Friday, March 17, 2006

I love this game*

Tomorrow the Bulls play the Miami Heat, and I'm going to the game.
Sure, Bulls games aren't as exciting as they were during the Jordan years, but
that sure hasn't stopped the team from jacking up ticket prices to astronomical levels.
Even so, the face value on my four tickets on the main floor, a few rows back, equaled what I
paid for one and a half tickets back in the championship playoff runs, so I guess I cannot complain.

The Bulls will be wearing a "special alternate" jersey, in a St. Patrick's Day theme, Green with black letters and white trim.
The NBA has three teams wearing special green St. Patty's day jerseys this weekend.
The Bulls, The New York Knicks, and the Boston Celtics.
I know what you're thinking, "don't the Celtics ALREADY wear green jerseys?" Yes, they do.
But apparently these are different.
Of course. They have those Notre Dame-esque gold numerals.
At first I was cynical about these obvious marketing-driven uniform choices. I blame the Chicago White Sox for all of this. A few years back, to capitalize on their "south side Irish" fan mentality, they donned kelly green jerseys and hats for a spring training game. Now, nearly half the teams in baseball, a few hockey clubs, and now the NBA have followed suit. The freaking CUBS even released green gear this year. To top it off, St. Patrick's Day is my least favorite "holiday", especially lately, since it's become basically a weeklong celebration in this Irish-heavy city.
It's easy to crank about uniform changes that are so obviously targeted at fans' wallets.
But then I happened to see a few kids checking out the new shirts at a sporting goods store the other day.
"Cool. Sweet. These are nice."

It's not the old days anymore. The Yankees and their consistent pinstripes with navy cap are the exception, not the rule. Times change. Our attention spans shorten. New togs are a way to keep you interested in seasons that are too long, games that might otherwise be rendered meaningless. It's just window dressing, it's no statement on our culture. Kids today grow up on video games, and alternate jerseys. They like new color combos. It ain't all bad.

It'll be interesting to see how much actual basketball is even noticed at the game tomorrow, between all the * hip hop music, sound effects, videos, doughnut races, cheerleaders, wacky interactive fan games, mascot shenanigans, and half-court shot contests. In a way I feel partially responsible for the jazzing up of sporting events. At least, for a time in its infancy, I was an active participant, as the first DJ in Major League Baseball, for the Chicago White Sox. More on that at my website,

More on the NBA later.


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