Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of United Kingdom.

AKA ‘University of Michigan Women’s Basketball, from the point of view of a British person who has no understanding of either basketball specifically or American sporting events in general‘.

Generous friends in Michigan took me to see women’s basketball at the weekend. Being unfamiliar with both the event and the sport, every single thing that happened was a surprise. It is amazing and also hilarious. I will attempt to explain it to you here.

American college sports are Srs Bizness because that is where professional athletes come from. The girls in yellow are ‘our’ team, Michigan, and the girls in blue and white are a team called Notre Dame that I don’t know where they are from. They are all very tall. First, observe the massive stadium.

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The big telly is called a ‘Jumbo Tron’ and it tells you what to look at in case you are confused. When audience members dance around, the camera points at them, and when they see themselves on the big telly they go mad with joy and dance around even more.

This lady is the Michigan coach. She is unhappy because Michigan are losing.

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Everyone runs around and tries to get the ball to go in the hoop.

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Surprisingly, this only lasts for about two minutes at a time. Every two minutes or so, someone yells ‘time out’ and they all stop playing. I asked my friend why they keep stopping and she said ‘because it gives the players a rest, they will get tired’, but she might have been taking the piss.

Then some cheerleaders appear. There are two kinds. There are disco-dancing cheerleaders.

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Then there’s about two more minutes of running around with the ball and then it is gymnastic cheerleaders that include boys and they all climb on each other in a big pile.

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After that there’s a bit more trying to get the ball in the net and then everyone gets out of the way and two men run into the middle of the room with a trampoline and start bouncing up and down.

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They bounce up and down while wearing skis.

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And also with a snowboard attached to their feet.

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A brass band strikes up at random intervals. There is some more running around with the ball and then after a while someone gets hurt.

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Eventually, after repeating this process several more times, Notre Dame is deemed to have won and everyone files past each other in a big line so they can all say goodbye to each other individually, and then it’s time to go home.

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And that is how you play American game of Basket Ball. And that’s all the news.

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