As you can tell from my above Personal Brand Content, I love sports. I care about my teams. I care about other people’s teams (outside of rivalries, doy). I got so upset that the Falcons lost the Super Bowl that I had to lift weights to relieve stress. If there’s a more jockular (new word) way of handling sadness, I’ll give you $5 and a noogie.
But I surprised myself. Earlier today someone mentioned that old timey hoop rolling game—the one from movies about 1920s-NYC and tuberculosis—and just thinking about it…I couldn’t contain my laughter and, surprisingly, anger that such a sport ever existed.
Not basketball hoop. Just…a singular hoop. HOOP PLUS STICK GAME. Hoop rolling. I know you’ve seen it.
THIS MONSTROSITY. This…incredibly asinine-looking thing.
Those kids were probably thinking, “Hey Teddy, before we head back to the factory for our shift/visit our friend in the iron lung (Iron Lung Reginald)/get caught in a sewing machine, why don’t we pop by the old sidewalk and play this stupid idiot game with a stick and a bike frame without the spokes?”
Would you be surprised that Hoop Stick Rolling Mania Fun TimeTM was played by the Greeks? The same people that brought you such hits as Track and Field, Wrestling, Marathons, Democracy and The Allegory of the Cave, also created this dingleberry game.
Aside from the Greeks, hoop rolling, or hoop trundling (not kidding) can be found in ancient cultures all over the world. In many African countries, it is currently (and lovingly) referred to as “hoop-and-pole.” Our friends at Wikipedia put it like this: “It is postulated that its wide distribution is a factor of the rich symbolical possibilities of the game, rather than indicating radial diffusion from a single center of invention.” I don’t know what that means but you guys…Wikipedia.
At Wellesley College, they have an annual hoop rolling tradition that continues to this day. Since 1895, seniors have gathered on Tupelo Lane (the historic hoop rolling road) to roll hoops down to the lane. Whoever wins…gets thrown into the lake. Literally. Fun!
“Oh, cool hoop rolling video.”
(My roommate’s here. Peeping my research.)
“I’ve done that before,” she says.
“I’m literally in the middle of slamming it. Conceptually. For the Praytell blog.”
“Yeah, it’s actually really fun. I did it at Greenfield Village.” (An old-timey throwback museum/village where you can do old-timey stuff like make candles, purchase tonic from the General Store, and get tuberculosis.)
I pause. “Why…?”
“I don’t know. It’s just fun to get that thing going and see if you can keep it up. It’s actually really hard, believe it or not.”
Weird. Hmm. Perhaps, after all this ranting and raving…the one who has been hooped, the gal who has been rolled…is me.
I guess it’s time for the most obvious thing: I must now sign myself up for a Vintage Hoop Rolling class and workshop in the deepest part of Williamsburg. Congrats to anyone who gets to know me on a personal level. I have become insufferable.