Wednesday, January 16, 2008

TKOT Live from Target Center

A few days ago, Fuzz told you all that a real live professional basketball team is still alive and playing games right here in the Twin Cities. While the three of us here at TKOT are fans and followers of the Timberwolves, we kind of got the feeling that many of our readers simply did not believe that there was still an NBA team in town. So with that thought in mind (and a pair of absolutely ridiculous tickets thanks to TKOT reader/contributor Fitzy Fresh), Fuzz and I headed down to Target Center on Tuesday night to take in the Wolves-Warriors game. The following is what transpired (Note: Fuzz will be coming in with the occasional “game break” from the studios in New York so that he can add to/correct what I said and provide a bit of his own perspective):

I’ll be honest, I was extremely excited to go to this game. It’s not every day that you get tickets to an NBA game that read “Row A, Seats 1, 2”. Personally, I’ve never sat that close in any major sporting event in my life. But my anticipation paled in comparison to Fuzz’s level of excitement. As soon as he was approached about the tickets, he tried calling me. And then text messaging me. And then text messaging me again (in fact he might have worn out the exclamation point button on his phone). With no success on that form of communication, he took to calling my work number. Answering machine. So he went a step further and actually called my school and had me paged over the intercom system just so I would answer the phone and he could ask me if I wanted to go to the game. Yeah, the kid was a little bit amped up.

Once it was decided that we were going, all that was left between us and “Row A” was the trip downtown. The entire time, we couldn’t help but feel big time. We were both giddy as we rolled down 35W. I believe the phrase “our bad” was uttered roughly 48 times. After parking, we walked into Target Center, showed our tickets, and headed into the game—through the VIP/Courtside entrance, of course. Before we sat down, we decided that we needed a beer in hand to make our grand entrance. As we waited in line, who should appear right behind us, but this guy…

You know him, you hate; the one, the only Sid Hartman. Now I knew for sure we were big time. Game break: It should be noted that Sid is senile and out of control as ever. There were maybe 4-5 people around us yet he was yelling like he was in a manufacturing plant. He wanted to make even this slight crowd know who he was. So we mosey our way to our seats, looking incredibly out of place. We sit down and, yeah, they are as ridiculous as they sound. The game looks like this from our vantage point:

Truthfully, it took me at least a quarter and a half to get used to sitting where we were. I spent most of the first 30 minutes there just looking around at my surroundings, checking celebrities (or quasi-celebrities since this is a Wolves game after all), and staring in disbelief at the sheer size of the men playing basketball right in front of me.

Eventually I got over the initial shock and just started watching ball. During the course of the game, Fuzz and I got into a discussion about playing time. We both agreed that Randy Wittman might be one of the absolute worst coaches ever to lead our rebuilding. We’re already on pace to be one of the worst teams in NBA history, so what’s the reason for playing guys like Greg Buckner and Antoine Walker? How is taking minutes away from younger players like Corey Brewer and Gerald Green helping anything?

Those guys might suck, but you have to give them a chance to see what they can do. Maybe with a bit more playing time they could become key parts of this team. But we’ll probably never know because those guys play like 7 minutes a game. On the Warriors side, we watched Brandan Wright sitting at the end of the bench without ever getting even a sniff of getting into the game. This is what they got with the 8th overall pick in the draft? Way to come out early genius. You could be dominating on the #1 college team in the country, and instead, this is your life…

You’ll notice that there hasn’t been much talk of the actual game in this write up. That’s because there isn’t much to say. We’re 5-32 for a reason: we’re absolutely brutal. It’s to the point where it is almost painful to watch in person. Sure there are moments where we go on a nice little run or have a couple of highlight reel plays, but more often than not it’s terrible passes, and missed easy shots.

Game break: The game was so “exciting” that Q & I spent a good 10-15 minutes talking about Gerald Green’s headband. He wears it like a Yamaka. It’s about four inches above his forehead and it looks mightily gay.

