Original Handster

10/25/2008

If you grew up in New York like I did, you were probably really excited to find out that “Handball” had made it on to the list of Olympic sports. Years spent watching the most skilled (and often cutest) boys in the neighborhood pound a little blue ball against a twenty foot wall, with the mercury hitting anywhere from below freezing to way into the triple digits, gave you a certain respect for the game.

And then you actually saw Olympic handball, which looked more like a dry land version of water polo played in a gym by a bunch of European guys wearing kneepads. I won’t even talk about the actual ball, which looks like what my kids played soccer with in kindergarden.

As it turns out, Olympic “Team Handball” is actually a completely different sport that dates back to the ancient Greeks. But, for all you disaffected NYC nostalgics (and the IOC) here are some pics of what handball (and its affectionate cousin, prison handball) really look like. Prepare to feel fuzzy inside.

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