Friday, August 14, 2015

Washington Generals

The Washington Generals have lost their last game.

Generals' general manager John Ferrari, who started running the business for his father-in-law, Red Klotz, in 1987, confirmed Thursday that the Harlem Globetrotters had dropped the Generals, their longtime foe, as an opponent.

Ferrari said that -- much like the teams he fielded -- he wasn't even given a chance.

"I got a call about a month ago, and they just told me that that was it," Ferrari said. "I turned to my wife and just said to her, in disbelief, 'It's over.'"

In the past two decades, the Globetrotters have changed hands over and over again, the most recent time being in 2013, by Herschend Enterprises.

Many believe the change is a financial one. Instead of having to pay Ferrari to arrange for an opponent, why shouldn't they do it themselves?

"All great rivalries come to an end, and as we get set to celebrate our 90th anniversary, we are excited to take on a new opponent," Globetrotters legend Sweet Lou Dunbar, who currently coaches one of the Globetrotters teams, said in a statement. "We are looking forward to building a new great rivalry as we entertain families worldwide for years."

For his part, Ferrari said, "The Washington Generals were a very good deal for the Harlem Globetrotters."

Sixty-three years ago, Globetrotters founder Abe Saperstein asked Klotz to create an opponent for the Globetrotters. While the guys in the red, white and blue did their tricks and made crowds of all generations laugh and applaud, the Generals just did their thing -- try to win.

It didn't always work. OK, it never worked -- except for a night in 1971, in Tennessee, when Klotz himself hit a shot at the end to beat the clowns of basketball.

"Beating the Globetrotters is like shooting Santa Claus," Klotz was quoted as saying.

The Generals got two others wins in their history -- against the Taiwanese National Team and a Russian Army team.

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