When was the last time you went to a professional sporting event?
Chances are at the beginning of the contest, the arena’s lights were dimmed and the public address announcer screamed the team’s starting lineups at the top of his lungs. Unfortunately, that is only the beginning of the assault on your senses. Massive jumbo-tron video screens join the fray with everything from clips of the athletes themselves imploring fans to “get loud”, to classic movie scenes aimed at inspiring the masses. To me, this phenomenon, known as the “in game experience”, is nothing more than franchises admitting they need to give their customers more than just a game to justify their enormously high ticket prices. It starts the minute your ticket is checked and continues throughout the whole evening, and I for one, HATE IT!
This season, the New York Knicks have done very little on the court or in the front office, that would be considered praiseworthy. This past Sunday at Madison Square Garden however, they tried something I would have risen to my feet for and given them a standing ovation. Just before the festivities between the Knickerbockers and Golden State Warriors were about to begin, a bombshell was announced, via their jumbo-tron nonetheless:
Photo: Frank Isola Twitter (@FisolaNYDN)
Wow, for an entire half of basketball, those in attendance were going to have to watch an NBA game, featuring some of “the Leagues” top gladiators (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, etc.), without the “benefit” of in-game music, video or other entertainment. Oh, perish the thought! As a rule, the World’s Most Famous Arena entertains its fans with music during and between possessions of games, and other forms of in-game entertainment from the video scoreboard, so this was groundbreaking for its regulars. The whole idea was noble; allowing fans to “experience the game in its purest form., and enjoy the sounds of the game”. I LOVE IT! There was only one problem though, in taking away all of the loud nonsense and flashy videos, people were forced to actually watch the home team play! Yes, Knicks fans had to watch Knicks players guard NO ONE! The team’s abject aversion toward playing any semblance of defense was on full display, and that is not good for business. So, what to me was a good try in this day and age, backfired because the team unfortunately is unpalatable without flashing lights and blaring music to distract you from it.
And that is My 2 Sense for this week.