Basketball

Sexualised Floor General

Have you taken time, tick-tock of the stop clock time, to watch?
Sank into the sofa, pupils glued, mind open
Ignorance swept out the door
Snide comments left below the depths.

You might find it’s not as you’ve been brainwashed to believe.
Society’s unbalanced illusions filling crevices of your cranium
Not treating the “fairer sex” fairly
Slamming their skills, dunking on their capabilities.

You’re not about fair though, are you?
Unless it’s fair on the corneas.
Attention on attraction and appearance
In place of strength, stamina, sagacity.

Probably why you jumped in with the Fighting Irish
Was struck by the Shock
Diggin beauty over leadership
Floor general sexualised; raw energy and talent overlooked.

Do looks add elements to her game in any way?
Not enabling her to sprint from line to line any faster
Add spring to her layups
Swipe fiercer with the best of them.

Ability coming for her work ethic
Fundamentals instilled, same as the names around her
Often overlooked, less lusted for;
Ugly, masculine, butch their labels.

Why do aesthetics means more than flair displayed?
It would make sense for genuine fans
To appreciate the spectacle, get lost in the intensity
Whether played women or men.

Push your biases to the sidelines.
Enjoy each quarter play by play.
Watch the greatness of the game come alive.
Stop demeaning who could likely run hoops around you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaniqua Marie

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Tired of TV

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m getting tired of TV these days.  So much of it is becoming stale and boring, veering away from its original story or increasing entertainment simply for the purpose of banter.  There’s nothing wrong with a show evolving or changing direction, but not at the expense of why the viewers enjoyed the show in the process.

I’ve watched so many entertainment dramas fail, because they forgot what the purpose of the show was and tried to make it into something else entirely, leading to utter confusion.  Revenge was ridiculous and kind of terrible by the final few seasons and I don’t even know where Scandal is at now — I’ve only watched the first episode of the current series, because I forget it’s on.  And although One on One was more a comedy drama, its final season was abysmal, because it strayed so far away from the show’s main concept and lost its best characters.

Scandal

Then there are the shows that go on for far too long and lose the plot entirely.  Gossip Girl was pathetic by the end, considering the show started strongly, and I was so over the constant boyfriend and girlfriend swapping.  Glee was a special show when it first came about, but it got lost and incredibly stupid, particularly after the untimely death of Cory Monteith.  Although I usually enjoy watching it, I’ve found that The Big Bang Theory has been going for too long and they need to end it sooner rather than later.  More shows need to learn to quit while they’re ahead — even though I knew I would miss Nikita, I also knew the show was ending at exactly the right time.

I find myself “watching” a lot of TV shows, but actually being more interested in the Twitter comments and interactions, rather than the show itself, which shows how boring they’ve become.  This weekend was clear proof of that, as I sat down to watch the final of two television shows I look forward to each year.

On Saturday night, it was the turn of the Strictly Come Dancing final.  Strictly has been one of my favourite television shows for many years now, but over the past three years it has started to lose its sparkle for me.  The show has become less about teaching a celebrity how to dance, but more about getting the best dancers possible and watching them compete as if dancing is their profession.  The weaker celeb dancers, who are voted out earlier, are more entertaining and lovable than most of the celebs who go further in the competition, which can make the show frustrating to watch.

I’ve not had much of a liking or care for the couples that have gotten to the final in the past three years, with my favourites being voted out in the earlier weeks or the semi final, which makes the final less enjoyable.  However, this weekend’s final was straight up boring.  Considering the calibre of dancers, the routines were not that impressive and the judges were a little irritating, like they have been all season.

Strictly Come Dancing

Then on Sunday night, there was the final of The Apprentice, which I found ridiculously boring — I missed quite a few chunks of show and I simply didn’t care to catch up.  I’ve been sceptical about this season of The Apprentice anyway, as I’ve found the candidates more stupid than ever before (which I’m sure is for banter) and it’s disgusted me to see Karren Brady turn into an awful witch.  Her snide comments, big mouth and purposeful humiliation has been unnecessary.  Lord Sugar’s attitude and poor jokes were bad enough, but she has just taken it to another level.

I’m watching Empire lose control, turning more and more into a black Dallas, which is the last thing anyone needs.  How to Get Away with Murder is entertaining at the moment, but crazy and full of irritating characters — I hope Shonda Rhimes doesn’t keep this show going on for too long like she has done with Scandal.  And as much as I love me some Neighbours, if it keeps on pointlessly messing around with character relationships and going down a route filled with weirdos, criminals and annoying hypocrites, I’m gonna have to stop watching that as well.

Most TV annoys or bores me now, but I guess that’s a good excuse to pour more of my time into something constructive.  The most entertaining thing for me now is basketball, more specifically college basketball, which provides real life drama and I love that.  I’m just tired of all the fabricated, drawn out, over the top, fake drama TV provides.

 

 

My Kobe Bryant Heartbreak

Kobe Bryant, one of my favourite basketball players and one of the best to ever play the game, announced that he would retire at the end of the season.  When I read his beautiful, heartfelt letter on The Players’ Tribune, tears filled my eyes and ran down my face.  It was official.  My favourite [male] basketball player was officially coming to the end of his career.

It hurt me to see Kobe suffer from major injury, after major injury, over the past three seasons, especially as his age made it harder for him to fight back.  Kobe’s decline in this current season has broken my heart, as his body continues to break down, preventing him from being the stellar player we all know he is.  Unfortunately, he won’t be going out in a blaze of glory in his final season, but at least he can see that his time is up and I rate him for that.

When I became a basketball fan, Kobe Bryant was the first player that I fell in love with.  In fact, he was one of the main reasons why I became a Lakers fan and why I always will be.  I could see that he wasn’t perfect and had many flaws, but I love him for who he is.  One of the main reasons why I love Kobe is because of his work ethic.  He is tenacious and he will fight to win, carrying the whole team on his back and trying to get them back into a game all on his own.  It didn’t always work, but when it did, it was magic.

Kobe is also resilient, playing through pain and displaying the most unbelievable endurance.  His strength inspires me and sometimes when I work out, I think about what he does to motivate me and push me harder.  I may not be a sportsperson, but I definitely have the ability to push a little harder if he can shoot two free throws with a torn Achilles — that was an amazing moment for me.

Seeing Kobe play for the Lakers and appear in All-Star games has been a constant for me since I started following the NBA, so knowing that he will no longer be a part of that is really sad for me, but time does move on and people get older.  As much as I hate to say it, this is definitely the right time for Kobe to retire, but at least I’ve had the opportunity to see him play and watch him win two of those five championships.  I also got a close glimpse of him in London, after he’d won his second Olympic gold, which is something that I will treasure forever.

I know that this couldn’t have been an easy decision to make for Kobe, as you can see how much he loves the game, which made me love it right along with him.  Basketball is clearly his first love and having to give up your first love must be one of the hardest things to do.  However, Father Time is knocking and Kobe is showing grace by answering the door, so now it is time of us to start waving good-bye.  I just wish this goodbye could have ended in one final playoff run for him.

For now, I have to say thank you Kobe Bryant for the dedication you showed to the game of basketball and providing us with so many great moments.  You will forever be one of my favourite players and one of the best to ever grace the court.

Kobe Bryant