Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rant #1,074: Hoops!

No, not Oops!, although as I said a few weeks ago, that would be a good word to use in the description of New York sports recently.

Anyway, the New York Knicks begin their NBA season tonight at their kind of brand spanking new home, the refurbished to an idiotic level Madison Square Garden, against the Milwaukee Bucks.

People believe that the Miami Heat can be unseated this year as champs, and many say that one of the teams that could push them off their throne is the Knicks.

Yes, I have heard all of this before, and this is a franchise that hasn't won the NBA championship since 1973 and the days of Walt Frazier and Willis Reed.

Now, about their palace, Madison Square Garden ...

It took three years to reconstruct this thing. It was done in phases, so the Knicks and the Rangers wouldn't lose their home for any extended period of time (the Liberty lost their home the past three years, but who really cares about this WNBA franchise?).

Anyway, the place had its playing surface lowered, new seats added, and new restaurants and other amenities tacked on.

It also had its ultimate amenity--a seating area that originally was supposed to be a walkway, but now has been outfitted with seats--which is directly over the action below.

It is very hard to explain, but if you are sitting in the upper-level seats, your view of the new oval scoreboard is just about completely blocked, and you have people's butts in your face.

Well, not quite, but by the photos, it does appear that this is the latest obstruction heaped upon people who spend just $100 a seat to see a game live at the Garden.

Of course, those who spend $200, $300, and even $1,000 or more to see a game don't have this obstruction.

The Knicks are virtually sold out for the season, their 41 game home schedule eaten up by corporations who send people to do business at the games, not really to enjoy them.

I would love to go to a game, but I am not going to spend $100--prior to fees--to see a game between the Knicks and, let's say, one of the lower level teams, like the Washington Wizards.

And if you want to see the Heat, the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers ... well, forget it.

The Garden, with all its razzle dazzle, has completely shut people like me out.

Even searching the resellers, the prices are idiotic.

So this season, unless something incredible comes my way, I will sit at home and watch the games.

Funny, my first game at the Garden was at the old Garden in 1965.

Tickets were plentiful, cheap, and available on the day of the game.

I went with my father, and I have been hooked ever since.

But now, nearly 50 years later, I can't get in there with my son unless I spend upwards of $300 for the game at the very least, adding in ticket cost, extra costs associated with the tickets, transportation, food, and the like.

This is disgraceful, to say the least.

I am in a quandary. Do I root for the Knicks to win, which would make the availability of tickets to even the worst matchups way out of my financial reach?

Or do I root for them to flop, which might make available ticket prices lower?

I am a Knicks lifer, so I will root for them to win, but it's difficult telling my son that we might not go to a game this year.

But management, the NBA, and most people really don't care about this, I have found, so I have to say, as I have said for nearly the past 50 years ...


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