Sunday, January 24, 2010

Populist Hoopla for Hoops


Squad 6
Originally uploaded by V'ron
Well, if you're going to only hit one or two games a year (as opposed to as many as I used to go to, back when I had a full time permanent job), you might as well hit a a blowout like the Bucks served up tonight. I daresay, it was almost BOR-ing when the score got to be Bucks up by 20 (and that was by halftime), but you know me. I don't go just for the game itself, even though I could be happy just watching the game.

I know we're halfway through the season, but this is my first game this year, so, bear with me while I run through the kinds of things I would have commented on during the first few games. And that starts off with the pre-game hoopla. It was refreshingly toned down, instead of some ridiculous barrage befitting the first game of the playoffs; no, this was more tones down, and very populist in nature. Even the jumbotron montage was less about flash, and featured photos of fans arriving in the stadium, along with the Bucks themselves suiting up. There's no bombastic heavy metal or rap music -- rather there's "Bucks Wild Drumline" out there, sounding like a high school marching band, providing a basic beat. It's reasonable, not out of control, and it makes the anticipation for the game believable. The Energee Girls seem to have toned down the sluttieness, and pumped up the athleticism, too, which was refreshing to see.

But the fun thing to watch, of course, is good 'ol Squad 6 -- the section of fans organized by No 6 Andrew Bogut -- to specifically keep a promise to be on their feet and rowdy all night. their populist feel spread through the stadium. It's marketing genius. People want to be a part of it, and the rowdyness evokes a feel that's part hockey fans (every time the Mn Timberwolves' Kevin Love shot a free throw, they'd belt out the chorus to that J Geils Band song, "Love Stinks!") and part soccer supporters (especially toward the end, when you'd hear "Olay, Olay Olay Olay"). It especially brought to mind soccer fans as the Bucks' multinational makeup was represented by the flags of Argentina, Turkey, Austrailia, and the good ol USA being waved about.

Anthem tonight from some church choir singer named Dan Forness. Forness has a lovely voice, and he hit the notes perfectly and evenly, almost effortlessly. Only criticism I have here is that it almost came out like a lullaby, it was so sweet and gentle. And get this, halftime "entertainment" was a demo from Jazzercise. That's right. We got to watch an aerobics class. I finished a set of nachos while Stella tried to pick up some WiFi on her Nintendo DS, but to no avail. She can sure multitask, though. One minute, she's playing Pokemon, the next, she's a hair away from catching a T-Shirt. Best part of halftime was the half court shooting contest. The guy who won the chance to attempt a shot from half court (and thus win $10K from Potowatomi Casino) came this close to hitting it; his shot bounced off the rim and almost fell in. Even Bango was disappointed.

Oh, the GAME. What made the game not boring was that it was fun to watch some slick moves on the part of the team, especially in the first quarter when they came out like gangbusters and by the time they'd made mush of some Minnesota turnovers, the steam had been blown out of the MN team just like the Vikings had done to the Cowboys last week. Yeah, they messed up a lot (especially Delfino), but they turned it around a lot too (especially Delfino). After the game, Stella and I had an invitation to have our picture taken with Ersan Ilyasova, the not-so-young Turk. I kind of felt sorry for the nice Bucks' representative girl who offered to take the picture. I keep forgetting that with this young crowd, most have never seen, much less operated a camera that acually uses a viewfinder, instead of a preview window. "It's not on," she said, after I'd handed her my DSLR, turning into Portrait side and telling her simply, "Standard camera, halfway down to focus, all the way to shoot." I confirmed it was in program mode and then it dawned on me: "Oh,yeah, this is an SLR. That's a review screen, not a preview screen. Look through this thing right here....". She did a fine job anyway, and now Stella can go to bed secure in the knowledge that Sammy's not the only V'ron offspring that got to meet a famous athlete. In the meantime, I'm futzing with my camera on the way out, wondering, have I really gotten this old?

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