Thursday, February 12, 2009

PART ONE: Subtitled - Bringing It All Back Home

Long ago (2005-ish), I started this blog because I watched all the Mavs games and felt the need to vent my excitement, frustration, rare witticisms and general fangirldom on the interWebs. I didn’t really think anyone would be interested in reading it and am still surprised when people I know and people I don’t know come up to me to tell me that they read my blog. It kind of feels like people coming up to compliment you on your child’s academic progress which they noticed you had mentioned on that bumper sticker you have on your car.

I blogged about the Mavs playing well and unfortunately, more often, I blogged about the Mavs blowing it when it mattered. But I love them even when they are cellar dwellars. But then came this Cowboys season. The Mavs could have decided to forgo the draft by instead creating their own Island of Dr. Moreau wherein they genetically modified and bred super-creatures capable of leaping over defenders and not choking in the fourth quarter like Josh Howard does a lot but it still couldn’t break the hypnotic hold that writing about the Cowboys had on me. So while I watched the Mavs games, all my fan disappointment, fan hopes, fan anger, fan outrage and finally fan disbelief were funneled straight into the big sad dumb Cowboys. But now that the 2008-2009 Cowboys season has left it’s indelible smear stain on time, I’m back to my first love. Watching the Mavs and loving the Mavs even when they are not that good. In fact, the basketball gods smiled down on me and have blessed me with tickets to four games recently at which my track record as a good luck charm is 3-1. Sorry about that Hornets game. I tried.

There’s something that I have noticed while attending recent games. Now you can look at this in a glass half full or a glass half empty way. I look at in a positive way. In previous seasons (particularly around the Mavs run to the Finals), there was a certain feeling that Mavs games were a place to be seen. Like a hot franchise made it a hot place to be. Put it this way: what was the last paparazzi picture of a celebrity at a Clippers game that you remember seeing? Now don’t get me wrong. The AAC still has its pockets of douche. I had never been into the Old No. 7 club before a few nights ago mostly because, well, let’s just say I had a feeling I knew what it would be like in there. I was correct. But here’s where I get extremely Pollyanna: we went into the Old No. 7 at halftime and were trying to leave as the third quarter started. We were having a hard time because no one was leaving. Now here’s two things that you need to know about me: a) I like drinks and b) I like socializing. But do you really have no better way to blow a couple hundred dollars than to go schmooze inside the bar at a Mavs game? My friend said that it’s the best place to pick up, ummmm, girls. He didn’t say “girls”, by the way. Now I get that it’s more about the social scene and being seen than the game that’s happening. But to blow all that money and waste those tickets to drink at a glorified airport Chili’s II bar? Blows my mind.

But there’s something pretty rad going on at Mavs games right now. You still get the cheers for Dirk and Josh Howard and the other “marquee” players. But now you’ve got people coming to games with #11 painted on their face. Full disclosure: I have gone from somewhat ironically and in a Lucas sort of way rooting for JJ Barea to full-on admiration and fandom for the guy. At the Bulls game when Barea hit a three from WAY behind the arc, I nearly leaped an entire row of seats. It’s not even some sort of Spud Webb/Earl Boykins small guy thing anymore. I just think the guy is quick and is showing real improvement. And I am not alone. The applause that goes up when Barea goes in a game is not too different from the applause that your Josh Howards or your Eric Dampiers get. Then there is what we will call the “Matt Carroll Syndrome” for now. My friend that goes to games with me mocked my enthusiasm for Barea at some point (I MAY have once claimed that one game this season, Barea will score 50 points) which I took offense to. Especially considering that this same friend applauds when Matt Carroll is sent into the game. Nothing against Carroll but he hasn’t exactly set the court alight. But now it’s a running joke with me growing ever more cocky and obnoxious with each shot Barea hits. You really wouldn’t have wanted to deal with me after last Saturday’s win over the Bulls in which Barea scored 20 points which is almost halfway to my 50 point game I’ve got planned for him sometime this season.

So back to Matt Carroll Syndrome (MCS), my friend is sticking to his guns on Matt Caroll. Still making noise when he enters the game even if it is to run out junk time on the clock. But then on Tuesday night against the Kings, something truly bizarre happened. When Carroll went in, my friend clapped but was immediately drowned out by the guy sitting behind him who screamed, “Alright Matt Carroll! Go Carroll! Good rebound, Caroll! Look at Matt Carroll go!” This person was not related to Matt Carroll. As far as we know, this person is not employed by Matt Carroll. What I’m saying is that in Section 101 on Tuesday night, there were 2 or more Matt Carroll fans.

Now you can either look at that as a sign that Mavs fans are desperate for fresh blood and tired of the core of veterans on this team who they feel have let them down again and again. But I don’t look at it that way. The way I see it, they are instead tired of throwing money and crazy contracts at hotshots that, at best, take a while to get used to the system. Or who at worst end up just being a ball of suck. I think the fans are glad to see some development in the guys that have been lurking in the shadows for a while. I even think that Jason Terry’s broken hand could be a blessing in disguise. Follow me on this one: they think it could be 3-6 weeks before he returns. That gives time for Gerald Green, Matt “Two Fans” Caroll, Ryan Hollis and JJ “50 Points” Barea all time to play more minutes and get worked into the system faster. Then Terry comes back before the playoffs, if all goes well.

All I am saying is that the see and be seen people seem to know their place (presumably near something with the Ed Hardy logo on it) and I have had more fun at Mavs games this season than any season before. All this enthusiasm building up must mean that I’m pumped to see tonight’s game against Boston right? Right?

No comments: