I attempted not to look at my phone for about an hour or so Saturday night. Bad decision. If you try to ignore D.C. sports for an hour on a Saturday night, you’re liable to miss something memorable. A rain delay at an NBA game, for example.
Adam Kilgore did a swell job of capturing all the fun, but there was so much fun it probably demands a bit more capturing. Thus, five things you might have missed.
1) The Rain
If you haven’t seen images of the rain itself, here it is. This was no light mist, no gentle spritz of liquid cool; these are actual drops of water. Falling from the sky. Ted Leonsis explained the problem on his blog:
Our staff worked very efficiently to identify where the leaks were. And we always have staff on hand that are experienced with issues such as this. We also literally had to get atop of the roof outside to see what the issues were. The big freeze this past week might have created a small fissure in roofing materials, and as the rain came on and some ice was melting, some water was able to seep in. There were also staff up in the rafters and on the catwalks doing inspections and they were able to create a short term fix via some temporary tarp installation that stopped the leaks.
2. The Trash
A trio, at least, of trashcans was pressed into emergency duty, registering a combined PER of 20.18 or so and a group on-floor plus-minus of +14. The trashcans hadn’t even known that they were going to dress; they were thus surrounded by an adoring press corps, and justifiably honored by the Rockets’ Twitter account.
3. The Campaign
Never a franchise to let a good trash-can-related PR opportunity go to waste, the Wizards smartly dressed the trashcans up with advertisements encouraging fans to vote some Wizards into the all-star game. Of course, with events rushing down at breakneck speed and unexpected hurdles splashing about in all directions, there might have been one slight spelling mishap on these ads. But that just added to the charm.
4. The Craned Necks
I challenge you ever to find an NBA game that featured as many wire photographs of players, coaches, referees and support staff members staring skyward. Maybe if there was a game that featured an attack of rabid falcons or crows. Or a game with one of those weird mini-blimp things, assuming the blimp sprung a small leak and then conducted a death spiral toward the floor, while participants gazed toward the heavens.
Other than that, I think this one will be the defending champion for “staring skyward” photos, up to games that occur during the apocalypse.
5. The Free Chicken
And yet the most remarkable thing that happened Saturday night might have been the most remarkable thing that happens every night during a Wizards game: the normally placid, mild-mannered, quiet-like Verizon Center crowd rose to its feet as one and roared from its collective sternums, not just for the dramatic fourth-quarter comeback, but especially for the prospect of free Chick-fil-A something or other should Dwight Howard miss two straight free throws. And he did.
Why does this happen? Is a paying NBA crowd so hard on its luck that its members must verbally plead for chicken coupons? Do they not realize that they could stay home, watch the game on television in glorious HD, and use their ticket savings to buy far more chicken than they receive via missed free throws? Is it really just the promise of something for nothing, the same promise that made fans act like crazed starved castaways whenever game operations staffers tossed free Chipotle burritos into the crowd? Why is overtime — which is also something for nothing — not greeted with similar hysterics? Do they, at last, have no dignity whatsoever, no second thoughts about public shame as they prostrate themselves before the altar of chicken coupons?
I mean, come on. If you have that sort of stored-up volume in your belly, use it during the actual basketballing, and not just the fourth-quarter opponent free throws.