Saturday, December 12, 2009

Crickets, A Ribbit Here And There

I was watching the game against the Heat last night. Know what struck me most? Wasn't Dampier playing like some sort of deep sea fangly fish, wasn't D-Wade straining his back trying to carry his team (okay, fair cop, Dirk always strikes me).

What struck me was how empty American Airlines Arena was. The box lists attendence at 18,703. That, my friends, is a damn lie. If actual asses-in-chairs attendence was over twelve thousand, I will eat my nightie.

There are things I don't like about Mark Cuban. He's an arrogant, melodramatic, loudmouthed schnook -- just can't trust a man who likes pro wrestling. What his organization has done, though, for going on ten years, is put butts in the seats. Even with a promotion-shy star, even existing in the same catch-basin as the Dallas Cowboys, the Mavericks do a good job of filling the house. Mr. Cuban's said that if he had to, he'd drive through town hollering on a megaphone if that's what it took to sell tickets.

By contrast, Miami -- and Jake's told me the situation's similar in Orlando -- has two of the most famous players in pro sports in Dewayne Wade and Dwight Howard. They're both entertaining from a layperson's standpoint; plenty of panache and slamming around. So why hasn't their individual celebrity translated into sold-out arenas? I mean, don't those fans know how bloody lucky they are?

The question-within-a-question, I guess, would be why aren't those organizations making their citizens aware of how lucky they are. And if they're trying, what's not working? We live in a capitalist society; everything's gotta generate profit for somebody.

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