Thursday, January 10, 2008

The NBA Live Experience: Solutions To Avoiding The Air Rufus And The Blowups Conundrum

We go to the games to see gigantic freaks of nature soar through the air, strive for perfection, push themselves to the limits of physical exhaustion... and then shoot 40% from the floor. But we understand that there needs to be some different elements to the live NBA experience. However, we would prefer it didn't make either us or our wives or girlfriends want to throw ourselves from the scaffolding to escape the idiocy. And believe us, that almost happened at our last trip to a game. And it's happening all over. Some worse than others.

After the debacle Corn suffered through, we decided to put our heads together and offer some alternatives and suggestions for the NBA to improve the NBA Fan "Experience." First, let's get the basics out of the way.

The Ground Rules:

1. No more playing music during the game. Ever. We know we're not the first or last ones to demand this. But it has to happen. What's that? You don't want it to sound so quiet in the arena? Guess what? It still sounds quiet. It just sounds like a smattering of people being annoyed by the music being so damn loud. If you want the crowd to wake up, it's time for a little tough love. If they want to encourage their team to win, they need to be faced with the reality of how it sounds when they don't cheer. Additionally, and we know this sounds nuts, but sometimes people at a basketball game want to actually hear the sounds of the basketball game. Crazy, we know. We're fine with a PA call every now and then (we even like the Spurs' "Here come the SPURS!", even though we're hoping they're "coming" back to an 18-point deficit, only to fall to a 36-point deficit with 4 multiple games suspensions for Robert Horry and Bruce Bowen), but the music has got to go outside of timeouts and halftime.

2. Put something else in your t-shirt gun and smoke it. We don't care if it's puppies (Atlanta), crack needles, strip club cards, beer, hooked on phonics tapes, thongs, NBA D-League tickets, or John Tesh CDs. But you need something with higher density and weight to make it to the back rows, and those t-shirts just end up being used to clean up dog crap anyway.

3. Encourage tailgating. The best part about going to football games is tailgating. So why is it not more regularly practiced in basketball? I'm not talking about Bobcats-Bucks on a Wednesday night. But for big, televised games on the weekend you should build some excitement. And the best way to get a crowd rowdy for Lakers-Heat on ABC? Get 'em drunk. If you appeal to the college fan, they will come.

4. You Can Keep The Mascots, Provided You Use Them Wisely: We've got no problem with the wily coyote playing with the kids, or the Gorilla flying through the air on a motorcycle on fire. Just make sure that we're only seeing him three or four times a game. Because any more than that, and you're risking a plancha from the upper balcony, or a beatdown in the parking lot. And no one wants to see a grown man getting kicked in the nuts wearing a... whatever- the- Warrior- guy- is suit.

5. Corn's got a short list of requests as well: Naked chearleaders, massages every time a player curses to protect his delicate sensibilities, and no clowns. No one likes clowns. While you may not be able to make things happen on the first two, I think we can keep our painted brethren off the hardwood, cool?

Let's move on to the music.

The Soundtrack Of Our (NBA) Lives

Look, it's not that we don't dig "Soulja Boy" (6 months ago). It's not that the little clapping song isn't fun. But since we're telling you you need to cut down on music in general, we felt it important to also get you some songs that were more apropos for you. Here's what we came up with.

1 Phoenix Suns: Keep The Car Running- Arcade Fire.
2 LA Lakers: Popular- Nada Surf
3 LA Clippers: California Love- 2Pac (Someone's got to love them.)
4 Boston Celtics: We Are the Threeeee Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamigos!
5 Miami Heat: Undone (The Sweater Song)- Weezer
6 Charlotte Bobcats: Raise Up- Petey Pablo (this is to encourage the injured to rise and walk)
7 New York Knicks: My Favorite Mistake- Sheryl Crow (Knicks fans can sing it to Isiah)
8 San Antonio Spurs: Muzak (maybe not. We don't want fans to get used to that level of excitement)
9 Detroit Pistons: Anything You Can Do Sheed Can Do Better
10 Sacramento Kings: Arco Arena-Cake (no joke. The song just kicks ass)
11 Minnesota Timberwolves: Young- Kenny Chesney (just imagine Sebastian Telfair singing this. Just try it.)
12 Denver Nuggets: What a Fool Believes- The Doobie Brothers (no reference to KMart and Melo intended)
13 Chicago Bulls: Rainy Days and Mondays- The Carpenters (cause they are thin, frail and listless)
14 Seattle Supersonics: Please, Please, Please- James Brown
16 Portland Trailblazers: Touch of Grey- Grateful Dead (They ain't THAT good. Yet.)
17 Washington Wizards: My Ding-A-Ling- Chuck Berry (for all the Andray Blatche fans out there)
18 New Orleans: Alive- Pearl Jam (as in, what the team is trying to tell the fans)
19 Houston Rockets: The Great Pretender- The Platters (either about the team or T-Mac, or both)
20 Philadelphia 76ers: The Theme from Growing Pains- Andrew Gold (Imagine Andre Miller as Alan Thicke.)
21 Toronto Raptors: Cryin'- Aerosmith (cause they still ain't over Vince Carter) 23 Orlando Magic: Big Time- Peter Gabriel (for Dwight "So Much Larger Than Life" Howard)
24 Atlanta Falcons: Who Let The Dogs Out- Baha Men (we amuse ourselves sometimes)
25 Indiana Pacers: My Gun Go Off- 50 Cent
26 Milwaukee Bucks: Don't Fear The Reaper- Blue Oyster Cult ("I Need More Charlie Bell!!")
27 Memphis Grizzlies: A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action- Elvis (for a multitude of reasons)
28 Golden State Warriors: Fools Rush In- UB40 (cause we just used Elvis)
29 Utah Jazz: Bizzare Love Triangle- New Order (either for the whole Kirilenko family weirdness or the inability to get steady production from anyone outside of Boozer/Williams)
30 Dallas Mavericks: Du Hast- Rammstein (Crazy, German, Sexy, Disco)

