Manute Bol: Where God Gave Up


By Sue Donnem

If you’re a big sports person, such as myself, then you surely remember Manute Bol clogging up the paint back in the day. God, the 80s…what a time to be alive! Those pesky guards always tried to drive on Manute, but he would send their shot into the stands everytime. But did anyone ever ask Manute if he wanted to play basketball? I mean sure, at 7 feet 7 inches it would kinda seem like a waste not to, but what if he had other interests? What if he really wanted to paint, or maybe even dance interpretively? Just imagine those legs spinning in a pirouette; they’d have to clear out the first 3 rows of the crowd! Sadly, Manute never got the chance to show the world his artistic endeavors because everyone just kept shouting at him to go play basketball, so let’s take a look at all the experiences he was so unjustly robbed of in his lifetime:

  1. Go To Dollywood 

I don’t know if you guys have ever swung by Dolly Parton’s mecca, but let me tell you something: they did not design it for tall people. Manute would’ve never been able to even get on the Wild Eagle, much less scream his heart out as he bounded over the twists and turns! Those coaster carts are really exclusive, and while of course Dolly Parton could never be ableist, or anything negative for that matter, maybe the guy who designed her rollercoasters was? 

  1. Walk Through Doorways

Close your eyes and imagine you’re walking through a hallway, and then you push open a door and keep walking. What a sense of accomplishment — so much progress made and you’re still going! For Manute though, that feeling was one of imagination. If he tried to walk through that doorway, the threshold would have hit his head and possibly ended his career. Manute’s body was already fragile, so he definitely couldn’t have risked walking into a metal door frame, or even a wood one for that matter!

  1. Know How The Weather Was Down Here

Every heckler at away games was shouting “How’s the weather up there?” at poor Manute and he had to play through that pain. But what if we flip the script? He never knew how the weather was down here, with us mere mortals. It’s a real shame too, because hot air rises, so he was definitely sweating bullets his whole life. Trapped in a hellscape environment up there, yet the cooler escape was always visible to him down here. Holy shit, why did existentialists never cover this guy?!

  1. Wear Pants

This one might be a little hard to believe at first, but think about it. What manufacturer is making pants long enough for this guy? It’s not even monetarily worth it. They’d have to use so much material for one pair that the business model just doesn’t add up. So now, on top of height, God and society, capitalism was also working against Manute. The guy just couldn’t catch a break.

  1. Commit a Bank Heist

At first glance, it would seem like Manute would have actually had an advantage in this scenario, as he could just step over whatever gates or walls stood in his way to get to the money. But no mask is going to conceal this man’s identity! He’s literally the only person on earth who’s his height, so the innocent bystanders would know immediately. The man didn’t even have the freedom to rob a bank. If Locke saw this, he’d be pissed. 

  1. Play the OG Fortnite Map Again

This one has less to do with his height and more to do with his vitality. Unfortunately, Manute passed away in 2010, so he’ll never know the joy of landing Retail Row one more time with the boys. This is possibly the saddest item on this list, because we all know the common joy we find in Fortnite, and this man never got that.

  • December 7, 2023