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Department of DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE!
November 11, 2011 7:44 PM   Subscribe

The U.S.S. Carl Vinson, which has provided relief in Haiti after an earthquake, launched air strikes in the Middle East after 9/11 and, most recently, dumped Osama bin Laden’s body out at sea hosted an uncharacteristically maritime event this evening: a basketball game on the flight deck.

Time-lapse video of court assembly (YT)
posted by obscurator (34 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
does the losing team have to swab the deck?
posted by ninjew at 7:52 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who gets the ball if it goes off the edge?
posted by JHarris at 7:55 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


A buddy of mine harassed us all on Facebook for hours with iphone photos of the game. super cool!
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:55 PM on November 11, 2011


For some reason, Obama's presence here reminds me of the passage in "Obama's Wars" where he, Mullen, and Gates watch NCAA games on Air Force One on the way back from some summit or other.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:58 PM on November 11, 2011


If world peace breaks out, maybe we can convert all of the aircraft carriers to floating basketball arenas.
posted by birdherder at 7:59 PM on November 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


It wasn't the dominating performance I had hoped for out of my Heels, but it was a win, which is good enough for the beginning of the season.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:00 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


JHarris: Who gets the ball if it goes off the edge?

There's an FPP four down from this one that may provide the answer.
posted by gman at 8:01 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's an FPP four down from this one that may provide the answer

Wow, those ninja librarians really can do it all, can't they?
posted by mcmile at 8:17 PM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Basketball is uncharacteristically maritime?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:19 PM on November 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's possible that politicians have power over naval vessels.
posted by Mblue at 8:35 PM on November 11, 2011


Why does the ball have a beard?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:11 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


A very good friend of mine was aboard the Carl Vinson when they went to Haiti.


I have not yet checked Facebook to see if he has harassed me about the game or not.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:34 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tax money for basketball games on aircraft carriers, but teachers have to pay for school supplies out of pocket.

U-S-A! U-S-A!
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:05 PM on November 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Tax money for basketball games on aircraft carriers, but teachers have to pay for school supplies out of pocket.

Yeah, that's nice, but look at the bouncing ball go through the circle!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tax money for basketball games on aircraft carriers, but teachers have to pay for school supplies out of pocket.

U-S-A! U-S-A!
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:05 AM on November 12 [2 favorites +] [!]


I think that this is a little unfair, and I say this as someone who teaches second grade at a school in a high-need area (100% of my kids get free lunch AND breakfast). Yes, money should definitely be going to teachers (like me! One of the few things about which my husband and I argue is the amount I spend on school supplies), but expressing appreciation for government workers is important too. I don't particularly care about basketball but I like when people do things to show that they know I work hard and deserve recognition and something fun. How much tax money went to this basketball game? In the grand scheme of the governmental budget I'm guessing almost nothing (although I really don't know). There are a lot of things in the military's budget that should be cut but I don't think a single basketball game that might actually bring joy to real people in the military who do a hard job should be one of them.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:14 PM on November 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Capt. Renault: "Tax money for basketball games on aircraft carriers, but teachers have to pay for school supplies out of pocket.
"

From the article: Much of the execution fell to Morale Entertainment, a nonprofit organization that regularly brings artists or celebrities to troops. Its founder, Mike Whalen, said this game cost $2 million over all, but nothing to taxpayers.
posted by arcticseal at 10:15 PM on November 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


Captain Renault, reading can be so hard sometimes, can't it? Perhaps if your schoolteachers were properly funded...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:27 PM on November 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Right, that aircraft carrier could be out there, uh, projecting force or something...
posted by 7segment at 10:41 PM on November 11, 2011


Is this the post where we celebrate parts of the US war machinery? Classy.
posted by klue at 11:58 PM on November 11, 2011


But ... um ... {handwave} ... recruitment! Or something. [see also]
posted by dhartung at 12:00 AM on November 12, 2011


Yvan eht Nioj
posted by arcticseal at 12:49 AM on November 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Be honest: how many noticed the gorilla walking through the court at 3'40"?
posted by Meatbomb at 3:09 AM on November 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


uncharacteristically maritime

Not so. There's usually a hoop or two in the hangar bays and the ships have had basketball teams since way back. When in a port of call they would play games/tourneys against local clubs or teams from other ships in the group or nearby.

