March 25, 2010

Crowd enjoys Dairyland donkey basketball event

Crowd enjoys Dairyland donkey basketball event
By ALLAN TINKER
They came; they saw; they refused to cooperate. That was the donkeys. The human players tried every trick in their books to get from place A to place B. Most didn’t work. The donkeys, owned by the Cordell family of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, enjoyed every minute of it.
The teams were in fine shape: they knew that they would be masters of the basketball floor. Some even had animal handling experience. Some have more now.
The McClusky gym-full crowd didn’t care: not about who won, how they played, or who blatantly ignored every rule in the book in order to score, or at least get control of the ball for a few moments.
The kids loved the noise and the rides and the food. Some of the adults really liked the food, too.
There was no damage to the gym floor from hooves, but there were a few human derrière prints on occasion. They were usually erased from the tiles by some of the larger human players dragging little donkey feet along, erasing dust and other marks as they went. The donkeys also didn’t “foul” the floor, which pleased everyone, especially those landing under the donkey tails on occasion.
The players climbed on, sometimes several times. They slid off; they fell off; they got tossed off; they went off over the donkey’s neck and off over the tail. They really didn’t stay on much at all, except for some who managed to keep clear of the donkey manager, who seemed to bring out the worst/best of his herd.
Opening the action was Paul Hagen’s steed, who decided it was time for a good back scratch. This left Hagen wondering just how he was going to ride an upside-down donkey and make baskets. When the donkey was right-sided the basket problem still existed but the itch was gone.
The girls seemed to have the best luck with the animals (donkeys) and won the championship. Though the other teams also had “token” women on some of them; the high school team used five. No one remembers the score, but the girls won! Their donkeys won, too.
The male players did their share of sliding off and under and some were even taller than their beasts of burden. Big didn’t work for the riders.
 


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