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The Red Panda Acrobat is retiring

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Sad news from the world of NBA/college basketball halftimes, as the lady who rides around on a unicycle flipping bowls onto her head is reportedly calling it quits.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

If you're a regular attendee of basketball in the United States, you have seen a variety of acts meant to entertain you at halftimes of games. However, you know that there is one act that stands out above the rest: The Red Panda Acrobat. And sadly, it appears her time is done:

The Red Panda Acrobat -- real name, Rong Niu -- had apparently dealt with injuries recently -- she missed all of last season. This is a travesty. Let's praise her:

Of all the things in my life, I think the Red Panda Acrobat is the most incredible. Here's why:

  • I cannot ride a unicycle.
  • I cannot ride a unicycle with one foot.
  • I cannot balance a bowl on my head.
  • I cannot balance multiple bowls on my head
  • I cannot flip a bowl onto my head with my foot -- I would probably struggle doing this with my hands, to be honest
  • I certainly could not flip multiple bowls, all stacked in different directions, onto my head

The Red Panda Acrobat did all these things simultaneously, with seemingly no effort and oodles of grace.

In the four or five times I saw her perform live, I never saw her drop a single bowl. And yet, each time she held a bunch of bowls up and meticulously placed them on her shin while bobbing back and forth on her unicycle, I refused to believe that it was humanly possible she could possibly flip those bowls onto her head.  I burst with shock and astonishment every single time.

Teams release their promotional schedules months ahead of time, but most of the time, I disregard it. Generally I go to sports to see the sports, not the sideshow. The one case this was not true was with the Red Panda. I circled that date in my head every time it was announced she was performing.

There will be frisbee-chasing dogs, little kids playing basketball, and tumbling dunkers. But there won't be another Red Panda Acrobat. We'll miss you: