Season Ticket Review – Easily distracted

The Dakota Wizards. In our house. A classic rivalry, named one of the top three in all of South Dakota sports history. A reason to come to a game on a lazy, wintry Sunday afternoon; North vs. South, a Dakota Territory civil war played out in all of its glory on the basketball court.


Game 3: December 9th, 2007

Dakota Wizards (2-3) at Sioux Falls Skyforce (1-4)

Thanks to some quick action by Kerrie (and a token infant in a cute lamb outfit) we were chosen to sit in the Kory Davis Experience Best Seats in the House – two leather seats at the end of the court. It’s pretty sweet, actually – and it’s the second time in three seasons that we’ve been able to sit down there. We’re three games into the season and we haven’t even sat in our actual season ticket seats yet.

In terms of a rivalry, Sioux Falls vs. Dakota doesn’t have the same spunk that it used to. Last season, it was us vs. the old us – Dakota had our old coach, Dave Joerger, and three of our championship stars in Ronaldo Major, David Beasley and Corey Williams. There was an air of competition in the Arena when Dakota came to town. We wanted to beat them because they were so good. We wanted to show everyone that we could do well without those guys.

Unfortunately, things have changed. Joerger is with the Memphis Grizzlies as an assistant. Major, Beasley and Williams are elsewhere. Both teams entered the contest with a combined record of 3-7. No one I could recognize remained from last year’s Dakota team. They looked flat.

We looked flatter.

It wasn’t a great game. For the second straight game, our small ball approach allowed the other team to out-rebound us, and for the second straight game we watched as an opposing player pulled down 20 boards. Tonight, it was Rod Benson. Tonight, it was a D-League record 28 boards.

I was easily distracted as a result. Maybe it was the new seats. Or maybe it was a boring game. All I know is that we were losing (no way!) going into the 4th quarter. As always, we decided at that point to start playing defense. We pulled closer, and an Elton Nesbitt take-over (15 points in the 4th alone) had begun.

But sometimes you can’t overcome the height difference. And you can’t go back to the well too often. We didn’t have the comeback in us like we did two nights before. We left as desperation fouls were doled out and “see you next time” music began playing.

(An aside: the music at the Skyforce games is often disjointed from what’s going on in the game. When we’re up, they often play the “This is our house!” clip from some sports movie – a clip that’s supposed to fire up the crowd when you’re behind.

Kerrie has a theory. Often, during a losing game, the Skyforce sound techs will play one of two songs during the last timeout. If they play YWCA, we still have a chance. We could pull it out. The crowd is ready for some letter making action.

If they play Sweet Caroline, we’re screwed. Tonight, they played Sweet Caroline.)

At times, I noticed that Sierra had her eyes fixed on everything but the game. The crowd. The vendors. The large indoor blimp. She couldn’t focus on the game at all. And to tell you the truth, I don’t blame her a bit.

Skyforce 105, Dakota 115

This was lovingly handwritten on December 10th, 2007