Thursday, December 31, 2009

ANOTHER FIRST IN MY LIFE - a Raptors Basketball Game

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Today’s Blog Post
ANOTHER FIRST IN MY LIFE - a Raptors Basketball Game

Another special item checked off my list! Yes!!!

Yesterday my friend Chad called to ask if I was interested to go to a Raptors Basket Ball Game in Toronto with him. WOW! It was something that I have always wanted to do… something on my ‘Life List’ that if possible someday I would be able to accomplish.

Off we went at 4:30 PM heading for Toronto. Great fellowship and conversation all the way to the city – which is about a 2 hour drive when you add the mix of traffic and distance to the trip. And it seemed that everyone in the province was heading to the Air Canada Centre on Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto.

Excitement was evident as we walked to the huge building to retrieve the tickets set aside for us.

Coming from relatively quiet Peterborough where the biggest rush hour – or rush day – is Senior’s Day at Shoppers Drug Mart and fighting for a parking space in a busy little grocery stores – Toronto is a shock.

I used to live and work in Toronto on a number of occasions… and miss it at times. But last night I realized that I have been away from it for a long, long time. My blood stirred and my heart beat faster being submerged back into the old way of Hustle and Bustle.

The Air Canada Centre entrance area was flooded with tall people. I am a measly 5 Foot 6 Inches and shrinking. It seems that only tall people are really interested in Basketball… and they were all there. My friend Chad is also a gentle giant that has a long stride as well. As we walked to the A.C. a little boy was kind of skipping along beside his fast walking daddy… and his gate was similar to mine… he was about 7 years old.
Chad looked back once in awhile to see if I was still coming – thanks Chad! Whew!

The first thing I noticed as we entered the building is that OLD PEOPLE with WHITE HAIR are NO WHERE to BE SEEN! Basketball is not an OLDIES Game! And I presume that few Oldies have it on their Life List to accomplish either.

Now at $43 a ticket I can see why my Oldie Friends might not attend a Raptors Game! Yikes!

By 6:30 PM, when we arrived at the A.C., I was getting hungry. There was one of the Food stands that frequent the entrance area – looked good. Maybe I can buy a Treat for my friend Chad… Hmmm… let’s look at the menu… Hot Dogs… Pulled Pork Sandwich… and other stuff. I looked at the price and couldn’t afford to buy for Chad – not enough money in my wallet! Sorry Chad – I will have to treat you to a Tim Hortons Coffe some time later…

I order a Pulled Pork Sandwich for myself. “That will be $13.50 Sir…” said the kindly young man behind the counter. Yikes – the bun was half the size of a Big Mac at McDonalds….but it tasted GREAT!

After wiping off the dripping sauce from my chin we entered the Holy of Holies where all the huge basketball players do there stuff – the A.C. Tonight the Toronto Raptors were playing the Charlotte Bobcats.

I am not sure what I was expecting. Chad had warned me that we would be in the upper sections of the A.C. but I was not sure what that meant. I should have brought the binoculars… Oldie eyes couldn’t see the features of the players. Yikes. I could see that they were really tall… because other short little coaches and team trainers were milling around the Stars… and seemed to be like little kids beside adults.

The WOW Factor was there the minute I walked into the Holy of Holies… thumping music… bright lights… and thousands of people spilling into their seats for the 7 PM jump ball… which was just minutes away.

Now for the other Oldies that read this Blog… and maybe have never spent $43 for a ticket in the nose bleed section of the A.C. (that would be $86 for you and your date – plus $26 for two pulled pork sandwiches)… the Basketball Game consist of 4 – 12 minute quarters. That is 48 minutes of watching a bouncing ball and very tall men running back and forth and jumping and reaching and listening to screaming and cheering fans all the while of being dazzled in the stands as a wide eyed fan.

I knew in High School that I couldn’t play basketball… I was just too short. So after the compulsory Gym Class of learning to play Basketball and its rules… I gave it up. I totally walked away from it – until last night. Now I see that 50 years ago when I learned the rules of this game – I understood what was happening way down there with the giants running back and forth.

But in away it hardly makes sense… one team grabs the ball and runs with it to the other end… then the other team gets the ball and runs back to which the other team grabs it again and runs the other way… each time they either get it into the hoop at the end or don’t. If that sound like a Metronome on top of the piano – well that is kind of like what it is.

Now the interruption comes when the men dressed up in fancy suits wave their hands to indicate that they want a time out… and when that happens all the really tall players gather around the sort suited men and listened for new play instructions from their coaches.

I couldn’t read their lips from that distance… but it seemed the coaches could say only one thing… “I want to get that ball and keep that ball and run after that ball – over and over and over again… until your really long and big tongues are dragging on the hardwood flooring.. we are going to win!”

The tongue part I added. But there was some truth to it I am sure… each time the players did their thing at one end and then run to other end… a very quick little lady with a large mop ran out on the court with one eye on the players and one eye on the floor and Mopped the sweat or tongue marks from the floor.

Chad had explained earlier that the seats beside the court were about $1200 each! Yep – that’s right $1200… and the people that were sitting there were likely getting wet with the flying sweat from the giants running around in front of them.

Now I am stringing this out way too long I know.

The last cheer went up with a roar from the crowd at about 10 PM. It had taken just about 3 hours to play 48 minutes of basketball. Hokey Mokey that is a lot of Time Outs called in three hours.

But time outs were good too… because it gave the cute little cheer leaders some time to dance and jig and bounce all over the place. They made the $1200 seats sit very still and they were less than 10 feet away from the dudes sitting there… and from the nose bleed section I could see nothing but men in those seats.

But then the Raptor’s mascot did his thing too to entertain…

We arrived home at about 11:45 PM. That was the longest 7 hour game experience that I have ever had. And it is checked off my Life List.

I want to thank Chad and his two daughters that allowed me to go along last evening. I had fun. Basketball wasn’t the most fun…it was being young again and with the three of you.

~ Murray Lincoln ~
Photos for You
This photo is made up of three photos to make it look big enough... my camera would not take a wide enough photo and this still doesn't show how big it is!!!!

and finally - showing the distance from the Nose Bleed Section with my Telephoto Lens!

1 comment:

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Hair, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.