Friday, June 10, 2011

4 comments Dos and Don'ts of NBA Courtside Seats

We’ve seen it far too often in the NBA. Corporate elites married to their blackberries occupy the best seats in the house, relegating the beer-drinking, obnoxiously chanting fans to the inaudible back corners of the arena. At first it brought tears to my eyes, watching the heart of the NBA, the fans, being pushed away from the action. But now that it’s an undeniable facet of every NBA arena, we have to accept it.

In Game 4 of the Celtics-Knicks series, I had the honor of sitting in the third row thanks to a lucky, last second invite. To this day, I’ve never heard the Garden louder than that afternoon. But those who sat near me nearly ruined the moment because there’s a certain fanhood etiquette that was ignored. After strolling in with my John Starks Jersey, Knicks shorts and blue and orange shoes, I felt like Chris Bosh. Disrespected and uncomfortable. No one else besides my friends was wearing Knicks garb, let alone the orange Knicks shirt handed out for free to all fans at the gate. When Paul Pierce flopped to the ground, I offered to bring him a wheelchair. To which the guy in the suit sitting in front of me turned and said, “what does that mean?” When Anthony Carter, of all people, threw the Knicks rancid carcass over his shoulder and sliced the lead to four, someone else uttered, “who the hell is this guy?”

Game 3 of this year's finals was no different. When Mike Miller dove into the stands to save a loose ball, he crushed an entourage of suit-wearing, uninterested observers. When J.J. Barea got knocked back into the first row, it spilled the drink of a fan onto the court, causing an extended delay. And in this moment, Jeff Van Gundy touched on these clear violations of courtside decorum, demanding that no fan so near to the court possess an open liquid container. So that got me thinking: what are some others dos and don’ts of the sought-after courtside seat?

1. Heckle, heckle, heckle – We’ve all been there – fans screaming hilarious insults that ultimately fall on deaf ears because the court is too far away. As much as someone would like to ask Juwan Howard whether his goatee is older than J.J. Barea, it can’t be done unless the seating is appropriate. In the front row, you have that distinguished honor and opportunity. So don’t blow it. Don’t give me one of those run of the mill “you suck, player X.” Reference something dumb he did, said, etc. Tell LeBron not to worry: Delonte has a girlfriend now. Ask Greg Oden about World War II. Whatever it is, just make it clever.

2. Engage the refs in a positive manner – Remember that they can negatively affect the outcome if they feel like it (see the Joey Crawford/Tim Duncan relationship for proof). Instead, partake in some playful banter. If they don’t respond, leave it alone. Don’t be the ***hole who pissed off the refs. If by the end of the game you have determined that they performed less than admirably, feel free to unleash your full arsenal of Tim Donaghy jokes after the final buzzer.

3. Don’t start chants – You’ll just look stupid. Leave it up to the drunk people behind you. Your surrounding brethren will not follow your lead, trust me. You’ll just be that raving idiot who won’t sit down and shut up. Not a good look.

4. Never take a bathroom break – Even if your bladder is about to explode. If you come back during play, you’ll enrage the crowd. And don’t forget about the trickle down effect. If it’s not the front row, you’ll force everyone to stand up to let you through. People already hate you for having better seats, so don’t abuse the privilege.

5. Don’t carry an open drink - Bring a bottle top with you. Seriously. Or at least chug it when you get it. The point is, don’t interrupt the game for millions. Your soda (well, I would hope that it’s a beer) is not more important than an NBA game. Sorry.


Helping Out said...

Re your Paul Pierce incident and "Heckle, heckle, heckle": Dylan, someone has to tell you this, so why not a total stranger?

The reason the guy asked you what your comment meant wasn't because he was some suit-wearing, out-of-touch non-fan. It's because you're not funny. Greg Odom and WWII? That whole tortured attempt you made to come up with one-liners made you seem like a poor man's Bill Simmons (and I'm not a Simmons fan).

I get the feeling that you're the douche in whatever section I'm in, making the game about him. Protip: the players don't care, the refs don't care, the other fans don't care. Who are you doing this for? Answer: yourself.

I blame your parents for raising you as some special snowflake that requires constant attention. Moving forward, consider just shutting up and watching the game, or staying at home and delighting your friends with your "hilarious" open-mic-might-quality comedy.

Your lack of self-awareness suggests you must be in your early 20s. If so, there's still hope for you. Ideally, a soul-crushing, mediocre future will beat your narcissism out of you.

You can spell and construct good sentences, tho. Try not to make them about yourself.

Dylan said...

Very helpful, I must say.

Bengoodfella said...

So in summation Dylan, your anonymous heckling of Paul Pierce was not funny and was you being a douchebag. The anonymous heckling you just received was intended to be helpful and constructive.

While I do appreciate feedback, probably in this instance b/c it wasn't directed at me, I think with the Greg Oden comment it is important to remember Bill Simmons didn't invent the Greg Oden "He's old" joke. He did popularize it I guess. But I don't think Simmons has a patent on a Greg Oden joke, so I am not sure it was a conscious effort to copy him.

Every snowflake is supposedly unique, so if Dylan's parents did raise him as a special snowflake then they got that part right.

rich said...

Helping Hand, someone has to tell you this, so why not a total stranger?

Just because you don't find something funny, doesn't make it not funny. I personally find the Odom and LeBron jokes funny. The whole tortured attempt you made to come up with a reason to post on a blog makes you seem like a poor man's Rick Reilly (and he's just awful).

I get the feeling that you're the douchebag in whatever section I am, making the game not fun. Protip: I didn't spend 100 bucks to go to the game, sip Chardonney and talk about how my stocks are doing.

I blame your wife for removing your testicles and ensuring that you never have a moment of fun ever again. Moving forward, remember how you were in your mid-20's and realize that you are now that old guy who tried to tell you to stop having fun.

Your lack of a world outside of your own opinion suggests to me that you must be over 35. If so, I understand. Your mediocre life beat the fun out of you.

You can and construct sentences well, though. Try to not make them sound like you have sand in your vagina.