Bread City Basketball


BASKETBALL IN IRAQ

I. American troops play basketball in Saddam Hussein’s occupied Birthday Palace. Tikrit, Iraq, 2004.

Iraq Saddam's Palace Tikrit Basketball
original photo by Paolo Woods

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II. The 1948 Summer Games in London was the first and only time that Iraq fielded an Olympic basketball team. They sustained five of the tournament’s worst defeats. Iraq lost to China, Korea, the Philippines, and Chile by an average of 86 points per game. The United States won gold.

Iraqi Olympic Basketball Team

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III. “The next week, back in Baghdad, I had a whiskey one evening with the Time bureau manager and a pair of reporters and told them about the killings at the basketball game… The bureau manager lit another cigarette as we sat in silence for a moment. ‘And especially, basketball being a pro-Western sport was nonsense,’ he said. ‘Iraqis have been playing basketball for fifty years, since long before all this. They love it.'”
– From The End of Major Combat Operations, by Nick McDonnell

Richard Mosse's Iraq
photo by Richard Mosse

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CHEERLEADER AIR RAID
September 4, 2007, 5:39 am
Filed under: Bread City, cheerleaders, Collage, War | Tags: ,

cheerleader desert storm



PLAYING BASKETBALL WITH THE VIETCONG
July 28, 2007, 7:12 pm
Filed under: Basketball, Bread City, Poetry, War | Tags: , , ,

You never thought it would come to this,
that afternoon in the war
when you leaned so hard into the controls
you almost became part of the landscape:
just you, the old man, the old woman
and their buffalo.
You never thought then
that this grey-haired man in sandals
smoking Gauloises on your back porch,
drinking your beer, his rough cough
punctuating tales of how he fooled
the French in 54,
would arrive at your back door
to call you out to shoot some baskets, friend.
If at first he seems awkward,
before long he’s got it down.
His left leg lifts from the ground,
his arms arch back then forward
from the waist to release the ball
arcing to the hoop, one, two, …
ten straight times. You stare at him
in his tee shirt, sandals, and shorts.
Yes, he smiles. It’s a gift,
good for bringing gunships down
as he did in the Delta
and in other places where, he whispers,
there may be other scores to settle.

by Kevin Bowen

basketball court in vietnam
photo: Huy Nguyen



PALESTINE THROWBACK JERSEY
June 15, 2007, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Bread City, Politics, War | Tags:

THROWBACK STYLE IN THE FACE OF ARAB-ON-ARAB TERRORISM: IF ONLY SPORTS COULD SIMPLIFY EVERYTHING.

hamas vs. fatah throwback jersey