Smoking Trees in Belize: Silence please

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Silence please

Watching the NBA playoffs the last month, one thing has struck me, more than the brilliance of CP3, more than Lebron’s nastiness,
was something I heard. The ball crosses midcourt, the point guard
raises his arm, and Queen starts to rock us? It’s absurd to hear pop
music streaming from the stadium speakers amidst the drama of playoff
competition. The fan is being robbed of the true experience of going to
the game in person. Instead of sharp sneaker shrieks, bellowing grunts,
and bellicose fans, one hears Avril Lavinge or J.T. croon about teen
angst. Finally last night David Stern came to his senses,
and called for a review of the entertainment standards at league
arenas. This comes after the special effects related delay in New
Orleans, and Ben Wallace’s complaints about firework smoke. The fans
pay top dollar to be entertained for a few hours, in addition to
basketball, many enjoy dancing, music and theatrics. However, there
needs to be a separation between novelties and the game. When the
ball’s in play, let us hear bodies in motion, not stadium anthems or
pop hits. Imagining Bob Cousy twist his way through opposing defenses
while Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock,” rocks through the stadium
speakers would be fitting, and not cheapen the moment. However popular
culture is not always memorable, and it certainly would not have been
fitting for Bird and Magic to face off to the sounds of Karma
Chameleon. Can the arena jams.