“I like Slam dunks take me to the hoop
My favorite play is the alley oop
I like the pick-and-roll, I like the give-and-go,
Cause it's Basketball, uh, Mister Kurtis Blow”
- Kurtis Blow. Song “We’re Playing Basketball”
The best part of St. Patrick’s/Evacuation Day is that it was finally time for me to see the Celtics-Knicks game as an early birthday present. These were the best seats I’d ever had – we were in row G, seven rows behind the basket. I’d never been in horizontal seating. When I used to see the Knicks in New York, the seats we could afford were up so high; they were practically vertical. I’ve sat in the last row for a few games. George and Weezy may have moved on up, but with basketball seating, the trick is to move on down.
Going to the Irish city of Boston to see a basketball game played by a green team (with a leprechaun for a mascot) against an historic rival, I expected to see some pretty fantastic getups. I was not disappointed. Besides virtually everyone being dressed in emerald, there were many painted faces, from masks of green and white to sparkly green clovers. Green and white striped hats were standard. For the occasion, banners with “Go Celtics” on one side and “D (picture of a fence)” were handed out to all attendees. It was a festive atmosphere. But nothing prepared me for two women sitting in the first row, just six rows ahead of me.
I’m afraid that my hastily snapped photos don’t do them justice. Their getups were more impressive from the front, but I didn’t want to be obvious. Also, because the pictures aren’t crisp, I think you’re missing the full effect – from short-shorts to bustiers to gold tights to fishnets to towering high heels.
The couple in front of us kept distracting me. The man had homemade lettered tattoos that ran up each forearm. My husband thought the right arm was written in Chinese characters, but I couldn’t read he left arm and I think that one was in English. I would've taken a picture, but I was worried that he'd gotten them in prison.
His woman was the one who was really distracting. She took photos and video the entire first quarter. Since she was my height (short), holding her arms to snap and record kept blocking my view. It was so constant that she drained her batteries, and so she left to buy more.
I couldn’t see the point of watching the game through a lens. And after a few pictures, you can prove to everyone that you were close enough the mop the sweat off of Kevin Garnett’s brow (If you can reach that high). My advice would be to just use the DVR at home. And with the basketball stand and backboard partially obstructing the view, how good were the pictures anyway? By the beginning of the second quarter, I could take it no more, so I said in my nicest voice, “Do you mind keeping you hands down a little? It’s a bit distracting.” She stopped for the rest of the game.
The funny part about sitting near the court is that you get to see all the action. The Cambridge City Dancers, little girls dressed up as princesses, and some green-faced hip-hop dancing young boys and girls came in and out just rows in front of those seats. Sitting near the court also meant that I could get a good view of the players, coach Doc Rivers, and former NBA star Walt Clyde Frazier, who may be the most entertaining commentator EVER. Some of my favorite lines:
“He’s swishing and dishing.”
“Five minutes is an eternity in the NBA.”
“Five seconds is an eternity in the NBA.”
Walt Clyde is awesome. One of things I miss most about living in New York, is having the MSG channel so I could listen to him during games. Please see this link for quotes, a commentating clip, and one of his fancy suits:
Being close to the court also means that you can see when the camera crew plans to shoot the audience for the JumboTron. This also means that people in the audience in outrageous clothing jump up and perform every time they see that camera nearby. One such couple sat one row over and about three seats to the right. They got shot a couple of times. Why people want to dance like fools to get on camera, I have no idea, but they’re fun to watch.
The JumboTron in itself is entertainment. I saw a woman napping, a little boy who had moves like Michael Jackson, an older gentleman with white hair and a bushy beard, who was dressed like Chevy Chase on the TV show "Community" getting down.
By the third quarter, it was clear that the Celtics would have to implode to lose the game. (Sadly, this actually happens a lot this season.) At some point they were ahead by 29 or 31 points. One of the things I liked about the seats is that on my side, the Celtics would be playing defense in the first half, but offense during the second half. I was ecstatic that I’d get to see my favorites – Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce shooting for the latter part of the game. But the Celtics were so far ahead that the BIG 3 were pulled out by the fourth-quarter. I guess it was a small price to pay to see my team win.
In the last quarter, Boston Garden has been showing a clip from the TV show “American Bandstand” from the seventies, where people are dancing to the song “You should be Dancing” by the Bee Gees. If the outfits, the dancing, and the hair aren’t enough to make you laugh, there's Gino. I don’t know if that’s his name or it's just happens to be on his t-shirt. Throughout the song, they veer from showing the clip, the audience at Boston Garden, and Gino. Gino gets the most laughs.
Here’s the one from the game I was at:
Here’s one with a wider view of the Boston Garden:
The game ended with the Celtics winning. As my husband and I exited Boston Garden around 10:15pm, I overheard a goal-oriented gentleman declare, “We have four more hours to get drunk!”
The green line (fitting for the day) took a long time to arrive. Once we got on the train, I sat near a young redheaded woman relaying a problem with her man to her friend.
She wanted to text him to tell him about a guy she saw, but, as she said, “I’m not that girl.”
She was not going to be the one to call him because, as she explained, “I’m not that girl.”
She was going to give the cell phone to her friend to stop herself from calling because, as she repeated, “I’m not that girl.”
After the sixth declaration, I couldn’t look at my husband or I would’ve started cracking up. By the time we arrived at Lechmere Station, I lost count of how many times she made that assertion. As we exited the train, my husband said, “She is that girl!”
If I’d stayed in Boston to take part in the four more hours of drinking, I’m sure I would’ve had even better quotes and pictures, but my alarm was again set for 5:25 am.
Sitting close to the action was a nice splurge. For my next Big Birthday, I'm hoping for seats at center court.