GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

An Experience To Remember

As I dropped Petey off at the bus stop this morning on his way to California, the last thing he said to me was:

"Please Greek House, if there's one thing I beg you to do, it is to never ever post a 2,100 word blog again."

Ok Petey, I won't. After last nights game, I have probably enough material to do it again, but I'll cut it into several blogs to be posted over the coming week. I had planned to do an analysis of the Wolves struggles thus far, and to talk about the Sonics and how they're better than we thought they'd be at the beginning of the season, but not as good as you think. Instead, I'll focus on atmosphere from the game from last night. It was certainly an incredible and unique experience to be that close to the court.

The game itself was terrible. The Sonics came out and pretty much made every shot they took for the first three quarters. Radmonovic hit his first six shots and only missed one in the first half. Seattle seemingly couldn't miss a 3-point shot for the entire game. They ended up shooting 10-15 from 3 point range through the first three quarters and brought their 3 point percentage for the game down to 52%, going 0-4 in the fourth quarter. However, by the time they decided to start missing, the game was pretty much over. I spent most of the 4th quarter trying to figure out who that goofy looking red-headed guy was, and whether Nate McMillan was going to put him in.

We showed up at the game about 45-minutes before tip-off. Our seats weren't actually in the second row, but in row "B". We we in the second row of stadium seating, and there were four rows of folding chair in front of us, plus the scorers table. We were fairly close to center court, with our seats at about the top of the three-point arc behind the Sonics bench.

One of the things that struck me about being that close was the intimacy of the experience. I saw Wolves announcers Tom Hanneman and Jim Peterson doing their pregame stuff and felt like I could go right up to them and say "what's up?" if I wanted to. One of the things that people have talked about after the whole Pistons/Pacers brawl, is possibly getting rid of court side seats. Although I don't think they'll actually do it, it would be a huge mistake by the league to do it. One of the great and novel things about the NBA is the ability to get that close to the players, and I would hate to see them give that up.

About 25 or so before the game started, the Sonics came out and started shoot around, with the Timberwolves coming on shortly thereafter. Getting a chance to see these guys up close and personal was really amazing. I mean, these guys are HUGE! I was especially impressed with Kandi's physique. Then he started playing, and I ceased to be impressed.

When the game started up, watching it was a completely different experience that I was used to. Being up close like that, you can really tell that the court is just too small for these guys, and the speed of the game is incredible. Watching the games on TV or from the rafters just doesn't do it justice. Again, being so close really provided a sense of intimacy. You could hear all the sounds of the game. When somebody started yelling on the court, we could hear them. I was able to look over the shoulder of the Sonics and try and figure out what kind of play McMillan was drawing up.

Through most of the game, the Timberwolves dance team would come out and entertain us during the breaks. Being as close as we were, it was really easy to see just how little they were wearing. On multiple occasions, I had to slap Pete to get him to stop staring. At some point during the third quarter, they started throwing Taco Bell t-shirts into the crowd. I was trying as hard as I could to try and get them to throw me one. Eventually, they did, but it was a little bit to the left and the guy next to me got it. I was so distraught about not getting it, it took me a second to notice that there was another one that had just landed at my feet. I bent over and tried to pick it up, but missed, then tried again and got it. Anybody who knows about my affinity for Taco Bell knows how much having a Taco Bell/Timberwolves t-shirt means to me.

After a while, the game (mercifully) ended. It's always disappointing when they lose, but I was still glad to have had the experience. It will probably be years before I get a chance at seats that good again. Last night, I went to the twolves website to see what the best seats available were to several upcoming games. I did see a couple of courtside seats to the upcoming Raptors game for the low price of $590 each. However, other than this, I couldn't find a single game which had seats closer than row U.

Then, I woke up early this morning and started playing poker and watching sports center. Eventually, they got to the highlights from the game and at the end, they showed a couple of Sonics in slo-mo (like they often do at the end of highlights). However, as I was watching something in the background caught my eye. There was Petey! He was all out of focus, but it was definitely him. I didn't quite make the cut, as I was just to Petey's left and was barely cut out of the picture. Oh well, at least one of us made it!