UNBALIVABLE
By Matthew Trotter
Watching my first NBA game live was an exceptional experienced. I noticed many things about American sports lifestyle and the comparisons with UK sport. Some things I noticed
are:


•The chants are tame, they lack any aspect of passion or feeling towards a team.
•There are more commercial breaks than I have chins.
•How geared the system is towards you spending money, e.g. the in seat delivery system.
•The atmosphere being completely dead throughout the entire game (for a regular mid
season game).
•How 5 key players were missing on the court through minor injury and “rest days”.
•The amount of neutral and rival fans scattered within the home team fans.
•People turning up with 9 minutes to go. 9 Minutes?!
•How women are used as a side entertainment in between the breaks. Also, how sexualized
they are, I even bought a souvenir cup with the “magic girls” on it.
•When talking to the man next to me he stated that he was aware of American culture was
being rammed down our thoughts and thought it “disgusting”
•The lack of “hooliganism”
•Nationalities came to the game to watch their fellow nationmen. For example Serbians,
flying the Serbian flag, cheered for a Serbian player who played for the Orlando magic, while
also cheered for the Serbian player on the Clippers team.
•The concept of teams being brands and not rigidly bound to their localities, the brand
“magic” can move to any town and just be called the ‘insert city name’ magic instead.
I loved the experience at the game, it was all foreign to me, whether it was the kiss cam,
titanic cam or the baptist preachers singing Christmas songs from before the USA was even
a country, it was all an experience I will never forget. In addition I would advocate others
going and watching NBA games as it is truly enthralling. However just watching this whole
ordeal for around 3-4 hours it really highlighted the issues within American sport becoming
more “sports entertainment” and not enough, well, sport.


Taking a step back, it also becomes apparent to me that basketball brings to light some
topics of innate issues within American society as a whole. Looking at issues like the “magic
girls” being grossly talked about in the stands, the ease of access to masses of unhealthy
and commercial products or just the sexualization of women being forced upon you with
dancers souvenir cups and posters alike. It appears that this trip to the Amway center was
one to remember.