We had different seats than we usually do. We're normally in seats that are lit up by the court lights, but we were up in the side high enough that it was a bit dark, so the huge introduction of the team seemed sparklier than ever. Dark room, spotlights, strobes flickering on and off, sometimes they break out a giant mirror ball that spins around, really high-energy gay dance club music cranked to the max, all just to introduce the team in a regular season game. We have the Chicago Bulls to blame for this out-of-handedness, don't we?
And now that I've seen it in both lights, I am now certain that when Andrew Bogut cut his hair a few weeks back, he was in the hands of a cut and colorist, because that hair is not just black. Its blue-black. Its Elvis and Priscilla On Their Wedding Day Black. This isn't a diss. Looks good, but I wonder if we'll run into him at any of the goth clubs soon.
But the rest of the night at the Bradley Center was this series of things that don't necessarily go together. To wit:
- It started out with a very strange, surreal anthem brought to us by the Slinger High School Choir. It sounded like the kind of arrangement you'd hear on the Lawrence Welk show, or maybe "Bing Crosby Sings The Anthem At Christmastime." I think "Protestant" might be an accurate description for this arrangement. It was the whitest white-bread jazz arrangement, very late-50s soothing kind of thing. Technically, it was ambitious, I'll give 'em that, but they had a few sopranos who weren't ready for that kind of ambition and you could hear them, sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb-flat. Normally it was the kind of flat that would make me cringe, but I was so intrigued at this choice of arrangement that I kept listening. It was like witnessing a colossal car wreck in which nobody was injured, so you don't have the guilt that normally goes with rubbernecking. I have to say, I didn't like it, but I was still intrigued that they attempted this odd arrangement. It's just that, if you're going to work on something challenging, it shouldn't be challenging for the sake of challenging. It should work with the song, not against it. This kind of arrangement doesn't work on an anthem, much less a NATIONAL anthem, much less a national anthem that has roots in an old barroom drinking song about trying to be able to tell if we're still winning the war by whether or not you can see the flag in the distance. You need to evoke General Eisenhower for that, not President Eisenhower. So, coupled with the horribly flat soprano or two (it was only two voices wrecking it, but that's all it takes) I'll grade this an intriguing flop.
- Energee girls come out early in the first quarter and they're wearing these swingin' 60s purple and white cubic VINYL outfits smack out of In Like Flint, and did this really calculated angular dance to it. It was a great look and a great routine. It required some Swingin London/Soho/Carnaby Street jig like (to keep it contemporary) that remake of "I'm a Believer" --or anything by Smashmouth, for that matter. Instead, we get a 70s disco queen's last hurrah in the form of Donna Summer's "Bad Girls." Bad, girls.
- Even the food was incongrous, but in a positive way: BBQ Pork Nachos from the "Nothing But Nachos" stand. This should be wrong, very very wrong, but they were wonderfully wrong. Standard nacho chips, topped with fresh fixin's** like olives, tomatoes, onions, a dollop of pulled pork that's been sitting in barbecue sauce for forty days and forty nights, but then topped with that same old watered-down Velveeta-with-jalapenos nacho sauce. On paper, this was vile. In my mouth, it was delicious.
- I should have known the halftime entertainment would be wrong, as well. They did the Chevy Supershot (the gig where two fans go at it freethrowing and the winner gets to try for a new car by sinking one from half court) during a 2nd quarter timeout -- and the guy hit the rim to the gasping of the crowd. But the fact that it wasn't at halftime like it usually is should have been a red flag. And they bait us by telling us that the lights will be down for a special halftime performance. So what do we get at a sports event? A fashion show! Featuring three of "this season's hottest looks": all white ensembles, the jungle/animal print look, and basic black. Hey, Boston Store, that's not "this season's hottest looks." That's "every season's old standbys." Especially at Boston Store. When have you NOT been able to get an leopard print poncho at Boston Store? There's racks of them there, all the freaking time! Plus, the lighting was such that you couldn't really see the outfits. The spotlights were only on a few people, and they were in them briefly. The most interesting thing was the little urbanista break dance squad that was in the center court, which was totally the opposite of any of the "hottest fashions" presented here. Again, another car wreck in which nothing was injured, except my already jarred sense of aesthetics.
- Does anybody know the correct pronunciation of Indiana's Sarunas Jasikevicius' name? Our announcer kept changing it himself. You'd think he would get some kind of cue card with correct pronunciations, like Bob Costas at the Olympics. But apparently not, because he just kept experimenting -- every time Jasikevicius did something of note ("Jasikevicius for two" "Foul on Jesikevicius, his first") his name changed. I'm somewhat embarrassed, with my Eastern European lineage (Polish and Czech/Slovak), that I couldn't give you a definitive answer myself. My best attempt ends up sounding like "Jessica Vicious," as in "What would happen if Jessica Simpson married Sid Vicious?" So I left the Bradley Center last night with one final wrong pairing in my head, and now you are silently casting the remake of Sid and Nancy in your head, too. Ciao baby!
** Grammar question: How do you properly punctuate the plural of fixin'? I ask this because I want to make it perfectly clear that I know that the apostrophe is used before the letter "s" to denote the possessive, not plural. The fact that there's a lot of signmakers out there who don't know this is one of my all-time pet peeves. And the word "fixin" is not really a word. It’s a contraction of the word "fixing", but instead of it being a verb, it’s a noun to denote condiments and other sundry that go with a particular food, in this case, nachos. To denote the dropped "g" to account for the generally accepted pronunciation, you add an apostrophe. But then, to make it plural, you add an "s". So now, what is the correct thing to do: violate the apostrophe s rule by spelling it "fixin's" or violate the apostrophe to denote missing letters rule, as in "fixins"? Inquiring minds want to know.