Yesterday, I was only half surprised when Eddie called me from work to tell me we were going to the game. He'd found a way to get tickets. My response was: What should I wear? I was to bring his Knicks t-shirt to him and wear a t-shirt and jeans. I found my orange United Colors of Bennetton tee from Munich and my blue hoodie and I was set. Orange and blue is one of my least favorite color combinations, but now that I am part of "we", and we's colors are those, I was wearing them.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo
Basketball is the sport I know least about out of the four major sports: baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. I know more about tennis and curling than basketball. My theory about basketball has always been that every game needs to be only two minutes because only the last two minutes of the game are really important. Everything that happens before that is moot.
Last night, I learned a little more about basketball. I learned that the action does not stop except for tv-time-outs (which I find ridiculous--part of the game is to stop because a channel needs to show commercials--how is that part of a sport?) and team timeouts during which coaches tell players, "play better to win please." Since my seat was in Section 409 and the team huddles happened at courtside, I'm only guessing that's what they are saying. Section 409 sounds far away as it is the last section before being on the roof of MSG, but really, it isn't far at all. The players don't look like specs (despite what the pictures make them look like). They look like people, tall gangly people who sweat a lot and wear fancy sneakers. I could even hear the squeaking of the sneakers.
I knew that Eddie was excited about Carmelo Anthony coming to the Knicks. He'd been talking about it every day for the past few months. My responses were mostly, yup, because what do I know about Carmelo Anthony other than he has chin scruff that needs to be taken off of his face. That and he's married to LaLa from MTV. Then, two days ago, I was working out when Eddie appeared ready to high ten me because "we got Melo." Because we, everyone in New York, is part of the Knicks, and we have the new guy along with some other guys, one in particular, Chauncey Billups, who is by far my most favorite basketball player because, as you can probably guess, I like saying his name. Every team needs a Chauncey. However, the excitement was really about Melo because, as I understand it, now the Knicks have a chance at winning a championship because they have Stat and Melo together, like the song says, Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo Stat and Melo.
The extra perk of the game: Legends Night. Before the game, during time outs, and at halftime, the Knicks were honoring one legend from each decade of their history. I knew two of them: Alan Houston and John Starks. I had also heard of one in passing: Earl the Pearl whose last name I can't remember. So I got a whole lot of basketball history as well as excitement. For a first game, I got lucky.
I also relearned that no matter where you go, you find assholes. Now the guys sitting in the row next to Eddie were loud and semi-drunk, but they were fun. They started chants. They clapped and screamed. That was good.
The people sitting behind us, a husband and wife with their son, were the epitome of bad parenting. She, with her cigarette-induced rasping, used several colorful terms, one being "autistic retard" and he calling his son a "blind asshole" because he couldn't see Spike Lee. FYI: I couldn't see who he was talking about either, and I don't think he was seeing Spike Lee anyway. I think he was seeing a white dude with a hat on because that's where he was describing. The only celebrities that popped up on the big screen were Louis CK and Chris Rock, who were sitting next to each other. So there's one reason our future is bleak. Oh, and the kid kept telling his mother to shut up because she was threatening to "Say something to him" and I don't know who the "him" was or what about, but it went on for ten minutes and I hate them.
Then there were the Japanese guys in front of us. All of them at some point during the game took a nap.
I cheered for the defense. I cheered when they scored. I looked puzzled every time they called a foul because I never understood why. I also found that not only does Chauncey Billups have a fantastic name, he is also a really great player. He had lots of assists, hit every free throw, and scored a lot of points. This was the first game he was playing with this team and he was awesome. Forget Stat and Melo. Chauncey Billups is my basketball hero. Aside from Eddie, of course, who showed me the magic of live basketball. When we got into the car to come home, he asked if I'd had a good time, and I answered, I want to go again!