Season Ticket Review – Please, just sit down

Thursday and Friday’s two-game home stand against the Idaho Stampede became a case study in the difference between two states of mind; it was a tale of two games – one close, one not so close. And while both ultimately ended in wins, the path to those wins was as varied as could be.


Game 3: December 1st, 2006

Idaho Stampede (0-4) at Sioux Falls Skyforce (1-2)

On Thursday, the Skyforce looked sluggish, unable to run and unprepared for their plays. On Friday, it was a different story – the team broke for more fast breaks than I have seen all season, and our speed and defense overwhelmed a more experienced Stampede team.

On Thursday, Peter John Ramos became our team’s biggest enemy – a man we needed to hate, one with a chip on his shoulder – and served as a wake up call for the Skyforce players. On Friday, Ramos hardly made a difference: in 30 minutes, he had just 11 points and 4 rebounds, with five of his points coming from the line.

On Thursday, we were nearly knocked out by a frantic defensive team. On Friday, we got a lot of help from our bench, and even more from a player many of us are still unfamiliar with – Jeff Varem.

This is the story in the NBA D-League, just as it was the story in the CBA – anyone can be the high scorer. Anyone can be the star. Everyone is so equal that a guy coming off of the bench has just as much of a chance to score the key points, pull down the most rebounds, or take over a game as any starter. Tonight, it was this nobody; this Varem – 21 points, 8 boards. Of course, let’s not get too far from the truth – it was Andre Brown’s night again. He was a monster out there, with 22 points and 13 boards in 41 minutes of play.

Now that we’ve recapped the game, I have a complaint. Two, actually.

If you’re going to pay money for a basketball game, why spend it all watching anything but the game? And if you’re going to pay the money in the first place, why don’t you get a babysitter?

First of all, a child who is brought to the game shouldn’t be running around, walking from seat to seat, constantly attempting to stare into the eyes of other paying spectators, lying on the dirty floor, and generally providing a constant source of distraction throughout the 48 minutes of basketball play.

We had this child in front of us last night. She would look into our eyes, searching for attention – an attention that wasn’t being given to her by her parents, her sister, the usher, any of the boisterous post-college aged kids to the left and right of her… really, anyone. When she couldn’t get the attention, she tried harder, to the chagrin of everyone.

Eventually, her parents gave her some cotton candy, which surely contained more sugar than a sucrose drip and was, I’m sure, exactly what she needed. Next time, I’d suggest asking the neighbor to watch her, or attach a dog leash around her neck. Anything to keep me from fantasizing about the unthinkable – my foot slowly sliding in her path, causing her to trip and barrel “ass over teakettle” down the arena stairs. Anything but that.

Of course, I couldn’t tell if that was any worse than the aforementioned post-college aged adults – the ones who were more interested in switching seats, moving around from friend to long lost friend, constantly standing up and constantly paying attention to anything but the spectacle that was being featured on the basketball court right in front of them.

It seemed as if each person – I’d say there was 15 total – had to get beer at different times, creating a constant conveyor belt of young adults with beer cups, filled with beer, barely spilling over the edges, all of which happened to walk right in front of us – even if they weren’t sitting anywhere close to us! We saw one kid walk in from the left, come to about the midway part of the row, climb over three rows of seats, create a constant annoyance as he moved back to the left, and finally sit down. In a seat that was just one away from the aisle he came in on. What was the travel for? Was he waiting for his beer to warm up?

I’m not saying you can’t bring your kids, or that you can’t move around and converse during these games. But the annoyances that came from of these two deeds seemed to illuminate each other to the detriment of our game day enjoyment. Sure, you should get loud and rowdy in cheering the team on. But if you’re just going to wander around hardly aware of the game and, while you’re at it, stand and shift constantly in front of people who actually had some sort of vested interest in the game, then maybe you should go somewhere a bit more conducive – like a bar, or your home, or anywhere that isn’t in front of me.

And with that, I’ve discovered that my season tickets – my $64 stake in the Sioux Falls Skyforce – have turned me into an old bitter man. And I’m not even 30 yet.

There may be no hope.

Skyforce 100, Idaho 94

This was lovingly handwritten on December 2nd, 2006