Thursday, February 17, 2005

NBA Basketball: The Best Way To Liven Up A Winter Night

On Tuesday, Dad, Samone, and I went to the United Center to see the Chicago Bulls take on the Sacramento Kings. Samone, being both a Kings and a Bulls fan, really wanted to go to this game. It would be one of the few chances she would get to see the Kings in person, since this game was the second (and last) game they would play against the Bulls this season. It was also the only time the Kings would be coming to Chicago.

This outing almost didn't happen. My dad had jury duty scheduled for the same day as the game. However, in a great stroke of luck, the defendant in the trial he could've served on pleaded guilty. This meant that no jury was needed and Dad was able to come back home earlier. When I woke up that afternoon, Samone asked me to go online and see what tickets were available. With the game that night, online ticket sales had stopped. So, we called the United Center box office and found out that tickets were still available, but we had to buy them in person. I rushed and got cleaned up, Dad and Samone changed clothes, and soon we left on our way to the United Center.

This would be the first time that I had been to the United Center for a sporting event and the first time in a very long time that I went to a Bulls game. The last time I went I was pretty young. The game was at Chicago Stadium, as this was long before the United Center was thought about. The Bulls played against the Utah Jazz...and lost. In fact, at most every sporting event I've been to, including the Cubs game I went to last summer, the team I've wanted to win has lost.

For this trip, everybody chipped in what they could. Samone charged the cost of the tickets on her card, while Dad paid for half the ticket cost and some food at the game. I paid for our parking. We weren't able to get the exact tickets we wanted, but we did get pretty decent seats for the game. We ended up in the 300 section, behind a basket. Even from that section, we were able to see the entire court. While the people down there looked small, they weren't ants by any means. As my sister put it "The United Center doesn't have any bad seats." Dad and I got some food while at the game, which didn't cost as much as it could have.

I must say that the Bulls put on a good show. The starting lineups were a lot of fun to see in person. The lasers and the fireworks were very cool. Also, whenever there was a timeout, something happened to keep fans' attention. The Luvabulls, the Bulls' cheerleaders, performed about three times. There were also performances by the Bulls Kidz dance team (lame name, but good act), the Bulls Acrobatic Team (no good with names, but they were great), GerBulls (where two fans run around in giant balls for some sort of prize) and an Italian acrobatic act called the Bello Brothers during halftime. These acts, along with classics such as T-shirt giveaways (via cannons, launchers, and even parachutes), KissCam, and "races" between food items (gotta love the Dunkin' Donuts race between coffee, a donut, and a bagel), made the game breeze by. In fact, I think the game went by much faster in person than it does when I watch it on TV.

The crowd was energetic throughout much of the game. I had a great time clapping and yelling along with everyone else. By the time we left, my hands were kind of sore from all that clapping. I think what ultimately made this game such fun was that the Bulls won. Plus, we stayed for the entire game. No leaving early this time.

There is talk now that we might try to go to another game when Samone's spring break rolls around. If we plan it right, we could get better seats. The three of us had a great time and I would love to go to another game.

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