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In case you are watching the NBA finals tonight, or just read the post today regarding Sarah Palin’s basketball career, such as it was, these videos help us remember to find something to laugh about when it comes to basketball.
We were duped! We were misled from the very moment Sarah Palin was introduced at the Republican Convention. Something as insignificant as having had a high school basketball career should never be the reason to nominate or elect anyone to political office. Perhaps because Sarah Palin had so few accomplishments, the McCain campaign had to latch on to anything from her past that could be used for political advantage.
Many of us probably don’t remember the song playing at the Republican Convention when Sarah Palin was first introduced by John McCain to the American people. It was “Barracuda” made famous by Heart. The Republican Party did not have permission from Heart to use the song. In fact, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, had to go to Court to have cease-and-desist letters issued to the McCain/Palin campaign, demanding that their 1977 hit “Barracuda” not be used as Palin’s theme song. The track was used at the convention, both to introduce Palin and at the end of McCain’s acceptance speech at the close of the Republican National Convention.
If the Republican Party had asked, they would not have received permission to use this song. The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late ’70s as a scathing rant against the soulless nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.) Ann and Nancy Wilson were quoted as saying,” We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored.” Nancy Wilson painted a vivid picture of her sentiments about her song being associated with Sarah Palin. “I feel completely f—ed over,” she said. Both sisters said that “Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda‘ no longer be used to promote her image. It’s been one and a half years since Sarah Palin was introduced at the Republican Convention, and the words of Nancy Wilson still ring true today.
So how was it that Sarah Palin became known on the basketball court as “barracuda”? Barracudas have sharp-edged fang-like teeth, much like piranhas. They have large pointed heads with an under bite. Their gill-covers have no spines and are covered with small scales. Was someone on the team playing a joke on Sarah suggesting that she had an under bite, fang-like teeth, that her head was pointed, or that she had no spine? High school girls have been known to be “mean spirited”. Whatever the reason, we can be reasonably sure it was not because Sarah was the star of the team.
Many publications have touted Sarah Palin as making the final free throw that won the game for the Wasilla Warriors in the State Championship. Without doubt these reports are inaccurate, an exaggeration, and misleading. Palin herself, admits that she only scored one point in the final championship game (Palin 41). When the coach put her in the game, probably so that she could say that she actually played in the championship game, the team was ahead by 4 points, and there were only seconds left to play. With only 30 seconds left to play Palin made only one of her two free throws. Even that was not necessary as the team won by 5 points (Benet 38). Obviously, the team didn’t need her to win the championship game. Moreover Sarah only scored a total of nine points in all three games of the State Tournament. Ibid.
Palin explained in Going Rogue that: “Everything I ever needed to know, I learned on the basketball court” (Palin 41). We might conclude that what Palin learned on the basketball court is that “perception is everything.” Palin was unable to play for the vast majority of the state tournament due to an injury to her ankle. She has recovered from that injury, but the American people are still suffering.
Palin continues to remind us of her days on the basketball court. In Chicago Palin felt it appropriate to lecture the Highland Park girls’ team encouraging them to defy the school administrators and play in Arizona. Just Friday in her Facebook post, Palin shared her thoughts about a basketball coach, Coach Wooden. Evidently Coach Wooden is sick. At first blush, Sarah’s note seems sincere, and appears to be written out of concern for an old friend. However upon closer examination, the real motivation of Palin surfaces and is unmistakable. Her writing of this note appears to be a reminder that she was a basketball “hero”. Coincidentally, the post came at a time when the country is focused on the NBA finals.
If you had a sick friend, would you use Face book to send the friend a personal message of concern and compassion? Would you post it on the internet for millions of people to read? No of course not. Most friends would not be as insensitive or insincere as to publicize an attempt to express sympathy. You might hand write a note. If you were really concerned, you would visit that friend in the hospital or at their home. You might take food, a book, or a movie. You wouldn’t advertise the illness of a friend in a publication read by millions of people that had never even met Coach Wooden. I wonder if Sarah Palin has ever met Coach Wooden. If you were truly concerned about a sick friend, you wouldn’t take this opportunity to attempt to dispel the notion that you were motivated by material possessions. Ibid. Sarah did. She states, “…I admit I fail that material possession lesson as I prize a favorite one that displayed on our living room—a genuine autographed copy of his Success Pyramid.” By simply using the word “his” instead of “your” Palin reveals that she is writing this note for the benefit of the millions of readers of her Face book post, and not for Coach Wooden. How sad, and revealing, that Sarah Palin uses people in this way.
