Yup, the grayish beard is for the hockey playoffs, and the chat with Chick was for my own well being. He’s a good listener.
You gotta wonder what Chick Hearn would have said about this whole L.A. sports weekend spectacle.
It’s the obvious question, having just unwedged myself from the Metrolink blue line at the Chick Hearn Station near Pico, followed the herd to Chick Hearn Court, and then plopped down in the chair next to the bronze Chick Hearn statue for a counseling session.
Why does he seem to be perpetually enamored with all the chaos going on around him?
Because he doesn’t have to concern himself with parking, for one.
The word’s eye view of the late Basketball Hall of Fame broadcaster would be a dandy way to caption this moment in time that we may never see again.
If we were to guess, it would be about the opposite of what we heard from Clipper Darrell.
A couple of fans, including one in a Lakers’ poncho and sombrero that wasn’t Vic “The Brick” Jacobs, attempt to console Clipper Darrell outside Staples Center late Saturday afternoon.
He emerged from the Staples Center concourse sometime about 2:30 p.m. Saturday – that’d probably be in third quarter when the Clippers all but squandered a 24-point lead to San Antonio.
Darrell likely didn’t even notice that by then, Staples Center workers had removed all the red, white and blue arching balloon displays, replaced that 100-yard Clippers banner atop the third-level courtyard that said “Risen!” with a purple-and-gold Lakers banner,
and took down all the Clippers-related flags near the north entrance and had already run Lakers flags up in their place.
The change-over had already taken place as far as Clipper Darrell was concerned. He let loose with a F-bomb that echoed through the plaza.
No harm, no foul language?
The Spurs apparently just put Game 3, and most likely this Clippers’ postseason, into the refrigerator. Clipper Darrell wasn’t jigglin’.
About a half hour later, all these “Clipper Nation All In” T-shirts with people inside of them emerged in great mass from their rented seats, as if Staples Center employees trying to tidy up before the Lakers’ crowd arrived simply swept them outside with their brooms.
Clippers fans made their way out of Staples Center on Saturday oblivious to the their balloons had been taken down and Lakers banners were back up.
The Clippers, no matter how much you think they’re sitting at the adult table during this L.A. playoff holiday feast, remain collateral damage in this AEG weekend scenario, one that Staple Center GM Lee Zeidman keeps telling reporters is this “perfect storm” and an “unprecedented moment” for the sports and entertainment capital of the world.
The bottom line is that it’s capitalism at its best for the Anshutz Entertainment Group. They’re just like another airlines that grossly overbooks a flight, but neither the NBA, NHL or the AEG-sponsored Tour of California will blink.
The Clippers, of course, accepted the indignity of agreeing to play tonight, knowing that somehow they could get bumped to Monday, forcing all their fans to go home and come back – again – to be disappointed.
The perfect perfect storm could play out this afternoon, if some 18,000-plus Kings fans come pouring out in celebration mode from the arena at about, say, 5 p.m., after a two OT victory and a trip to the Stanley Cup finals is secured, and then they don’t even hold the doors open for the 18,000-plus Clippers fans who have been standing around waiting to get back into the building just to have spurs dug into their shins one last time.
Not a Phi Beta Kappa move.
Kings’ fans inconvenienced by having to show up today before the AEG cock crows so they avoid this vicious cycle of overbooking sporting events have been promised free donuts and coffee for their troubles.
Clippers’ fans inconvenienced by the belief they’ll see their team win a game in this series have been faked into the popcorn machine.
If everyone rode a bike to Staples Center this weekend, parking might a little more manageable. But we really weren’t given full discloser about what else is happening in the neighborhood this weekend.
A multi-level telecommunications marketing company (we’re saying that in the nicest way) is hosting a three-day international training session this weekend at the L.A. Convention Center – with most of the 250,000 participants all dressed in fancy attire and taking up rooms at the JW Marriott in L.A. Live. The added foot traffic – and lines created at the local eateries – makes us all a little uncomfortable.
A Roger Waters concert down the street at the Coliseum on Saturday
night was just another brick in the wall of cars trying to get to the Lakers’ game.
And tonight at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. Live, they’ll be having rehearsals for the “American Idol” two-night finale early this week. Be aware: Steven Tyler may be working the local Burger King drive-through window.
If you’re wise enough to sardine yourself today into the germ-free Metrolink artery, you’ll have removed half the frustration of dealing with the last remnants of Occupy Staples Center.
This should be a joyful confluence of six playoff games and a big-adventure bike race. And one we hope only comes around as much as a solar eclipse (like the one tonight?)
If anything, we’ve enjoyed the people-watching opportunities – particularly, the return-to-normal looks on the faces of this Nation of Clipperdome. Inevitably, they’ll be next to us at a Pantry counter seat, picking over their cole slaw, and cracking a smile that, for a
least one weekend, there were a bunch of red, white and blue Clippers balloons attached to the Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Chick Hearn statues in Star Plaza.
We pretty much know what Hearn would have said about that.