January 12, 2010
With less than a minute left in the third quarter of Tuesday's game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies, a broken water main managed to put enough of a scare into the FedEx Forum management that this message was displayed on the overhead scoreboard:
Yikes. The building was completely evacuated. The Clippers hung out in the team bus. The media and others were shipped across the frozen street. Eventually, the teams were ordered back, and the game resumed — with about 90 percent of what was already a pretty slim crowd.
The rest of the game was a shambolic, "substitute-teacher's-in-charge" affair. The Grizzlies, down 12 during the evacuation, charged back to take the lead and eventual victory (box score here), 104-102, though they appeared just as clueless as the Clippers after the interruption. In spite of the hometown team's win, the evacuees didn't miss much.
Here's how the evacuation appeared to the viewers safe at home. It was rather scary, if I'm honest.
Stay dry, Tirico Suave.