We'll let you in on a little secret here: You might want to put your money on the Globetrotters taking this game. They no longer boast superstars and showmen like Curly Neal, Meadowlark Lemon and Geese Ausbie, but the theme here remains: The Globetrotters will win handily, and show off a dazzling array of hardcourt hustle and hanky-panky in the process, including dousing fans in confetti (and then water), jaw-dropping jams, and the best ball-handling you'll see without a subscription to Spice TV. Created by Abe Saperstein waaay back in 1926 (as the Chicago GlobeTrotters; the team took the Harlem moniker to align itself with black audiences), the Globies have played an estimated 23,000 games over the years, losing only 300 or so, mostly to high-end college teams with superior size (gone are the days when the club could sign a big-name big man like Wilt Chamberlain). Will you recognize any of the team? Unless you're a fan of mid-major college hoops, likely not. However, there's still the whistled strains of Sweet Georgia Brown, the old ball-on-a-string trick and all the inevitably de-pantsed (sometimes literally) stooges on the other team. It's about as kid-friendly as pro sports get, and it's a relatively cheap ticket besides. What's more, you're almost guaranteed to see the good guys pull away when the game's on the line. Even Vince Young can't promise you that.
Fri., Jan. 1, 2 p.m., 2010