Basket Cases

FRI 2/11

So, you just lost your ass on the Super Bowl with a genius wager that the game would wind up in quadruple overtime or something. Don't sweat it, you would-be Pete Rose, we've got the tip of the century: the Harlem Globetrotters. Those guys never lose! So scrape together a few nickels and...what's that? Vegas doesn't run a line on Globetrotter games? Oh, snap! You're screwed. But since your life is now in the crapper, you really ought to take in that Globetrotter game anyway. Come on -- how could you not buckle over with uproariously painful belly laughs watching a referee get de-panted? That not do it for you? How about some crazy, around-the-back dribbling?

These talented hoopsters have been sinking half-court hook shots and wowing fans since 1927. They've played in front of the largest crowd ever to witness a basketball game (75,000, in Berlin), and they've managed to reach a milestone still unduplicated in professional sport: 20,000 games played, and that was in 1988.

Who knows? Maybe you can convince some schlub to put money on Harlem's opponent, the woeful New York Nationals. You'd better. That knock on your door is an angry bookie. 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 11, and 1 p.m. Saturday, February 12. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. For tickets and information, call 866-446-8849 or visit Tickets start at $12. - Brian McManus

Real Sports Heroes

THU 2/10

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." This is the oath that more than a million intellectually disabled athletes have taken before competing in the Special Olympics. This weekend, more than 2,100 of them will converge in Houston for the 13th annual Texas Winter Games, participating in such sports as power lifting, table tennis, bowling, volleyball and figure skating. An athlete parade and a torch-lighting ceremony will herald the three-day competition, and a victory dance celebration will close the games on Saturday. Volunteers are still needed for all events, so interested folks can attend the opening ceremonies at 8 p.m. Thursday, February 10. Games continue through Saturday, February 12, at various arenas in Cy-Fair, Greenspoint and Willowbrook. For a full schedule and venue information, call 800-876-5646 or visit Free. - Julia Ramey

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