Last season, I got the opportunity to go to my first live Thunder game when my son bought a pair of tickets to attend the Laker game on Christmas Day. This post isn’t about that game. This post is about the fans at that game... at every home game.
This is the seating setup at Chesapeake Energy Arena:
The Peake is also known as Loud City, and anyone that has every watched a game played there knows why, but until you actually attend a game you assume the entire house is rocking it like you hear on TV. Sadly, that is not the case. THIS is Loud City:
The little red “X” is where I sat and it didn’t take long to realize that I was in the wrong place. I was sitting with the wrong crowd.
When I go to a game, I don’t go to just watch the game. I can do that at home. When I go to a game I go to support the team as loudly as possible and generally cannot talk afterward, but there I sat, in section 209 among a bunch of stiffs that were about as excited as a ballet audience. I will NEVER sit in the lower section again.
By my estimate, the REAL Thunder fans, the ones in Loud City, the ones hanging from the rafters, the ones raining sound down on the champagne and tofu crowd like a torrential downpour number about 6600, or 36% of the total 18,203 seating capacity of Chesapeake Arena.
Just over one-third. smh.
That needs to change. Now.
Certain events this summer left this team a bit short-handed and for reasons I don’t fully understand, the NBA officiating hasn’t helped.... even at home.
I understand that officials are just human and make mistakes, but stay consistent on both ends. Many times they’re not and Westbrook called them on it last night:
Westbrook on his ejection tonight: "It's crazy, especially being ejected like that, when I didn't do nothing." pic.twitter.com/DZPUUUVwen— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 30, 2016
This is not being consistent:
Nobody in grey saw that?
Andrew Harrison shoves Russell Westbrook to the floor and the result was a technical called against Billy Donovan and Steven Adams was called for a regular foul to stop the play. Calls against the Grizz? None.
Russell Westbrook was ejected in the third quarter vs. Memphis, giving him a rare zero-assist game: https://t.co/0fAnQQtjca— ESPN (@espn) December 30, 2016
Result, double technical and ejection.
Crew chief Jason Phillips comment about the ejection:
“After being issued the first technical foul, he continues to complain about the ball not hitting the rim and then even proceeds to use some profanity during the conversation also. So at that point he’s issued the second technical foul, which results in an automatic ejection.”
Profanity? Oh my goodness! Seriously? LOL, something tells me these boys would get eaten alive by the little old ladies down at the local Bingo Hall.
Billy Donovan on Westbrook's ejection: "I’m not so sure he even warranted being thrown out." pic.twitter.com/SRtVi6w3Ot— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 30, 2016
All Billy Donovan, Russell Westbrook, and the rest of the team are asking for is a fair shake. If there is a foul, call it, if not, then don’t. That is all fans want and what the big bucks crowd that is paying $300, $400, $500, and even as much as $1000 a seat should demand. Unfortunately, ninety percent of them aren’t raising as much fuss when these officials are spoiling their game experience as they do when their TV blanks out for an hour and they have to wait for the re-run of a single episode of Game of Thrones. Heaven help a TV provider customer service rep if a there is a problem with the broadcast of a football game.
I don’t get it. This is a basketball game, not a knitting class. Get rowdy, get loud, and when the refs are jerking around the kids that bust their butts for your entertainment, get mad. They are ripping you off and stealing you blind, let them know with absolute certainty that you don’t appreciate it..... and you don’t even have to be as rowdy as Loud City.
There are twice as many of you, you can individually be half as loud and your sheer numbers will double the decibel level of a venue already know as one of the loudest in the league. You don’t have to cross any morality line, you don’t have to cuss, or throw things.... just vent.... very loud.
Think of it as emotional therapy. Releasing that pent-up frustration you’ve been harboring because they gave your promotion to the boss's little snot-nosed nephew. Did someone put a door dent in your brand new SUV but you don’t know who? Don't go home and kick the dog, here is your chance to put that anger to good use.... go to the Peake and shout it out! Is your teenager about to get you put on Xanax?!? Forget that, go crazy at the game!!!
Take it from Dr. R.K., you’ll sleep better, cut your medical expenses, and who knows, you may even live longer. The car door may still be dinged, but the dog is happier and you got an opportunity to scream to the heavens about it. Then, at the end of the day, you have not only helped yourself feel better and saved the family pet, you’ve helped the team as well.
Refs are human and humans are prone to make mistakes. They are also susceptible to peer pressure, so I’m calling you out Saturday night....save your sanity, save a dog and turn Loud City into Loud Nation!
Don’t make me call the Fun Police.....