Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Graveyard for Dreams

Green Bay Is Just Not a Basketball Town

Really, I could hardly believe my eyes...but then, I could after all. Given free tickets to an Indoor Football League (semi-pro...sort of) game the other night, I was surprised to see more fans attending the game in which winning players received $225 while winning team members toted home a check of $260 than there were most of the season for a Division I college basketball team. So, I sat through most of the first half trying to decide why.
Was it the promotions? Well, tossing bagged cheese curds to a Green Bay crowd is like throwing a bloody steer to a school of Great Whites. Watching people try to chuck toilet paper rolls into a huge toilet...not so much. Watching two guys race to untangle and don a frozen T-Shirt...not exactly captivating...and maybe only slightly more so than watching youngsters in size gazillion shoes, huge shirts and shorts trying to run to make a layup...certainly not like the chicken launch at the hoops games. So...maybe a wash there.
Was it the proximity to the players? Maybe. I saw players three or four times catapult themselves over the padded retaining wall (similar in size to hockey boards), talk to fans on the sidelines and throw and kick footballs into the stands for fans to catch (or not and get booed). Those sorts of thing definitely do not happen at basketball games. One for the football game.
Action? Every possession lasted about three minutes and reminded me of the "go long" football we used to play at lunch in the gym. Action-packed, scores a'plenty, and more personal foul penalties in the first half than I've seen in pro football (NFL version) in three games.
Rabid fans? They were definitely more excitable than Green Bay's college basketball fans who wait for a helicopter slam dunk before getting up out of their chairs. I drew the line when the somewhat inebriated man in front of me turned and demanded a high-five. My response was, "It's baseball season." But even THAT would not deter him from smothering me with love that "our" Green Bay Blizzard was handing it to some unnamed team from somewhere else (you can see how much I was paying attention).
So, here's what I have determined based on what I witnessed for 90 minutes of Indoor Football League action:

1. Most fans came in on motorcycles wearing Bud Light shirts.
2. Most of them could not catch a football if their lives depended on it.
3. They love screaming at the referees event hough we could never hear what infraction the stripedshirts called on on whom they called it. In fact, the booing began as soon as the flag left the official's pocket.
4. The attention span was about 30 seconds, max.
5. They LOVE cheese curds...and Bud Light.
6. They love to see the personal fouls and the fights.
7. At approximately $250 per game for a 14-game season, the players are holding on to a dream that will never be realized. I hoped, without much conviction, that each had gotten his degree before leaving school.

In short, Green Bay is a football town. Basketball will remain a second-tier spectator sport...
and dreams die hard at $250 per game.


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