Carrier Classic

This past Friday, the military ship that sent Osama Bin Laden to his watery grave was transformed into a spectacular basketball arena. The 2011-12 NCAA men’s basketball season kicked off with the No. 1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels dueling it out with the Michigan State Spartans on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. Many military personnel from the numerous service branches were in attendance, and President Barrack Obama even graced the scene as this event came together on Veterans Day 2011.

There have been amazing images of sports played in odd and intriguing places, but none of them quite compare to the photos from this actual meaningful event that ESPN spearheaded. The awesomeness of playing a basketball game on such a military vessel has a coolness level of 11 out of 10 as is, but to host it on a day where the world is asked to turn their eyes in respect toward those who have and are currently serving elevates the event to another level. On a day where our nation is asked to reflect on what these people sacrifice in service of our country, even a Friday night basketball turns our attention to such facts.

And more importantly than just a reminder for the general population is the fact that those from the different military branches aboard that ship last Friday were given something back. Far too often the majority of this country is caught up with such a distaste for war that most people fail to show the proper respect that those in service have earned. We wrongfully connect our dislike of certain wars with indifference toward our military personnel. For those men and women who risk their lives and their well being for this nation, last Friday was an opportunity for some of them to witness a special event in honor of them and their brethren.

This sports fiction class has discussed why sports matter and the idea of seeing them in a bigger picture where they have a greater meeting. The college basketball game held aboard the USS Carl Vinson is a perfect example of both of those theories discussed in this course. From both team’s specially designed camouflage jerseys’ to the former servicemen referees, every intricacy of the game was maximized to show the greatest respect on a holiday so often confused with Memorial Day and overlooked in favor of Independence Day. Such an amazingly well thought out and original event deserves praise, and it won’t find itself getting shorted here.

2 Responses to “Carrier Classic”

  1. mbake12 says:

    I think that this was a great way to start college basketball. This was good for the NCAA to incorporate this into one of the greatest matchups all year. This game had all of the right things happening. The soldiers, the lights, the media, the President everything. Even after the game as the players passed off their jerseys to the soldiers was a salute to show that we are grateful for them fighting for the country.

  2. awitmer says:

    This game was awesome, it was such a great idea to incorporate the air craft carrier! I also found it very interesting looking at how long it took to set up the court. Here is the video link if anyone else wanted to see how it came along.