dreamteam spacejam

Alright, I know that Space Jam came out a few years after the 1992 Olympics but for the purpose of this blog I’m going to group them together.

The 1992 Dream Team was amazing. Ten of twelve of the players were inducted in the National Basketball Hall of Fame. They won gold in the 1992 summer Olympics in sensational fashion. They dominated everyone that they played. Larry Byrd, Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan aaaahhhh, those were some good basketball days.

It may seem like an obvious thing but one great thing about the Dream Team was that they played basketball. Sure, people watch the Olympics in the summer every four years and get all excited watching the amazing sprinters and marathoners. Not to mention, the gymnasts. While entertaining to watch, these sports are a bit too technical and ivory tower for after school elementary leisure.

The reason that the real Dream Team (meaning without Kobe because he’s a douche) deserves a second look is because they were relatable. Nearly every child in the United States could identify who Michael Jordan was. Also important, nearly every child had access to basketball. Unlike gymnastics or competitive track, kids could really play the game of basketball with their friends. It opened up opportunities for kids to be included. It takes a lot of coordination and money to get into gymnastics. Also, let’s be honest, some kids enjoy racing but every day after school? I’m going to bet most didn’t get out their starter gun and track spikes and take off in a sprint. No, basketball involved a ball and a concrete slab available in almost any environment. Major metropolises, rural towns and everyone in between, most places had a basketball court where kids imagining the Dream Team could play.

Space Jam came out a few years later (1996) but it fed into the basketball frenzy for kids. Space Jam jerseys were everywhere and playing basketball singing “Welcome to the Space Jam” became a commonplace activity for youth. Kudos to the entertainment industry for capitalizing on the craze and creating an environment for kids to get up and actively play. Had Space Jam been about pole vaulters, gymnasts, sprinters or shot put throwers I doubt that quite as many kids would have been able to play out the movie with their friends for fun. Basketball was a feasible activity for kids, thanks Space Jam.  Also (a bit of a side note) kudos to Space Jam for having a girl basketball player on the team. It made the movie that much more relatable for the children of the 90s by including the girls.

PS The soundtrack is killer….”I Believe I Can Fly”…anyone?

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Nickelodeon’s DOUG

October 8, 2009

Doo do doo do do do doo do do do do….DOUG!

doug

Yay for Doug. Just a quick refresher, Doug was an incredibly sensitive good guy. He could essestially be the inspiration for any “nice guys finish last” mantra. Doug enjoyed a great run as a cartoon on Nickelodeon in the 90s and then had a brief stint on ABC after he graduated from elementary school and made it into junior high. We was forever pining after Patty Mayonaisse and avoiding the ridicule of Rodger Klotz. He was a loyal friend, always there for his best friend Skeeter and a great dog owner…..Porkchop! He was an aspiring musician and had a great song “Bangin’ on a Trashcan” (you can youtube it, its pretty great).  Not to mention he was a very dedicated “Beets” fan. His navigated through his life and let us all know how it was going via voice over journal entries. Ahhh….looking back, Doug was like therapy for my 12 year old self.

Now that I’m done gushing over all of the things that I remember about Doug I am going to give it a little more thought and explain why this boy with minimal hair and a sweater vest deserves a second look. Doug had subtle hints of culture that I never understood as a child but think are amazingly informative and creative now. Doug’s sister Judy lamented about the Beets in a postmodern fashion, wore a beret and discussed a fictional Sylvia Plath-esque writer constantly.

judyJudy was fortelling of the postmodern, stuffwhitepeoplelike, intellectual, psuedo misunderstood, liberal arts culture that is now so integral in our society. She was well read, snooty and even wore black tights. She was also a remnant of the “Beats” culture of the 1950s. Beret, sunglasses, you know she was reading Kerouac.

More culture? Doug’s favorite band “The Beets” were mirrored directly after the Beatles. Don’t believe me? Look:beets

Doug was great, he had friends of all different colors and socioeconomic statuses, he was sensitive and introspective. He even tried sushi with his grandma. Doug may have lived in a fictional small town but his life was filled to the brim with culture lessons from the past and the future. For all of these reasons, Doug deserves a second look.