Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rant #367: Back to the Garden ...

Yes, let's go back to Madison Square Garden for a few moments ...

Oh, that's right, we can't.

It was announced yesterday that Madison Square Garden, billed as "The Most Famous Arena In the World," is now the most toxic arena in the world. As workers were doing construction work leading up to a full renovation of the old place, asbestos fell onto the ice below, and the air was deemed dangerous, because asbestos can cause various cancers.

The game between the Knicks and the Orlando Magic was cancelled, and not yet rescheduled. The Garden announced that it would not open again until it was deemed safe.

Later that night, various authorities on this type of hazard said that the air was fine, this was a false alarm, and the arena was safe.

I'm sure that that will pacify anybody going to the next game there, won't it?

The Garden has been a "toxic" place for some time, especially when the Knicks play. They stink up the place, but it isn't really dangerous.

Asbestos was supposed to be the wonder material of our generation (at least in the 1960s). It was used for everything, including keeping pipes cool to the touch. I remember in our bathroom in Rochdale Village, the pipe was encased in an asbestos cover. When my mother wanted to make sure the heat was coming up, she asked my sister and I to touch the pipe. If it felt warm, the heat was coming up.

And I doubt we ever washed our hands after touching it.

In the early 1970s, when it was found that asbestos can cause cancer, it fell out of favor, but older buildings and houses still have it buried in their infrastructures. That's why the Garden still has it, as the building opened in 1968, when asbestos was still in general use.

With the renovation of the Garden that is just starting, they unearthed asbestos in the ceiling, and you just know that will be coming out ASAP now that it has been exposed.

The cancellation of the game received the full approval of the NBA, but the Knicks might have to reimburse the Magic for travel expenses to a game that never happened. It is doubtful if the Knicks will be fined for presenting an unsafe arena for the game, although the NBA has not ruled that out yet.

The Knicks were probably going to get annihilated by the Magic anyway, so yesterday's postponement just put off the inevitable.

But is the Garden now safe?

I don't know, but the next time I go there for a game later this month, you just know I am going to look at the rafters now and again, hoping for both some divine intervention in helping the Knicks to a win and to see if anything is falling from the heavens.

And if something is falling, it better be mannah, because if it is asbestos chips, my son and I are getting the hell out of there!

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