Friday, February 5, 2016

Badger Basketball vs. Ohio State

Last night Travalon and I went to the men’s Badger Basketball game. I had gotten free tickets by redeeming points from my credit card (the first time I had actually tried to redeem them for anything), but Travalon said they were the worst possible seats in the whole place, in the back row on the top tier and right behind the basket. He did gamely bring his binoculars, but then we saw a guy selling tickets in front of the Kohl Center who said he would give us two seats together for a good deal, so Travalon bought them. They were very good seats, on a corner on the second level so you could see the court really well. The Badgers played Ohio State, and for the first fifteen minutes or so nobody sat in the seats next to me, so I put my coat there. Suddenly two people arrived, saying, “Traffic was so bad!” so I moved my coat, but I didn’t notice until almost the end of the game that my hat had fallen beneath the guy’s seat. I thought for several sad minutes that I would have to walk all the long, cold way back to the car without a hat. The guy was a Baby Boomer white guy who kept making sort of patronizing comments about Nigel Hayes’s abilities, how he wasn’t shooting well and he was missing easy shots. For the record, Nigel Hayes shot 21 points last night, the leader of the team. I felt like there was something vaguely racist about an older white guy making those kinds of comments about a young black guy, a sort of plantation mentality “My ni**er isn’t performing for me!” attitude, but maybe I was reading too much into it. Anyway, other than the guy’s running commentary about Hayes’s subpar performance (and what would have made him happy, 51 points???), it was a really fun game. I did feel a little weird about the expensive lighting in the Kohl Center, like think how many kids in Third World countries could be fed and vaccinated with that money, and is a fancy light show really necessary when the game would be just as exciting on a simple outdoor basketball court? Maybe I am looking for problems where none exist, seeing wasteful spending and racist attitudes where everyone else just sees a good time. Why? Am I an inherently negative person? I didn’t think so… Anyway, I did really enjoy the game, and yes, the Badgers won by 11 points. Thanks to Hayes, of course.

Famous Hat


Travalon said...

Hated to have the tickets Famous Hat so thoughtfully redeemed her points for go to waste, but as a longtime( over 30 years) Badger basketball fan I just felt we shouldn't strain ourselves to watch the game from so high up.The Badgers are definitely improving now and making a run at another NCAA tourney berth. Greg Gard is a very capable coach, he learned a lot from Bo Ryan. As for the guy next to us making possible racist based remarks- its just pure shallowness. There's a lot of it at big time sporting events. It wasn't necessary or right for the Wisconsin fans to boo Maryland freshman Diamond Stone every time he touched the ball, just because he didn't choose to play for UW.

Famous Hat said...

One of my coworkers pointed out that the guy might not have been racist but just dumb - maybe Nigel Hayes was the only player whose name he knew, and so that's why he wasn't criticizing all the white players. He didn't know their names!