Most importantly, though, we have to make sure things like this come to an end. Please. Think of the children.

We're not saying people actually care about the halftime shows, or that's why they're there. But there has to be a better alternative than what we're currently being served. Here's what we came up with.

1. New Jersey Nets:
Jason Kidd committing a dramatic interpretation of hara-kiri while screaming, "You did this, Carter! You bastard!" He heard about it from one of his mistresses.
2. Boston Celtics: Matt Damon in a reading of Hamlet. Dressed in the Smoochy suit.
3. Miami Heat: Ricky Davis in a rendition of "I'm So Tired" from "Blazing Saddles."
4. San Antonio Spurs: Dick Cheney plays "Assault," American Gladiators style. Except for really real. His target: Eva Longoria.
5. Charlotte Bobcats: Air Rufus and The Blowups, only with Morris Day and the Time!
6. Indiana Pacers: Eenie Meenie Mynie Mo. The losing fan has to go for a late-night car ride with Jamal Tinsley, blindfolded and strapped to the hood of the car.
7. Toronto Raptors: A seance to resurrect the career of Andrea Bargnani/ TJ Ford's career, starring Samuel L. Jackson.
8. Phoenix Suns: A mustache-growing champion will be crowned. That person will pretend to be D'Antoni and perform an interpretive dance of some of his famous porno scenes with either a dance-team girl or the gorilla. Or both.
9. Seattle Supersonics: A Celebrity Cagematch for the rights to the team: Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood versus Eddie Vedder and Ichiro.
10. Chicago Bulls: Sink a halfcourt shot to coach the team! Have a friend rebound it ten times and they can play power forward! Guaranteed more minutes than Ty Thomas!
11. New York Knicks: Every single fan gets to line up and fire Isiah, after kicking him in the sunt.
12. Dallas Mavericks: Dancing spectacular with Mark Cuban versus Wade Phillips!
13. Washington Wizards: A Quidditch match between Howard Dean and Mitt Romney.
14. Clippers : A team presentation to introduce the team. So people can recognize them at the store. Or at the game. Anything.
15. LA Lakers: The
Jaws machine from Universal Studios rises up and eats Luke Walton. Then Derek Fisher shoots it in the mouth.
16. Orlando: JJ Redick recites his poetry. You know, because it would be good for him to stand up and let the blood to flow all the way down his legs, since he never gets off the bench.
17. Memphis Grizzlies: It's the Dating Game! Your contestants? GM's from three NBA franchises! They'll be vying for the affections of Damon Stoudemire, who's coming off a bad relationship! What lucky man will get the 7.3 points, 3.9 assists and bad attitude of this wiley veteran? Find out at halftime!
18. Houston Rockets: They shoot Tracy McGrady to the moon to get away from his whining. Rafer Alston is strapped under the boosters.
19. New Orleans Hornets: A presentation of the Hornets building a house. For Reggie "Bush" Kardashian to live in in four years.
20. Milwaukee Bucks: A feng shui realignment of the team so they flow much better. You know, towards the basket.
21. Utah Jazz: A rendition of Jesus Christ: Superstar, with AK-47 as Christ.
22. Portland Trailblazers: A live action Oregon Trail performance, wherein Jarret Jack sadly dies of dysentary, and Brandon Roy dies from a snakebite.
23. Golden State Warriors: A political debate on globalization in the modern world. Between Baron Davis and Captain Jack. On ether. With guns.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers: A 3-D movie presentation of "Cleveland: 50 years of Sports Misery: IN 3-D!"
25. Atlanta Hawks: Ted Turner has a puppet show. He lets a Bobby Petrino doll get mauled by Mike Vick's dogs. Then, a fan tries for a half-court shot.
26. Sacramento Kings: A Mighty-Wind-esque folk revival featuring Ron Artest, Mike Bibby, and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
27. Denver: Hair-braiding competition featuring local youth, because Iverson and Melo are good influences.
28. Minnesota Timbeerwolves: Marko Jaric works it with Adriana Lima. Nuff said.
29. Detroit: Homie the Clown comes out and gives free "Sheed" technicals fouls to ugly couples in the audience. Then ejects them from the Palace.
30. Philly: Who cares? The fans just want to get drunk. Might as well sign up Air Rufus!!

We feel that with these improvements, the NBA live experience can be truly FAN-tastic.

Hardwood Paroxysm

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