Friday, May 11, 2007

New Basket

Last night I finally went to a Brindisi Basketball game. This photo is from that but I can't for the life of me figure out the mascot for team. I think it's part deer and part hedgehog? But away, what a time to go to the game, last night was the second game of the playoffs. Brindisi came in first in the regular season of Serie B so they are the favorite. Unfortunately they were beaten in the very first game of the playoffs, so the home crowd was screaming for a win last night. First, I have to thank Anto for getting me the ticket. Several times I’ve tried to get a ticket and they have always been sold out. Anto’s brother has season tickets and he was out of town so Anto immediately thought of me. Before someone else could get it I bought it for 15 euros (when it’s 18 euro ticket so it was a great deal to boot). Anto said they would pick me up at 20:00 for a game at 21:00 but the palasport (fieldhouse) is only 10 minutes from my house? That seems early but I’ll be ready just in case. Sure enough they picked me up at 20:15 and we arrived to total madness at the palasport. There is a parking lot for about 30 cars and THAT’s all. Oh the chaos. I laughed because I wasn’t driving and I wasn’t worried because I’ve seen this sort of thing enough in Italy that I know everyone will find a spot to park. And they did.
The place was packed solid with people, which is about 5,000 people for this arena. I think they sold more tickets then there are seats because people were everywhere but I had one of the more expensive seats so I had a reserved seat (half the arena is festival sitting). The noise was incredible and my ears were still ringing this morning. People beating drums, singing, whistling, and yelling for the whole game. And it was hot, sticking hot. Basketball is played over the winter so I’m sure they didn’t plan on trying to keep the place cool and it wasn’t.
The game got off to a slow start. The first quarter was low scoring and it was hard to see how it was going to go. There was also a lot of fouls. It just didn’t seem like the game I was expecting. I could tell that 16 on Brindisi was the lead man. He had confidence with the ball that no else on the court showed and 4 on Brindisi was the gritty throw himself on the ball whenever possible guy. I’ll call him the “Gattuso” of the team.

Then in the second quarter Brindisi jumped out to a big 12 point lead on some smoking hot 3-point shooting. This is what I imagined it would be like. I thought the home team looked amazing but somehow Veroli pulled back to within 4 points by halftime. Streaky three point shooters will give the fans heart attacks and I was sure a couple people were going keel over this night with the screaming that continued non stop right up to halftime.

Halftime was very short and the only show was a few kids doing some breakdancing. The two guys were very good and I would have videotaped it with my camera if I would have known. Unfortunately only one of the girls in their group knew how to dance. Still very few people left here seats, as I don’t think there was much in the way of concession stands there. I did see a few people had bought bottles of water, that’s it. At Brindisi soccer matches everyone gets a coffee at halftime that’s hardly a good idea at 10 o’clock at night.

In the third quarter Brindisi AGAIN jumped out to a big lead but they were only 6 points up at the end of the quarter. I was getting worried, as it just seemed Veroli wouldn’t go away. I did notice that one of the Veroli players fouled out in the 3rd quarter. I wasn’t sure because the scoreboard was very basic, no big video screens or graphics. Don’t they know you’re supposed to sing “Na, Na, Na, Na, hey, hey goodbye”. I think I did here more than the usual “coglione” when he left the game. That reminds me, I can’t remember ever hearing “coglione” so much. Not even at a soccer game. There are more fouls in basketball so you call the ref a coglione after every foul or you call the player one. Depending on the situation.

Finally in the 4th quarter Brindisi wore down the opponent. At one point they were up 18 and then cruised a little bit to win the game by 10 points. So it was great game and much needed win for the home team. I had a great time and I look forward to going again.
Afterwards we sat down for pizza at 11:00 at night but the pizzeria was waiting for the after game crowd so we were served quickly and I was home before 1. A great night and FORZA BRINDISI!!!
The crowd at is highest decibels at the start of the game and that goofy mascot again.
Here is a photo of the action. Brindisi is in white and blue. Notice number 4 at the bottom. I call him Gattuso for his style of play. Looks like he's giving someone an elbow!
At the end of important win! And the goofy mascot again.

1 comment:

Paolo said...

Jeff, una piccola spiegazione sulla "goofy mascot:"