Unfortunately, the Timberwolves staff knows this too and has decided to do everything in their power to try and keep everyone’s attention. There are more gimmicks between quarters and during timeouts than a St. Paul Saints game. It would be borderline embarrassing if someone from another city came to watch a game. Luckily no one does because, well, it’s the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Side story: Ok, I wasn’t really sure how to fit this into the article, but since we’re talking about the lack of action in this game, this seems like the appropriate time to tell a story. When you’re in the big time seats like Fuzz and I were, you don’t look around for a vendor to sell you a beer or a dog. And you definitely don’t need to get up and get it yourself. You have servers that come around and take care of that kind of thing for you. So I get a couple of dogs from Jenny the waitress and life is good. I put one down and I’m starting to spread the mustard on the second when the mustard packet gets a mind of its own and shoots straight sideways. It’s all over the arm of the sweatshirt of the guy next to me...

I froze. For a brief moment I thought about not saying anything. But then I realized that he might eventually notice it and I’m the only person around with mustard. So I apologize and offer him all the napkins I have to help clean it up. I couldn’t have felt like a bigger jackass. Of course, Fuzz found the whole episode absolutely hilarious.

Game break: Easily the funniest moment of the night. Q couldn’t have been redder and I couldn’t have been more tickled by the whole situation. And yes I just said tickled. Trying out new words.

Eventually the game was coming to an end, but not without one last mini-spurt by the Wolves to make it marginally close. With about a minute and a half left, there were some “big” free throws being shot by Golden State. That prompted the scoreboard operator to put up the Howl Meter on the big screen in hopes of getting the crowd to help distract the shooter. Unfortunately, there were about 378 people left in the building, and this is as high as the Howl Meter would go:

Now that’s depressing. It also shows what it’s like to be at a Wolves game in a nutshell. Anyways, we head out as I leave the evidence of one of the most embarrassing moments in my life and we head to the tunnel to leave.

This tunnel is the same tunnel where the players enter and exit the court. Fuzz tells me that the guys usually run off the court pretty quickly, so we decide to hang out to see these guys up close and personal. It sounded like a pretty fun idea at first, but I didn’t realize that 5th grade Fuzz was going to show up. As soon as the guys started running by us to the locker room, I look to my right to see Fuzz right up against the ropes, low-fiving and calling to every single player on the team. “What up Al…What up Randy…Yo ‘Toine, good game man…What up Brew…Hey what’s up Shoddy.”

It was absolutely ridiculous. I kept waiting for him to ask one of the guys to sign his pennant that he could tack up to his bedroom wall. I was speechless. It was the perfect ending to a rather interesting evening at Target Center.

Game break: I want to set the record straight and say I don’t do autographs. I don’t get it. I was in no way going to have them sign a poster like Q mentioned. I was a little juiced up and just wanted to give the fellas a few hand slaps. What’s wrong with that?

So what can you, the reader, take from this long, drawn out story? The fact that we now have visual proof that a real, live NBA team does still actually exist down in Minneapolis. If it is something you’re interested in, head on down to Block E; plenty of good seats are still available.


Pup Money said...

You say what's the reason for Antoine Walker getting minutes when at the end of the day you go slapping hands with mister 'Toine. Haha. Entertaining article though.

Mr. Cue said...

Let's make sure we're clear on this--Fuzz was the one slapping hands with that old timer. I would never be hypocritical like that. I still think he's worthless.

Hill said...

Sounds like a nice date the two of you had.

Who won the game?

Buddha said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one to think of that, Hill. It sounded like a heck of a time, who paid for dinner? Was there a good night peck?

Fuzz said...

Hill & Buddha, kiss my ass you tools---but keep reading! It was a nice man date. We even did the whole I'll get this round if you got next round routine. All that was missing was some posey's and a good night kiss. Neither was present to set the record straight.

Sow Cow said...

I was at that game too... You pretty much summed up my sentiments exactly. I spent most of the time txt'ing Shields, who was sitting across court from where I was sitting, and making smartass comments about how bad the Wolves suck. I think Gerald Green needs to size down his entire uniform. That dude's jersey is like one of those dresses from the "ghetto prom".