Friday, March 19, 2010

Celtics, Walt Clyde & Gino

The lighting is bad and I don't know why I'm clenching my fists. Itching for a fight?

“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.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like you had a great time. I'm a little jealous. :) Have a good weekend.

  2. Thanks, Sarahjayne. I was thrilled when I found the exact Gino from the St. Pat's game. You have a good weekend too.

  3. What an awesome experience! I loved looking at those pictures. It's been so long since I've seen a real basketball game. And never the Celtics. I need a life! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through this great post.

  4. Hi Theresa Milstein!

    I haven't a CLUE about basketball - not one! I used to be made to play netball but it really wasn't a sport for someone just over 5 ft! LOL!!

    But don't you look fetching in your green... methinks the fist was to bop that rude woman in front of you!!! How rude! Glad you had great seats though - close enough to see the action and feel the great vibe!

    Btw, it's not your birthday yet is it? :-)

    But you gals and guys across the ocean seem to make more of St Paddy's day than here in London - well there was a big party/parade thingy last Sunday but all in all pretty muted!

    I do agree though about those two girls - the yellow tights and green tops and short-shorts! LOL! Yowza!

    Not to worry, I'm not that kind of girl!


    Take care

  5. You have the Boston Celtics, We have the Orlando Magic! The show is both on and off the court. Love it!
    Happy Birthday in advance.

  6. I'm glad you had fun! I live about an hour from Boston in Derry, NH, so I go down there a lot for events and I love the cultural aspects of the city.

  7. Roxy, it's so much fun. No other sport is so action-packed and high scoring. You should go!

    Old Kitty, I don't think basketball has caught on throughout Europe. We have a friend from England who became a big fan, and he missed seeing the games when he moved back. Now he lives in Toronto, so he gets to see the Raptors.

    I'm glad that you're not that girl. My husband said I got the quote wrong, so I just changed it on the post.

    One week 'til the Big One.

    Thanks - the coat is actually a kelly green, but came out much lighter in the picture.

    We do make a big deal of St. Pat's - maybe second to Ireland. An old friend from high school lives in Ireland and said that fights broke out in her area.

    Choices, The Magic got pretty far last year. I wanted them to beat the Cavaliers in the playoffs, since they beat the Celtics. There's nothing like a live game.

    Thanks for the early birthday wish.

    Aubrie, I love Boston too.

  8. Your descriptions of the Garden and the green line made me very homesick :( Since we lived about an hour from Boston, we'd drive up to Braintree and take the red line from John Quincy Adams station and then switch to the green line at Park Street. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your center court seats! And I'll be expecting a play by play...

  9. Thanks, Ant. I get nostalgic about Madison Square Garden once in a while.

    I've only been to the Quincy Adams station when I've had to take teacher tests.

  10. Hi Theresa, That was a lovely post, felt like I was there. Loved your tale of the people on the train, she was so that type of girl.
    Strangely, basketball quite popular in Ireland, maybe the US connection. Played it myself for years. Enjoyed, have a nice weekend.

  11. Brigid, I'm glad you got the feeling of being there.

    I didn't know basketball is popular in Ireland? Is your European team big? Do you see US games? That's great that you played - you must be taller than me!

  12. Sounds like a great day! I love that Evacuation Day just 'happened' to fall on St Patrick's Day.

    Too bad England couldn't come up with some kind of 'Imperial Domination Day' so we could have St Patty's Day off, too. Somehow, I just don't see that happening! :)

  13. Talli, I love the name "Imperial Domination Day". In fact, I may petition to change Evacuation Day to Freedom from Imperial Domination Day, but it's so long. FFIDD? I'm so spoiled having St. Patrick's Day off that I can never move.

    Jenn(ifer), it was a lot of fun. I'll have to wait to again until the next season. There's always baseball...

  14. Glad to see that you had fun! Hilarious about "I'm NOT that girl!" Haha. A friend of mine says that a lot, and I can't take her seriously.

  15. Shelley, I guess it's a 'thoust protest too much' kind of thing.

  16. Theresa,

    You look so pretty in that picture. Sounds like you had a great time at the game. I have never been to Boston but your post made me want to visit.

  17. Congrats on the great seats. Saw a Pistons game in December, was almost courtside, if there weren't those thirty rows in the way...

    Very loud people in front of me, too. I love going to games, but I hate the crowds. I think in the future all NBA games should be conducted on the small basketball court in the park near my mom's house.

  18. Thanks, VKT. Come visit!

    Jon, thirty rows isn't too shabby. Sometimes there are loud people in the crowd, but the can be entertaining. Once, I saw in the last row of Knicks game when Latrell Sprewell was on the team. The woman in front of us in the SECOND-TO-LAST row had a strategy for the team that she constantly shouted, "Give it to Spree!"

  19. Sounds like a great way to spend St. Pat's day! We spent the day skiing, and I had my green turtleneck, green coat, green hat, and green gloves - all by accident, but at least no one pinched me!

  20. Susan, sounds like you had a fun and green day too. Do people normally pinch? I've only heard of that for birthdays.

  21. Okay, so I admit I'm not a basketbal fan at all. I mean at all, AT ALL. But I loved seeing a picture of you and putting more details to my crit buddy's face.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Have a great week.

  22. Thanks, Jackee. Hope you have a great week too.

  23. Great photos! I felt like I was right there reading your post. Unfortunately I'm not a basketball fan but I am a huge baseball fan and I get the same feeling at a Sox game.

  24. Julie, thanks. I like baseball too, but it's less action packed. I don't know which Sox you're talking about, but I assume Red.

  25. Sounds like a great early birthday!