Ace reporter bordelais7 has just now arrived home from Saturday's game. Traffic here sucks. A few notes:
- It's a good thing that attendance is down. There is NO WAY that any of the people sitting around us would have been able to squeeze into just one seat.
- Gheorghe Muresan was signing autographs before the game about 5 rows in front of us. Fat lady in front of us who had just arrived at her seat with THREE orders of nachos -- all for herself -- said "he'd better sit his *** down so we can see this game"! I agree: he was annoyingly tall.
- Mentioned this in the game thread. Jazz rushed on to the court for warm-ups to a smattering of applause from people wearing various Utah-related shirts. Enes tries to tear off his warmups superhero/stripper-style, but fails to get it off completely and gets tangled up and almost trips. Hayward grabs a ball and pulls up for an 18-footer, which clanks off the side of the rim. Foye pulls up behind Hayward's spot at the 3-point line and airballs his shot. The first two layups are then missed. I chuckle, knowing that there's no way that this is an indication of how the first 7 minutes of the game will go.
- National Anthem sung by a safety patrol from a local elementary school. About 6 or 7 kids and one adult in a security uniform. Fat lady to the left of us who had a boyfriend that was 1/5th her size commented "that officer carried that choir". Nacho lady agrees: "those kids were horrible". To be fair, they were pretty off.
- Player introductions lacked energy, but the crowd still was able to muster up enough will to cheer their players and to boo...their players. Millsap is regarded as some sort of all-star and is given a lot of respect. Even the play-by-play guys who were on the jumbotron in the pre-game called Paul "the NBA's most underrated player".
- Wizards do that stupid thing were all the fans are supposed to stand until their team scores a basket. Fat guy next to me informs me that "we usually stand for awhile". This time it only lasted a few minutes, which was a welcome fact as all of my neighboring fans were gasping for air after all of that standing and not eating nachos.
- I'm glad I didn't have to stand until the Jazz scored
- Midway through the first quarter, Fat Guy remarks "this looks like the Wizards playing against themselves".
- Wizards hold a sizable lead, but none of the fans are fooled. This is the most self-deprecating crowd I've ever seen. And I've been in the chat room. Every basket their team makes is "lucky", and they all know this won't last.
- Ambivalence turns to focused hatred as Hayward checks in. They DESPISE Hayward -- because he is white. "Here comes the white boy". Every call he gets is "because he's white". Hayward makes a wide-open 3, and the justification is that no one bothered guarding him because he is white and they would have just had a foul called on them anyways. Ironically, Vesely can't get a call because "he's tall". Hayward eventually checks back out and everyone goes back to not caring.
- "Who the **** is 'Carroll'?"
- Midway through the second, Nacho Lady's friend finally arrives to the game, armed with nacho reinforcements. The friend is large enough that Bordy Jr's view is completely eclipsed. After a few minutes we decide to leave section 105 and we settle in at section 211 where the fans are less large, less stupid, less entertaining, and less...there.
- Once firmly settled in our new section, I notice that the Wizards have dancers. They are positioned in runways on two of the corners, where no one can see them. They make brief appearances on court during timeouts, and then back to their trench. This is really a shame. They are the best product the organization has to offer (it's not the players, and it's for sure not the Anthem singers) and they're hidden in some back alley.
- I haven't had a chance to look over Corbin's way much, but I'm pretty sure I see him pacing and mulling over which substitution pattern he can devise to maximize the pissing off of Jazzfanz.com users.
- Guy participating in one of the timeout promos -- the bowling slingshot -- falls off his ride before even getting to the pins. Fan next to me says "he pulled a 'Wizard'". Jazz fans, especially at this time of the year, be grateful for what you have.
- Fans are absolutely in love with Carroll by this point.
- Hayward checks back in. I glance down at section 105 and nacho cheese-stained fists are raised in anger. Section 211 is unphased, and is more concerned with how someone as horrible as Jefferson is scoring so easily. As a side note, the media promos for this game were "Come see Al Jefferson and the Utah Jazz come to town!" One of the local radio shows this morning spent a good half hour mocking the fact that anyone would get excited to go out to see Al Jefferson, much less the rest of the Jazz.
- Dancers come out throwing free Chipotle burritos into the crowd, one of which lands RIGHT WHERE WE WERE SITTING IN THE FIRST HALF. Awful tactics on my part. To be fair, the burrito was decimated before it even hit the ground. As if a pack of nacho-deprived obese hyenas had descended upon it, clawing at it desperately with their awkwardly thick claws. As if.
- "I can't believe we're going to lose to the Jazz. The JAZZ!" Yeah. Respect.
- Verizon Center MVP: Marvin Williams. The Wizards suck so bad that normal promotions just don't cut it. Free Burger King when your team scores over 100? That's not ever going to happen. So they've lowered the bar. If the opposing team misses both free throws in a trip to the line in the fourth quarter, free Chick-fil-A sandwiches for all! Twice we were teased with a missed first free throw -- the crowd rising to their feet (or at least removing their face from their nachos). Then, finally, Marvin delivered. The stadium erupted in grease-anticipating delight. The loudest the arena has been since they were the Bullets. Section 105 was dancing -- well, lifting their feet anyway -- like they'd just won the lottery. And they had. PA announcer joins in on the fun. Fans of all ages began shamelessly digging through all of the waste bins for ticket stubs. Jazz bench and players looks confused, especially since they had grabbed the offensive rebound off the miss.
- Guy next to me: "I'm not sure there's a reason to come to any more games. We just hit our highest point: Free Chick-fil-a!"
- I hope the safety patrol didn't get any free sandwiches. They don't deserve any.
And there you have it. I hope this analysis gave you some good insight into our team's strengths and weaknesses.
That was much better than the game itself.