Monday, December 9, 2013

Rant #1,099: Hoop It Up

My son and I hooped it up yesterday afternoon.

We really, really did.

We went to Madison Square Garden on our annual excursion to see a Knicks game, and boy, did we hoop up this one.

I am sure that you know that the Knicks played perhaps their worst game ever yesterday, losing to their arch-rival Celtics by 41 points, 114-73.

And at least I can say that my son and I were there to witness this fiasco.

But there is much more of a back story on this one than just the game.

I have been going to Knicks games since I was about eight years old. My father took me to my first game at the old Garden, a loss to the Lakers, in 1965.

Even though the Knicks lost, I loved every minute of my time there.

I loved how close the fans were to the action, and in those days, the place was half empty, so the ushers didn't mind if you moved down, and my father and I did, so the players really looked larger than life to this eight year old kid.

Anyway, flash forward to the current time, and I am a father now, and I take my own son to games.

But the situation is oh so different.

The Garden basically prints money. No matter how bad the Knicks are, they sell out the place, and sell it out at the top prices in the league.

It is very, very difficult for a working person to attend any games, because tickets are pretty much near $100 for a single ticket, on up, of course, to tickets that are thousands of dollars.

For one, single game.

This year, I scoured the schedule, and once again, tickets were ridiculously priced.

But this year, rather than keep silent, I made a move.

I called both the Knicks office and the NBA office to complain.

I did it in a constructive way, not accusing them or pointing fingers, but simply saying that I wanted to continue our family tradition of going to games, and I was being stymied by the fact that it was costing Broadway show prices to attend.

My pleas fell on deaf ears until about a month later, when a representative from the Knicks contacted me.

She said they would set something up where I could attend a game at a more affordable price.

And while I didn't get the tickets for free, I did get them at like 25 percent off, which I guess was good enough. They were still pricey, but not as pricey as they would have been if I bought them directly at the regular price.

(Yes, you would have thought they would have given them to me for free, and I wrestled with that point for a while, but after a while, I figured that I would take the discount.)

So we went to the game yesterday, and in a very classy move, the Knicks sent a representative to our seat, and gave us a fan pack for our trouble.

Very classy indeed.

That the Knicks got blown out--their third worst home loss in history--was kind of secondary to the back story.

I continued the tradition of going to Knicks games with my son--this is our ninth game together over the past seven or so years--and I was satisfied that the Knicks, and the NBA office, both have a conscience.

What that will translate to in the future is anyone's guess, but look, I have been hooked on the NBA for nearly a half century--why stop now?

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