The Harlem Globetrotters have won the Free Publicity World Cup by announcing Tuesday that they are drafting U.S. soccer star Landon Donovan, mere weeks after he was excluded from World Cup competition.
There’s one catch: He won’t actually play for the team.
He won’t even lean into the crowd spinning a basketball with each finger. And he won’t befuddle his opponents on the Washington Generals.
What will he do? Well, basically, his name appears in a silly press release resulting in silly stories like this one written by people who still like the Globetrotters because of their appearances on “Scooby-Doo” and “Gilligan’s Island” decades ago.
The Globetrotters, a frankly weird team that only seems to have one opponent, the constantly losing Generals, drafted Donovan in hopes of a publicity windfall.
So with a shrug of our shoulders and “Sweet Georgia Brown” in our hearts, here’s a story. And some other weird facts about the Harlem Globetrotters:
1. They often honorarily draft players who will 100 percent not be playing for them. This year those players also include Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
2. Their offices are now based in Phoenix, Arizona. (I’ve lived in both Phoenix and Harlem and they’re pretty different.)
3. Remember when Dennis Rodman took a bunch of players to North Korea? Three of them were Harlem Globetrotters.
And here’s “Sweet Georgia Brown”: