Monday, July 16, 2007

Chanting "Here we Go Steelers" at a Dispatch Concert in MSG: an experiment.

Regardless of your feelings towards the band Dispatch, they put on one hell of a benefit concert last night at Madison Square Garden - truly one of the top 5 concerts I have ever attended if just because of the circumstances surrounding the show. After going to the show I feel obligated to try and help their cause (their cause) and relay a few sports-related tidibits from the house that Ali built. Or maybe the house that Willis Reed built. Walt Frazier? Who did build the Garden anyways?

I have the answer to this question and more after the jump.

- Who "built the Garden", you ask? The decorators at the joint would like you to think that the New York Liberty did. That's the WNBA team, although I'm sure you all knew that. MSG does a great job constructing a nostalgic feel in the atrium, with huge pictures of Ali-Frazier, Willis Reed coming into the game, John Starks' infamous dunk over a couple Bulls, and that picture where Messier is holding the Cup and looks like the Joker. Yeah, that one

But among these famous, chilling, larger than life images are shots of the WNBA's Liberty celebrating their victories over, umm, whoever it was that they were beating at the time. I realize that MSG must pay respect to all its teams, but imagine if the Great Hall at Heinz Field contained a bronze bust of Walt Harris - yeah, Walt worked here, but does anyone want to remember that?

- The Garden is not that big. Feels more like the Pete than the Civic Arena (I know it is Mellon, but I never voted on the change).

- This whole Yankees-Red Sox thing is getting to the point where the United States should ask both cities to secede so that they can just annoy each other without engulfing the rest of the country in a rivalry that gets more irritating with each passing day. Any public event in NYC goes pretty much like this nowadays: a group of rebellious Red Sox fans starts a "Let's Go Red Sox" chant. Yankees fans retaliate with "Let's Go Yankees". Then it's "Yankees Suck", then "Boston sucks", then "Jeter's gay", and so on and so forth. I've yet to see a fight, or even any real "mano y mano" trash talking. Instead, both fan bases are large enough that you can comfortably nestle into the mob, launch some group chants, and essentially avoid any sort of confrontation whatsoever. Real tough guys, those Yankees and Red Sox fans.

- We tried to insert Pirates for Yankees and Red Sox here and there. Not much of a response.

- HOWEVER, after the concert, when Bostonians and New Yorkers couldnt figure out any more permutations of the words "Boston/New York, Red Sox/Yankees, Let's Go/Sucks", there was a brief moment of silence coming down the escalators. Our contingency banded together and belted out a hellacious...


A few joined in, it last a few rounds, and it died. I was content with this.

Some non-sports related tidbits (and one NBA joke)...

- One section started chanting "U-S-A!" during a montage of people suffering from poverty in Zimbabwe. Classy. Thanks for coming out. Drive home unsafely, please.

- On a Sunday night, the place was just flooded with high school kids that didnt have to work the next day. We grappled the whole time with complaining about these kids vs. wanting to be them.

- The New York City African Kids Choir came out and helped with some songs, as did some other hand drummers from Zimbabwe. Unbelievably cool. They took Flying Horses, Out Loud, and The General to a whole different stratosphere.

- As they closed with The General, the African Choir kids were not simply jumping up and down, they were leaping up and down. This one little kid in the middle was absolutely skying. He is like 8 and the kid has twice the vertical I do. I look at my friend, who is pulling his cell phone out. It is the last freaking song, everyone is ROCKING out, and he is pulling out his cell phone. I say "what the hell are you doing?". My Cavaliers-supporting friend says "Calling Jim Paxson. He's gotta gets scouts on this kid".


tecmo said...

I was last at MSG in December for some college basketball. If you've never seen college basketball at MSG, then you need to see college basketball at MSG.

I dig the huge loop around the arena, where you can grab beers with pretzels in the handle, walk the loop while you finish your beer, then grab another. Its perfect.

Pat said...

ah! I cant believe I didnt mention that! The pretzel slot in the beer cups was a highlight of the night. Damn - I am kicking myself for not remembering that.