My office has 4 season tickets to Jazz games. For most of the home games a drawing is held to see what two employees win a pair of the tickets for the night. I had been signing up for the drawing every game that I was home for. This was probably the 5th-ish time I had signed up for it, but this time I was determined to win as the Jazz were playing a team that I would argue is the best team in the NBA and has a legitimate shot at winning the title, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After sending my email expressing interest I got a phone call about an hour later (I had the day off, so I wasn't in the office) telling me I had won and that I could come pick them up whenever. I was out the door in about 2 minutes and headed to go get my tickets. A girl I have been going on dates here and there with lately, Amanda, is a basketball fan so on my way to the office I called her to see if she'd want to come with me. She was more than happy to do so.
I picked her up at around 7:30 and we headed to Radium Stadium for the game. The place is actually named after a company that buries hazardous waste in the west desert, but I prefer "Radium Stadium" over "Energy Solutions Arena." We went in and got our seats. This was the first time I had been to a Jazz game in over 10 years. We had decent seats. They were in the upper deck, but they were row 2 of the upper deck. The tickets said they were $62 a piece. There is no way in hell they should have been $62 seats. I would pay maybe $20 for a seat there, haha. NBA games are ridiculously priced.
The intro to the game was great. They shut the lights off and introduce the starting lineup with a cool laser show and everyone was excited to see the Jazz. It was strange not turning my back when they introduced the Thunder though. There were even a significant number of people who cheered for Durant (the OKC star), that was quite strange to me. At tip off it was loud..ish, but as soon as the ball was tipped the arena went silent, despite the fact that OKC had the ball. This was very odd to me. It remained silent for the entire rest of the game. The only time any noise was made was when the Thunder were shooting free throws and when the Bear was doing something silly. I'm serious, more people would cheer for the mascot or for crazy halftime show antics than would cheer for fast break dunks by the team they were there to support. NBA spectating sucks. "Oh the Jazz, they're all right, but that silly Jazz Bear, now he's the real how!!" Fail. However it seems the Jazz are aware of this and because of it they have added another Jazz bear. Yes, there is a Bear and a Half Bear who is apparently a dwarf in a bear mascot suit.
The guy who had the other set of tickets that sat next to me was pretty cool. We talked a bit about basketball and how good the Thunder were. Amanda was interesting, she spent the majority of the game complaining about how the NBA was rigged and that's why the Jazz were losing. Amanda and I also discussed at length about how foreign of a place this was compared to the college venue we were used to watching sports in, which granted is arguably the loudest venue in all of college sports, but still.
In the end the Jazz gave a good game for 3 quarters, gave up in the 4th and ended up losing by about 10. The game was fun, certainly more fast paced, but not as technical as college basketball. The shooting was pretty bad, the defense was just too good on anything that wasn't a fast break, which is where most of the points came. There were about 4 alley oop dunks on each end of the ball which was impressive to me, but I guess when the "short" guy on the team is 6'4 that is to be expected.
I liked my Jazz game. It was a lot of fun, however I would never spend $62 on one moderately decent ticket and if I was going to spend $20 on a ticket, I'd much rather just go to a college game or a soccer game.