Let me start by saying I'm horrible with spelling and grammar. With that said let me give a quick history of me and these games. I'm from Utah and have only been a big Nuggets fan for about 10 years now. I was more an NBA fan in my youth. But when the Nuggets got Andre Miller back in 2003 I hopped on the Nuggets bandwagon and here I will sit until I die. I have been going to the Nuggets at Jazz games with my Jazz loving cousin since the 2005-06 season. We have only missed one game (2009-10 season) in the span of six years. That was due to my wife being ready to give birth to our son at a moments notice. Naturally, the game we missed was the first Nuggets victory in Utah in many, many years. I would have to wait until the 2010-11 season to see a Nuggets victory live.
In the span of six years going to games I have experienced a little bit of everything. I've seen close losses, blow outs (most the time), and that rare win. Fans in Utah love their Jazz and kudos to them for that. But a lot of them can take their fandom pretty far. I'm used to the yelling, chats, and heckles from the fans directed at me. I have been followed around with fans holding signs saying, "Nuggets Suck" and other such things. I have had programs, paper airplanes, and even bottles thrown at me at these games. I typically get worse treatment when I sit in the upper bowl, but the jeers also occur when I get the rare lower bowl seat. I have also had highs as a Nuggets fan living in Utah. Last year during the game we won, I spent the second half sitting with "Koz" aka Jason Kosmicki in the radio booth, the Nuggets play-by-play man. Here is the link to the post about that from my old account. The other was pre-game to this last ugly ugly game (March 23rd).
Lovely ESPN makes this game a 8:30 p.m. tip. So rather than kill time and get there around 8:00 p.m. My cousin and I get there when the doors open at 7:00 p.m.. Our tickets are noes bleeds so rather than make the long hike up to our seats we head down to the court to watch shoot-around.
Gallo was out doing some drills with one hand, AAA and Chandler were also out shooting around.
Later Birdman, Al Buckets and Mcgee came out.
Gallo was a stud and signed autographs with his one hand. And of all the those guys that signed my shirt, his is oddly the most legible. McGee came out with his beats on and I thought he would either just go into the locker room or do a sign and dash, but to my surprise he stopped, took off his headphones, and talked to the fans a bit. I welcomed him to the team, as most of us did, and he was very nice and joked around with us all.
Chandler was very quiet, but friendly ... he seems to be a very introverted fellow. AAA was pretty quite as well, but he seemed to be in the zone (planning his ejection I'm sure). But by far Birdman was the coolest. Posing for pictures with people and made sure everyone that wanted an autograph got one.
It was clear no one else was coming out so we decided to make our way to our seats.
I noticed a lot more Nuggets fans than normal at the arena. Normally we hear clapping here and there throughout the arena, for the Nuggs, but last night we were a solid group making noise after dunks and blocks. Then the last four minutes of the second quarter happened.
After halftime it became clear that the fans around me had maybe one too many adult beverages. I had my Faried jersey on and started getting a lot of, "35 you need to go home" heckles. Having been going to games for so many years I have learned to just tune that crap out. Not much I can do or say when the Nuggets are down 20 points.
With about seven minutes left in the game things with the Jazz fans took a turn, for the worse. I'm watching the game and then next thing I know I'm being hit with thunder sticks ... they are being banged on my shoulders and head. Before I can even react my cousin stands up and throws the thunder stick and tells the kid to get back to his seat (I might be toning it down a bit for the blog).
At this point I turn around to see him scurry three rows back to his group of friends. I say (honestly) very friendly, "Hey you guys are up 20, kudos to you, no need to start something" and turned back around. I did not have much to cheer for and had basically been sitting on my hand for two quarters. Next thing I know he comes running back down next to me and my cousin. My cousin, who apparently was mean mugging the dude, stands up and pushes him back and tells him to step off. They then argue about how he is a Jazz fan and should not be sticking up for me. It was kind of funny.
So, naturally security had stepped in at that point and took the drunker away with my cousin. Then two minutes later a kid that looked like carrot top comes and sits next to me (also very very plastered) and starts telling me how much he respects me for coming into the Jazz arena and reping the Nuggets. After about 50 hand shakes he left and security came and had me come down as well.
So 15 minutes later we find out he was in the wrong seat and way too tipsy. The security at the ESA was really cool. They basically apologized profusely and said they have removed the kid and his friends and we were welcome to go back to our seats. With two minutes left in the game and down by 20 points, I took that as a sign to leave. This security guard said that at any games in the future, if any Jazz fans give me a hard time to come find him and he would get me some better seats. Like I said, very cool dude.
Six years of games and I have just about experienced everything a fan can at an opposing team's arena. My goal for next season is to make It down to Denver to see a game and have a much better Nuggets experience.