And when I dunked that foam ball into the desk basketball hoop this week I channeled my inner Curly Neal.
Curly having just passed to the great court in the sky.
For many Fiftysomethings on our shores, Curly, Meadowlark and his Harlem Globetrotters pals were our first introduction to basketball.
The Globetrotters had a virtual monopoly in the Sixties and Seventies here before we got the NBA on our TVs.
And it wasn’t just excitable schoolboys the Globetrotters had in their thrall with their antics.
Pope Paul VI got the full routine with tricks, tickertape and holy water sprinkled on him in a private game back in the day.
All of which fun you can replicate from your home office… if you don’t have a desk hoop then you can adapt.
Of course as a schoolboy I wasted many an hour sinking balls of paper into a bucket when I should have been learning my trigonometry.
All of which stuff and nonsense is a replacement for the real thing.
And isn’t it often the case that the game isn’t on when you get to town in your travels across America?
And you are left larking about in Memphis when the Grizzlies are supposed to be playing The Promised Land, The story of the Blues and The King of Kings. https://www.deep-south-usa.com
Which brings us to the thorny question of which American sports team to adopt.
Because when you land up in town the quickest way to learn about how things are done is to find out about the local sports teams.
Orlando FC were in their infancy when I first met up with Harry Potter, Homer and Bart Aaawlando… Orlando, the rollercoaster capital and https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/theme-parks/universal-studios-florida.
Taking the Mickey
And The Donald, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy Why I love The Donald and https://www.disneyworld.co.uk.
While Memphis saw me picking up their love of basketball, I was pitched straight into the Eastern seaboard’s love of all the Big Four American sports on another occasion.
I got to learn about The Curse of Billy Penn’s peak in Philadelphia Philadelphia Freedom and https://www.discoverphl.com/visit/plan-your-trip/visitors-guide/.
I was already aware of the rivalries between the Eastern cities and my New York cousins had tried to foist their teams on me.
But again there was a schism there which I settled by plumping for the Queens teams, the New York Mets and Jets.
And I picked up the odd souvenir on my peregrinations www.nycvb.com and Old New York: Hamilton.
Which have come in handy for the desk and house games just now.
Of course the best place to be, even if you can’t catch a game, is the ball park.
And I got to try out for the Washington Nationals Easy DC and https://washington.org
And hang out with the Bandanettes in Denver at the Broncos’ Mile High stadium … Go West and https://www.denver.org.
Now if you do get to a game then I guess that’s the biggest motivator.
And so the Anaheim Angels https://visitanaheim.org and https://disneyland.disney.go.com/destinations/disneyland/ are in contention for my vote.
But so too then are the Toronto Blue Jays https://www.seetorontonow.com.
But while all of these cities have left their mark you never forget your first love.
Boston is full of beans
And that was Reggie Clemens and the Boston Red Sox on my summer working trip to Beantown after university.
I was in the midst of planning a visit out to Boston and New England for later this year with my hosts suggesting a tour of Fenway Park.
And a walk along the Green Monster left field wall.
Home run! Visit https://www.boston.gov/visiting-boston.
And tell me which American sports team you support. Is it because you’ve been to see them, have relatives there, like the name of the team or the colour.
Let me know and we’ll share.
MEET YOU AT THE BALL GAME