Granted, it's a warship who's purpose is to launch planes with weapons that will smash humans and buildings and to use it as an arena so some spoiled college kids can play bouncy ball may seem inappropriate to some, myself included, but over the years the flight decks have been used for many ceremonies and activities one could easily characterize as inappropriate yet characteristically maritime. So even though it bothers me that such an event would be taking place, I have to look the other way, understanding that the carriers themselves represent a whole lot more than just a floating airport.

What does really bother me, and I'm not trolling here, is the continued marriage between profesional sports and all things military. I think that exalting either one is bad enough but when coupled together and offered as a prime time showcase featuring the first family, it becomes even more toxic. Neither one of these organizations represent what we ought to be striving for as a people and to me it's unfortunate that they continue to collude to promote themselves on a symbiotic basis at taxpayer's expense. To say that a non-profit somehow footed the bill isn't quite accurate as $2M wouldn't come even close to covering the total costs associated with the event.

tl;dr: you want a basketball game on the flight deck? Fine, just don't broadcast it on national TV and pretend it's the right thing to be doing.
posted by jsavimbi at 4:53 AM on November 12, 2011


Captain Renault, reading can be so hard sometimes, can't it? Perhaps if your schoolteachers were properly funded...

That aircraft carrier cost $4.5 billion, according to Wikipedia. Surely that would pay for quite a few school supplies, considering that it works out to around $15 per US citizen.
posted by Slinga at 7:16 AM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I first saw it on TV, my first reaction was that they were doing a parody of arcade fighting games like Tekken or Mortal Kombat, where every fight takes place at a dramatic yet unlikely venue like an ancient temple or a operating industrial plant.
posted by Hither at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, I agree that the deck was thoroughly swabbed by impressionable, agile brains. Perhaps there is little more to this post than my wholehearted endorsement of rapacious spending and floating propaganda. Was going for the novelty factor, but I gather now that this is nothing new. Alas..
posted by obscurator at 9:23 AM on November 12, 2011


I'm not such a huge fan of the American war machine and don't really care about basketball, but I'm going to give this one a pass because it looked really fucking cool.

(I know you were all dying for my opinion on the matter.)
posted by brennen at 10:11 AM on November 12, 2011


My UNC-alum buddies and I played a drinking game during this game wherein, if Osama bin Ladin's name was mentioned, we had to drink. That happened a lot. (Tragically, nothing and no one fell in the ocean. That was going to be a round of car bombs.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:52 AM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many of them knew that they were playing on the roof of two 550 MW nuclear reactors?
posted by ctmf at 12:44 PM on November 12, 2011


FOX news is gonna looove this.
posted by Kloryne at 1:18 PM on November 12, 2011


Captain Renault, reading can be so hard sometimes, can't it?

Yeah, you guys are right -- I missed that.

I still think it's an obscene waste.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:11 PM on November 12, 2011


To be sure, it's between deployments. Carriers spend a surprising amount of their life in downtime.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 AM on November 13, 2011


Aircraft carriers are expensive but given their long life, versatility and ability to dominate when and where it really matters they probably give the best value of any defence spending. I'd also argue that doing a degree in English literature would be more likely to waste your potential than joining the navy.
posted by joannemullen at 4:11 AM on November 13, 2011


Would have liked to see Coach Izzo and the Spartans win this one, but they didn't get totally blown out of the water (ha) and credit goes to the MSU athletic director Mark Hollis for coming up with the idea in the first place. Go State! You'll get 'em next time, right?
posted by caution live frogs at 12:57 PM on November 13, 2011


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