that those who wear glasses could be considered disabled. But isn’t the Paralympics supposed to be for athletes who cannot partake in the Olympics with fully functional walking athletes because of their disabilities? That was my understanding.
I was watching the Paralympic Judo and it seemed to me that the athletes who were squaring off in the competition had no visible disability. I thought “Did they add Tourette’s Syndrome to the Paralympics?” Because the athletes in the Judo competition definitely had no visible disability, and they had no ailment or disorder holding them back in any way, that is for sure. And this may sound narrow-minded as Hell, but if it is not a visible disability – if it does not visibly hold one back physically – then it has very little to do with physical competition. So I wanted to know what the guidelines were in the Paralympics. So I looked it up.
There are certainly many genuinely disabled people in the Paralympics, and the categories make a lot of sense, and they make it fair so as not to have a no-armed, one legged blind man with cerebral palsy fencing against a guy who is near-sighted. But contact lenses? Seriously?
In the Paralympics, a basketball team is made up of five players, each of whom is assigned an individual ranking from 1.0 to 4.5. The combined total of the rankings of the players on the court for one team at any given time cannot exceed a certain number, let’s say 15. I saw the opening game of the Paralympics tonight and the commentator made sure to stress that the ranking each player is given does not signify his level of ability, but his level of movement. We are talking about people with all different levels of paralysis here, so I can see what he meant.
But when it comes right down to it, doesn’t Kobe Bryant get more playing time with the Los Angeles Lakers because he is able to move in a more effective way than the other players on his team who play his position? And while we are on the subject of the National Basketball Association for Walkies, why is there not such an individual ranking system in the NBA(fW)? Every player in the NBA has a different level of ability, just as is the case in Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball. In the NBA, everyone has proven himself to be capable of competing at at certain level, and if not, he’s sent to the CBA or whatever, or he rides the bench all season and is used as warm-up meat for guys like Kobe in practice. The guys who are put on the court are the guys who are able to give the team its best chance at victory.
Now, I’m not trying to be an elitist or to exclude anyone from taking part in the Paralympics, which, for God’s sake, was established so that the previously excluded could be included. But making sure that each team has no more than 15 points of ability or whatever it is, on the court at any given time is about a step and a half away from the gym class games of kickball where if one team scores two runs, then in the next inning the other team automatically is allowed to score two runs. Not quite the same thing, but you see where I am coming from, I hope.