Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma Thunder
Trip Start Nov 22, 2010
13Trip End Dec 14, 2010
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Where I stayed
The Holiday Inn
Despite waking up at around 12pm, I no doubt predict this to be an average length blog entry. Both Z and I were able to sleep in due to my endless whinging of no sleep yesterday. I woke up completely refreshed and ecstatic that I had shaken the dragging feeling of being tired and upset (they're a pair, when I get tired I get cranky, it's unavoidable). With high spirits I dressed in my new clothes and admired myself in the mirror before we took off to Grandpa's for some pizza.
I wasn't in the mood for what he had ordered, so I took the opportunity to tick off another item on my "to eat" list; a McRib burger from McDonalds
The bit to follow was not just the highlight of my day, but certainly the highlight of my year. Dad had organized seats to a basketball game in Houston which we went to; the Houston Rockets vs Oklahoma Thunder. It was both an exceptional experience and a very, very close game.
The first half buzzed past quickly with a few moments that had the whole stadium gasping or cheering. The atmosphere was incomparable, almost everybody united in supporting their favourite team who was leading by no more than 8 points at any one point. The music built drama or tried to put the other team down, the announcer was a typical deep-voiced male that we've all heard on TV but never at live events in Australia (that I've been to). Very quickly I learnt one thing about American basketball:
Fuck sportsmanship, we want to win.
My apologies to everybody for swearing, but I think it was quite appropriate. The music took a noticeable change when the ball possession changed, or when they scored as opposed to the home team scoring. The most shocking of all was when the away team was taking free throws; the spectators in the section behind the hoop were given "Acme Bricks" - white pieces of paper with bricks printed on them which they waved in the air, creating quite an awkward, jittery, distracting scene to watch, trying to put off the player and force them to miss the shot.
At halftime both Dad and I got a Bud Light, as shown in one of these pictures. With our weightloss surgeries, it was enough to give us more than a buzz and I was engulfed in the game, cheering along with the home team and joining in with their chants to support the players.
As the game drew to the end of the 4th quarter, the away team were 4 points down. The Rockets secured another basket, pushing the Thunder down to 6 points away from equality. The time ticked down, and the Thunder were able to sink a 3 pointer with ease, rejecting the Rocket's attempt at a basket, and sinking their own. After a time violation and with only 3.7 seconds on the clock everybody was standing up, cheering on defense. Multiple acts came out onto the stadium to entertain everybody while each team discussed strategy, and the game quickly resumed.
The tension in the air was thick enough to cut, and everybody united in an overwhelming force that would have shaken the nerves of the most professional basketball players. Time ticked by slowly, the Thunder had possession. A quick spin from the Thunder player with the ball and he eliminated opposition between him and the hoop. His feet left the air, and the ball flowed naturally from his fingers in the perfect example of a basketball shot. The ball's projection was perfect, it only had a small distance to travel before deciding the fate of the game. The player landed, the ball continued travelling. Everybody in the stadium became silent as the buzzer rang in sync with the ball bouncing on the rim of the hoop. Every fan took a breath, and every player became frozen on the spot. The ball ricocheted away from the hoop, and thousands of hands were thrust in the air with a roar of victory I've never heard before, and my hands and voice joined them automatically. The attention of each spectator turned from the match to each other, sharing a telepathic messages between each other, unable to speak and cheer ecstatically at the same time. What a fantastic game.