Season Ticket Review: Anything but the game

The Skyforce. A team that wins 7 of 8, then drops a game to the completely defeated, 0-12 Austin Toros. They played in Austin Thursday night and didn’t get back into town until 1 PM. Things didn’t look good for the home team.


Game 8: December 29th, 2006

Albequerque Thunderbirds (6-6) at Sioux Falls Skyforce (9-6)

They weren’t.

“Who is this team?” we all thought – Albuquerque blasted out of the gates looking absolutely frightening. The Skyforce, fresh off of a long trip to Austin and back, played nearly in slow motion. Albuquerque played like their cross-state affiliate Phoenix Suns, running and gunning around the court as if our players were standing still.

Realistically, we might as well have been. Andre Brown (on his own Poster Night!) had a horrible first half. He picked it up in the second half, just in time to watch the rest of his team shut down. The free throws were horrible, again. (And there were a lot of shots to go around – I’ve never seen so many fouls called; five fouls alone in the first two minutes of the game.) In fact, Albuquerque shot better from the field (58%) than Sioux Falls shot from the line (55%). It was an inside, fast game. And Sioux Falls blew it. I can’t talk about it anymore. Ew.

The incestuous nature of the CBA/NBA D-League sprouted up yet again as former Skyforce player Chris Rodgers was on the court for Albuquerque. This is a common theme throughout the league. I’d be willing to guess that, even though just a handful of teams remain from the CBA 2004-5 season, every NBA D-League team has at least one player or coach that is completely familiar to me. It’s nice – I already know these players, so I know what name to curse and hex as much as possible from our upper level seats.

Part of this callback to CBA days must have included the scoreboard and audio technicians, both of whom were both horribly off their game. Andre Brown makes his first shot in five tries? EN FUEGO pops up on the scoreboard. A 20-foot jumper? “Slam” by Onyx! Of course, Brown WAS on a one shot shooting streak, and the jumper did SLAM into the back of the rim as it went down, so both are understandable.

Friday’s game also brought back a frightfully failed contest, though this one is a fairly recent phenomenon – the Dakota Adjusters “roll around in money and pick as much up as you can” game. The object is for a partner to completely wrap you up in tape, sticky side out. From there, you roll around on the court and try to collect as many faux dollars as possible. Your partner is there to lead you.

Of course, this isn’t what happens. Instead, two people roll around on the ground collecting an uncountable amount of green paper, followed by an awkward stand and an even more uncomfortable walk off of the court.

You have to remember – these people can’t get up on their own. They’re completely bound by tape. They can barely walk on their own (naturally, with their legs wrapped together like a three-legged race) and they exhibit a pained expression all the way back to their seats, as if the tape was slowly riding up towards their junk with no sign of relent. Add to this the fact that the staff doesn’t have time to count the hundreds of small green slips of paper on each person so they just guess who the winner is, and you can imagine how horrible this game is. I concur. It’s a horrible game.

Unfortunately, this was also the second game in a row that our half-time show was cancelled. On Christmas Day, the act’s luggage was lost. Seriously. Friday’s half-time show was stuck in Denver. So we got free stuff. Lots of it – shirts, balls, more balls, more shirts. In fact, there were vendors selling their wares in the aisles for the first time in recent memory. Mini-basketballs (33% off! Just $10!) and programs were on tap. But I never have the need to buy these things.

What’s that? I only spent two paragraphs actually talking about the game? Well, I can sum it up in one word: Missed. As in, missed chances, missed free throws, and missed opportunities; missed defensive assignments, missed three pointers, and more missed free throws.

Sorry. I really don’t want to talk about it anymore. You understand, right?

Skyforce 104, Albuquerque 111.

P.S. – Skyforce center Jared Reiner has his own blog. This is great – Reiner is one of the bright spots on this Skyforce team. Just don’t call him tall. He hates that.

This was lovingly handwritten on December 30th, 2006