Monday, March 19, 2012

Rant 697: The Way the Ball Bounces (Is the Same)

It's good to be back. I had some personal things to get out of the way, which I did, and now I am back in the saddle.

These things were somewhat involved, but toward the end of the day on Friday, I finally had a lot of fun.

I saw two basketball games virtually back to back, and the only thing that tied them together being the way the ball bounces.

The school district that my son is in, along with several other school districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties here on Long Island, have joined together to create a Challenger Basketball League. What that means is that Special Ed kids--the kids most likely to be forgotten in high school, and the kids that certainly feel left out when it comes to athletics--compete against one another on the basketball court in a slate of games against different schools.

My son is a Special Ed kid, and he also loves sports, so this league has been a godsend to him.

Sure, they bend the rules a bit to get all the Special Ed kids involved, but it is a fun time for all.

My son has wanted me to see him in one of the games, but since they are played during the weekday afternoons, I haven't had a chance to see them.

However, one of my goals for Friday was to finally see him play, and that is what I did.

Even though his team lost 42-26, I really enjoyed myself at the game, but the kids who played enjoyed themselves the most.

Whatever their ability, they were able to run up and down the court and feel good about themselves. Both boys and girls played at the same time, and a few of them actually showed some athletic ability.

But for kids who often feel left out of activities like this, this was a great thing. The season ends this week, and I hope that it spreads to other schools next year.

Right after the game, my son and I whisked off to see the New York Knicks take on the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden.

It has been a rough stretch for the Knicks, as they've changed their coach and hopefully changed their attitude. As you may have read in my previous post, it has been a frustrating time for the team's fans too.

Anyway, with a new coach in tow, they have recently won three games in a row and look like an excellent team again. The game that my son and I saw was the middle game of this mini-winning streak, and it showed that a different mindset can do wonders for a team that was floundering.

Preaching defense, the Knicks put away the Pacers early. Although the score was 115-100, the Knicks were ahead by 30 or more points for a good part of the game, so for once, my son and I saw what amounted to a relaxing game at the Garden.

So we saw two games, and two good games at that.

One was much more important, in the grand scheme of things, than the other, and I will let you decide which one I am talking about.

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