As the Associated Press reported, Dennis Rodman and few of the Harlem Globetrotters are headed into the country that hates the United States the most to dabble in some “basketball diplomacy”. The experience is headed by Vice Media and will be filmed as a documentary to air on HBO in April.
Regardless of your feelings on Rodman, you can’t tell me you don’t want to watch that documentary. Here’s a guy who has been an outlier his entire life, and now he’s heading into a country that is an outlier itself. It makes sense, kind of.
I’m not here to talk about the logistics of Rodman’s ambassadorship (new idea, I’m definitely watching. Period) — I’m more here to look at what other people are saying about it.
The host of the project, Shane Smith, had this to say:
“Is sending the Harlem Globetrotters and Dennis Rodman to the DPRK strange? In a word, yes. But finding common ground on the basketball court is a beautiful thing.”
At their core, sports mean nothing. A game is a game, your Cheerios will still have that bland taste even if your favorite team wins, the sun will still rise if they lose, yada yada. But, the fact that sports can transcend culture/politics/another country wanting to blow the US up — is undoubtedly, awesome. That a guy who used to toss a ball into a basket for a living can use that skill as a pedestal to, “speak directly to Kim Jong (Un) that the only way to go is with peace not war,” is beautiful.
Switch gears, quickly. After reading this story I, naturally, bopped over to ESPN. Surely, the worldwide leader could dish some knowledge on me, right?
The only link on their front page (the Huffington Post gets it — no shot I’m looking at anything other than the front page) pertaining to Rodman, was this. Because I don’t particularly want you to go out of your way to watch First Take, I’ll give you the high(low)lights.
“I guess the folks over there don’t have laptops, they don’t have access to the Internet, they can’t Google his [Rodman’s] history.” – Stephen A. Smith (speaking sarcastically)
“Oh, they do, trust me.” – Skip Bayless
“Because I’m sure they do and that’s all you gotta do to know, TO KNOW, Dennis Rodman’s history.” – Stephen A. Smith
Uh, nope. Actually, a quick Google search lead to a website called “Wikipedia” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_North_Korea) that in its first sentence stated Internet in North Korea was only allowed under “special authorization and primarily used for government purposes”. A second click found a more updated article on North Korea’s Internet situation from a more reputable source, The New York Times, that still said no one is North Korea is hopping around looking up Dennis Rodman (because they can’t). Good effort, Skip and Stephen.
“I fear that he might go over there and start another World War.” – Skip Bayless (speaking sarcastically)
Wait, what? Not only was that unfunny, this country we’re talking about just made a video about blowing up America.
Evidently, some need to stick to box scores and stay out of worldly issues. However, for those who Get It, take satisfaction in acknowledging that it’s cool/interesting/neat/noteworthy when those worlds collide.