Early in the evening, Emeka Okafor smiled. Later, he'd be crushed. (Photo via NBA.com/wizards)
The Washington Wizards held a preseason party for season ticket holders at Six Flags America in Mitchellville, Md., on Monday night, and judging by the photo gallery on the Wizards' website, it seems like it was a pretty sweet deal — fans got to meet players, get autographs, eat hot dogs and go on rides. In other words, the perfect night (provided, of course, there were churros available.)
For one newly minted Wizard, though, the night was apparently something less than perfect. From Barry Petchesky at Deadspin:
Reader Mike was there, and he saw something he'd never seen before: a person being turned away from a ride because they were too tall.
Emeka Okafor, to the delight of employees and teammates, was deemed too tall to go on the Superman: Ride of Steel. Which really sucks, because the coaster is totally awesome.
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A second reader subsequently confirmed, noting that Okafor's ejection from the ride, in which he was sitting and secured, took about 20 minutes. Which sounds like about the biggest bummer in the world.
Shortly after this measurement, the Bobcats decided they wound draft Okafor. (Photo via Deadspin)"Too short to ride" is a restriction with which we are all likely familiar, via having once been children at a place designed for children that still somehow does not entirely cater to children, ranking as perhaps our earliest introduction to the crushing reality that the world is a cruel, cruel place. "Too tall," though, might be a new one for you — but it's legit. The theme park's Guide to Rides and Attractions lists the Superman ride as safe only for passengers between 54 (4-foot-6) and 76 (6-foot-4) inches tall; smaller or larger, and you're dunzo.
This is great news for Wizards guards Bradley Beal, Shelvin Mack, Jannero Pargo and A.J. Price, all of whom are listed at 6-foot-3 or below, and potentially good news for John Wall and Jordan Crawford, if they've been exaggerating their 6-foot-4 status a little bit. For Okafor and the rest of Randy Wittman's charges, though, this is a cryin' shame. As Jake Whitacre wrote at Wiz blog Bullets Forever, "$13 million a year might be able to buy you happiness, but it can't get you on the Superman ride." Wisdom as true today as it was in the olden days.
We here at BDL are sorry for your misfortune, Emeka, and would like to make it up to you. Just press play on the video below, make it full-screen and pull up real close to the screen on your desktop/laptop/tablet/phone/Internet-enabled television set. It'll be just like the real thing. We promise.
We hope you found that adrenaline rush satisfactory, and that you are now feeling better, Emeka. If not, may we suggest Apocalypse, Batman's Batwing Coaster or perhaps The Joker's Jinx? No height max on those! Plus, you don't want to be stuck dealing with the Superman thing; it just causes problems for centers.
Besides, I heard that dude's a blogger now, anyway. Who wants to hang out with them?