The good Dr.’s last post, coupled with my attendance at the Wizards-Pistons game last Saturday, has gotten me thinking about spectatorship.
The first half was high-scoring and competitive (thanks largely to The Black President), the cheerleaders were more bare than not, an amateur Jumbotron star collided scrotum-first with a railing, and yet the rest of us seemed drowsy and disinterested as if from overeating. Meanwhile, far below us, the season-ticket and corporate strata of the “sell-out” crowd were thinned by the holiday weekend.
Part of the lethargy of regular-season professional indoor major sporting events is proximity. Like it's impossible to board a plane and not think at least once about a terrorist hijacking, it’s impossible to watch an NBA game from the upper deck and not think to oneself, I’d have a better view if I were home watching the action on television. The 400 level at an NBA game isn’t like baseball bleachers; these people aren’t out to drink, tan, and bellow. There’s no pride in sitting in Section 403. We squinted down at the show, out of range of the cameras and t-shirt cannons. We found it difficult to appreciate the authenticity of the moment.
In fact, even as I mumbled Flip Murray analysis to my sister, I felt more have-not at that game than I have in a while. At least on an airplane I know most of the rest of the plane is taken up by coach-class schlubs like myself. At least in my five-year-old sedan sometimes I make the light and the Jag doesn’t. Sitting in 403 is like going to a fancy restaurant when you know you’ll have to order pasta marinara and ice water.
Not so, I’d guess, at the cyclo-cross race. David Stern’s pro product bummed me out in a way cold mud and BYOB never could. Plus, there’s a chance to see your friend lose to a nine-year-old.
(On the other hand, if Anson got to see Predators and Wings, I think he enjoyed it no matter where he was sitting.)