Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Let’s Get Ridiculous

Last night Vera Valmore and I went to see the Charlotte Hornets play the Milwaukee Bucks.

Was our first game since the team dropped the Bobcats name to reclaim the old Hornets nick. Of course, we couldn’t help but be reminded of the Bobcats early on when Charlotte missed 16 straight shots in the first quarter (including several open, close-range ones) to fall behind by more than 20. They were down 17 at the half, then finally hit a few and made some stops to cut the lead to seven after three.

They then completed the comeback in the fourth to take the lead by two during the final minute, but the Bucks tied it to send the game to OT. Sadly the Hornets appeared to have expended all of their energy making the comeback, and never competed in the extra period to lose by 10.

Our lower level seats were fantastic, though, and we enjoyed every minute of the game despite the frustrating performance of the home team. Time Warner Cable Arena was packed, too, and the fans were enjoying all of the noise and craziness during every timeout, including the constant firing of t-shirt cannons, parachutes dropping Xbox games (pictured below), the “Bongo Cam,” the dancing of the Honeybees (the Charlotte cheerleaders), the blaring of “Rock and Roll (Part 2),” the Rocky theme, and other anthems, and so on.

There was one sequence in which the soundtrack pounding through the timeout was Redfoo’s dance hit from last year “Let’s Get Ridiculous,” which prompted a lot of fun silliness on the big screen. Heck, whenever bald-headed Bucks coach Jason Kidd would walk out on the floor amid the Honeybees and pulsating beats, I thought for a moment I was watching a Pitbull video.

It’s almost odd, if you think about it, how the loudest cheers and greatest excitement for many at such events are not responses to the actual game, but to the extracurricular activities. Some talk about “sportifying” poker, but meanwhile sports are being turned into something other than what they once were (although I can’t come up with a clever gerund to describe it). Still fun, though, and there’s something undeniably cool about seeing lots of kids dancing and laughing their way through an evening out with the family.

Driving home Vera and I chose not to play the radio, enjoying the quiet after what had been two-and-a-half hours of nonstop sensory overload.

Games weren’t always that way. I thought a little about how the filling of every moment with music and distractions was like other aspects of our lives today where the constant checking of phones for Facebook or Twitter updates, channel-flipping, web-surfing, and so on leaves zero “down time” regardless of one’s activity.

Made me think as well about playing poker and the often pleasurable, unhurried rhythm of that game -- I’m referring primarily to live poker, although even online one doesn’t have to play 16 tables or “fast-fold” games or turbos all the time.

It’s fun to get ridiculous sometimes. Fun, too, to slow down once in a while.

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