Palin has taken advantage of the media to paint her as an athletic hero. She wasn’t a great athlete,” said Donald Teeguarden, Palin’s high school coach. “She wasn’t blessed with exceptional athletic ability.” It doesn’t matter to me that she was not an exceptional athlete. What does matter is that this is just another example of the misleading nature of the “real” Sarah Palin. We have repeatedly heard the half-term-Ex-Governor make reference to “real people”. People continue to refer to her as “Governor” even though she resigned as Governor almost an entire year ago. Sarah Palin is not a “real athletic hero.” She is no longer the Governor of Alaska. She is just a mean, vindictive, person who wishes she was something she is not.
By Ericka Blount Danois on Mar 16th 2010 1:38PM Black Voices
It took three trips to Madison Square Garden, but Boys & Girls basketball coach Ruth Lovelace finally has her trophy and her place in history. Right on time for Women’s History month, she has become the first woman to lead a boys PSAL basketball program to a championship, her first title in her 16 years of coaching at the Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, program.
The second seeded Boys & Girls defeated the No. 1 Cardozo, 55-50, at Madison Square Garden this past Saturday. This is their first championship since 1979. Boys and Girls had turned out legends, such as Pearl Washington, Connie Hawkins, and Lenny Wilkens, but had fallen on hard times, and Lovelace was hired by Principal Frank Mickens in 1994 to turn the program around. It was an unprecedented move that made her the first woman in the PSAL to coach an upper tier-boys basketball program.
“At the time the team wasn’t doing well at all,” Lovelace told Aol. Black Voices. “They weren’t making the playoffs. That was unheard of given their history. Mickens was really trying to get the program back in the right direction. A lot of people felt like–you’re trying to move in the right direction why would you hire a female?”
“He [Mickens] deserves all the credit,” Lovelace said. “Nobody would have ever hired a female back at that time. I was young, I was 23, but he had a vision for me that I couldn’t see for myself. I know he’s looking down.”
Mickens proved to be a visionary. Every year following, Lovelace took the team to the finals.
“I proved them wrong,” says Lovelace. “My first year there we went to the quarter finals, which is the Elite 8. We wound up losing to Lincoln with Stephon Marbury. Mickens means everything to me. Some people thought it was a publicity stunt, but he was brilliant. Fast forward 16 years and we’re proud champions.”
Lovelace said a couple of months before Mickens passed away she went to him and asked him if anyone had ever questioned him about his decision. His response was: “Are you kidding me?! They would never question me about a decision I made!” But Lovelace admits there were whispers and, “I hate to say, but I’m sure there were people who wanted to see me fail.”
Lovelace, a former standout basketball player at Seton Hall University before knee injuries derailed her career, strives for excellence from her players in the classroom and on the court. If players aren’t doing well in school, she requires them to sit out, even if they are star players.
“One of my star players was acting up today; I kicked him out of practice. We scrimmage tomorrow, so he won’t be playing with us,” Lovelace says. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a star or you’re the twelfth man on the bench, I’m trying to teach them life lessons, because basketball will end for them one day, and I want them to have life skills to make them decent upstanding young men. If you’re not a good kid, you’re not playing for me.
Lovelace and her champions dedicated their victory to Dr. Mickens:
“It’s bigger than just basketball,” says Lovelace. “When a guy comes back and says I’m going to send you an invitation to my wedding, or I just had my first kid, or I just bought my first house-those kind of things are what I want my legacy to be about, not because I won a city championship.” [She pauses.] “But still at the end of the day to know that you were the best team in N.Y.C., it’s like now, what do you guys have to say?”