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.