Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hawks' Blog Night

Originally posted to on February 5, 2007

First of all, big thanks need to go out to my boy Micah over at the Hawks, who hooked us up and made us feel important for a couple hours. I’m actually really looking forward to this. It’s Monday night and I’m missing 24 and Heroes (Thank God I have a DV-R!), so that can tell you how stoked I am for this. I’ve had a tour of the facilities, a bunch of free food and drink and I’m in a private box at the top of Philips Arena (I’m actually closer to the rafters than I am to the floor right now). But Philips is a great place to watch a sporting event so I’m not upset at all.

Pre-game thoughts:
This is my first Kobe Bryant-experience…he’ll probably go for 80 tonight. This is my first Hawks experience. I’m electric right now. The Hawks’ starters were just announced. Is the NBA the only place where a grown man can actually be announced to the public as “J-Smoove” and everyone in the room will take him completely seriously? Apparently so.

First Quarter Begins:
– Alley-oop dunk! This place really is The Highlight Factory! Thank goodness basketball games have announcers, though, because if I had been relying on the fans “roar” I would have never known that we scored.

6:13 – Another alley-up dunk. The fans liked it this time…and now we have six points! Whoo hoo! We’re scoring a point a minute.

5:31 – First official timeout…a sideline reporter? You know how I feel about them. Unfortunately, the in-arena sideline reporters are even worse than the TV sideline reporters. This is just painful to watch.

But hey, Bow Wow makes a cameo at tonight’s game. Other celebs in attendance include Martin Lawrence, Ludacris and…Tim Allen??? Every blogger in this box just looks terribly confused right now.

3:38 – Laker’s timeout…first A-Town Dancers sighting. If your hair doesn’t touch your lower back then you can’t be on the team. Bonus points go to those girls whose hair is more than one color.

Josh Childress hits his free-throws to post the Hawks’ 7th and 8th points. We’re nine minutes in.

2:27 – Hawks’ tie it at 10 on a ZaZa Pachulia lay-up. If you can’t get excited about routing for a guy named “Zaza” then you might as well go home.

End of 1st Q: Laker 16 – Hawks 14…this is “professional basketball,” right?

Second Quarter Begins:
11:22 – We open up with, what else? An alley-oop dunk. Six of our sixteen have come via alley-oops. HIGHLIGHT FACTORY!!!

7:31 – Sheldon Williams is at the line and he just doesn’t look the same when he’s not wearing the Duke blue. Plus, he’s got to get rid of the armor he’s wearing on his right arm. He looks ridiculous.

Okay, I just spotted Tim Allen down at courtside. Let me just jump out there and let you know how much I enjoyed Home Improvement back in its hay-day. The fact that you can catch reruns of this show during the mid-day TBS schedule speaks volumes.

Hawks’ scratch to within three after Childress hits his free-throws. Childress has spent more time at the line than Tim Allen…what?...too soon? Lakers 28-25.

2:42 – A Hawks’ time-out yields the classic montage of home-made videos of people getting cracked in the groin…it doesn’t get any better than this.

1:24 – The mega-tron suggests the crowd “scream,” “shout,” and “get loud.” The crowd responds with their overwhelming silence.

:43.3 – The 13 year-olds can’t understand how Childress misses a lay-up. They are astonished.

:00 HALFTIME; Lakers 40 – 31. Wow. We’re on pace to score 62. I don’t know what to say.

The Halftime show? None other than “Rubber Boy.” You know, the guy that can stuff himself into the 1-foot by 2-foot glass box...this is disturbing on so many levels. I think I need a break anyway.

Note: I’m taking the second half off from the diary to make some general observations and to just sit back and enjoy the game.

This city simply amazes me sometimes. Joe Johnson and Kobe Bryant just went back-and-forth exchanging three-pointers and the crowd roared each time the ball went through the basket. I have now decided that the average NBA fan simply routes for whoever is playing well at the time. That being said, the only thing that I hate about Atlanta (and I mean it, this is the ONLY thing that I hate) is that it seems like almost everyone is a fan of the “other team.” Maybe everyone is from another city originally or maybe it’s just “fashionable” to cheer for the Lakers. Either way, it disgusts me. We live in Atlanta, people!

Anyhow, the game just came to an end. Lakers take it, 90-83. I’ll tell you what – the people for Atlanta Spirit put on a darn good show. It’s a shame that the fans don’t appreciate it. I’d say at least (and I really don’t think that this is an exaggeration) 50% of the evening’s crowd showed up AFTER the tip. Maybe it’s because the Hawks aren’t finished putting together their product like the Thrashers are. Maybe in a few years the Hawks will be making a playoff run and the fans will show up to support the team. Until then…consider me an NBA fan now. I am going to have to start doing my homework and keeping up with the NBA.

The team may not have been able to handle Kobe and the boys but my Hawks’ Night was a winner.

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