|Just before tip off at the Bobcats game. Taken by Sergio Tovar.|
I went to a Charlotte Bobcats game on Monday night. The reason I went tells you everything you need to know about the Bobcats exercise in futility this season.
There are the injuries, of course. There are the 15 straight losses, often by at least 20 points. There's the pathetically low attendance for most games.
Yet there's nothing quite as sad as the promotion that gave me the opportunity to go to the Bobcats game Monday night.
A friend and colleague went to a Bobcats game on Jan. 28. During the fourth quarter of that game, they announced this promotion: If the Bobcats make a three-point basket in that quarter, everyone gets free tickets to Monday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
I'm going to repeat that: if the Bobcats managed to make one three-pointer in the entire fourth quarter, everyone got free tickets. It didn't have to be a certain player, didn't have to be shot from a certain point on the court. And it wasn't that you got a voucher for a discounted ticket, the box office handed you free tickets.
That says three things to me:
- The Bobcats are so pathetic that there's a legitimate chance the team won't make a three-point basket in 12 minutes.
- The attendance was so pathetic at that game that the Bobcats knew they had enough tickets to another game for everyone there.
- The ticket sales were so pathetic for Monday's game that there was plenty of room to accommodate everyone.
That just reeks of desperation.
You might be thinking, "The game must have been pretty packed Monday, right?"
If everyone at the game brought a friend, it still wouldn't have been full. (See photo.)
Here's the kicker: I had fun. It was a good game. The Cats ended up losing by nine, but they were close most of the game, even getting within one possession several times in the second half. It was frustrating to watch them blow chances, but it was nice to watch a competitive game.
Time Warner Cable Arena is a great venue (except for the $8 beer). We were on the top row of the upper level and they weren't bad seats. The halftime entertainment was a little weird, but funny. And it's nice see people gathering uptown.
I want to be a Bobcats fan. Every year I try. It's just hard to be a fan of a team that struggles this much. Charlotteans may be mad about the way the Hornets left and may not like the way the new stadium was built, but if the Bobcats can manage some degree of respectability people will come out. (Saturday's game against the Clippers was legitimately sold out, from what I've heard.)
Charlotte can support and fall in love with a new NBA team, but something has to change. Someday, that promotion won't be possible. Maybe we will look back on it and laugh.
Right now, though, I think the Bobcats would finish third in the ACC. At best.