Monday, September 14, 2009

WNBA Expect Great Halftime Shows

My daughter (Daddy's little girl or DLG for short) looked up at me recently after playing basketball with her in the driveway.  "When can I go to a game, Daddy?"  "A basketball game?" I asked, not understanding that she wanted to see REAL basketball being played, not Daddy's version of basketball to which she's grown accustomed.  Thinking about it, I looked at the Celtics schedule for the 2009-10 season.  I decided that telling her we can go in three months wasn't going to work for DLG.  Rec basketball?  That couldn't possibly cut it either.  I started thinking long and hard about viable alternatives.  The Red Sox? NASCAR? Candlepin Bowling?  Definitely not Candlepin Bowling.

Then the idea struck me - the WNBA!  Looking at the schedule, I see that the Connecticut Sun is playing its last game of the season a couple of weeks away.  It's at a casino too!  Could this be the perfect Father-Daughter get away?

Uncasville, CT.  3pm.  The afternoon doesn't start well.  First, we get stuck in traffic taking my patented Mohegun Sun shortcut and we arrive late - straight past the craps table directly to the game, I suppose.  Then, I find out that I can't bring DLG into the casino, anyway.  Even my promises that she'll be in my arms the whole time and I won't let her throw the dice doesn't convince the security guard.  Such sticklers; I guess she won't become a gambling degenerate like her Dad until we go see horse racing next month.  To add salt to my wounded gambling streak, the ticket lady tells me that I can't use my Mohegan Sun dream card to buy tickets.  Either that or I'm such a poseur that I don't have enough points to buy even the cheapest seats.

After avoiding a couple of scalpers (Did you not just see the ticket line I was in?), we make our way into the arena.  It sounds like March Madness inside - not what I would imagine the WNBA would be like -  and it was extremely exciting.  It might as well have been scary monsters, gunshots and thunder and lightning to DLG, though, as she immediately puts her hands over her ears and starts screaming that she wants to go home.  I cringe too when I hear the Indian war cry as the teams rallying cry.  How can the PC Police ignore this?  It's kind of loud.  To try to calm her fears, I show her the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, which consists of a dozen plaques, a blank tv screen and a little bust.  Great idea, Dad.  "You see Marlon Starling?  He used to live in Daddy's home town!"  I explain to her.  With her hands still over her ears she shakes her head even more violently and now demands "I want to go home now, Daddy!!"  I didn't have the heart to tell her that after driving two and half hours we weren't going anywhere, so I told her we would leave in a "little while," and we proceeded to our seats. 

Phew, just a couple of sideways glances from some spectators as DLG continues to be freaked out.  "Are the Sun going to make the playoffs?" I ask the guy behind me.  "No, because they lost Friday night.  Do you think your daughter wants to go home?"  Thanks, dude, I wasn't sure what those exact words meant until you said them to me instead of DLG.  Anyway, DLG finally settled down and started eating her popcorn, just like I thought she would, and we began to watch the game.  It wasn't long before it was half time with the Connecticut Sun leading Indiana 40-39. 

We just sat down, so we stayed for the show.  The half time show started with the Senior Sun Dance Team dancing to Beyonce.  "Senior" meaning "Senior Citizen."  Oh my God, were they dancing to settle gambling debts with the Sun?  The show then moved on to a guy who could hit 80 golf balls in 50 seconds.  More impressive than the guy hitting the balls was the guy putting the balls down for him.  How did he not get hit by the flying club?  Finally, a game of musical chairs on center court followed by pin the tale on the donkey.  I'm only kidding about Pin the Tale on the Donkey.  Somewhere, Jackie Moon was smiling, though.  In my opinion, professional sports should not be about the swag, but about the game.  A foul ball, loose puck or randomly tossed equipment should be the only items that fans should be getting.  Besides, we were too high up to win or catch anything.

As the Third Quarter started, the person next to me says that all of Indiana's starters have been pulled out to rest for the playoffs and that one of their stars looked like she got a knee injury.  It doesn't matter to DLG and I, we were having a great time now and the basketball fundamentals being executed were refreshing to watch after years of watching the one on one style of modern day NBA.  We decided to leave at the end of the Third Quarter with the Sun up by 7 or 8.  In a complete turnaround, DLG now DIDN'T want to leave the game, so we stay a little longer. 

As we're walking out of the Arena toward the end of the game, DLG asks "When can we go again?"  "Next year sweetie, its the last game of the season."  I tell her.  "Ohhohh" she says when she's not happy "Can we go again tomorrow?"  Thank you, WNBA, you just made two new fans, tonight.

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