October 02, 2009
I'm a stander.
I have bad knees and have to wear expensive inserts in my shoes to keep that plantar tendon from ballooning to the size of a medium-pace dirigible, but I like to stand, more than sit. When I'm really paying attention to a game, like a playoff battle, I'll stand. At a pub, I stand. Call me crazy, but also call me upright.
So I can understand why the bench, not benched, players on various NBA teams like to stand as they exhort their teammates from the sideline.
I can understand why a coach would prefer to stand and pace around
the court, even if they're not calling a play. It's nervous energy, it's more
comfortable, and it's not really hurting anyone.
Except it is, actually. And standing on the sidelines, more or less, has been banned by the NBA. If you're not in the game, and you're not participating in an impromptu celebration, you need to sit. League rules. Fans asked for it, the NBA delivered it.
Mike McGraw of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald (via '64 and Counting), spearheaded the movement to get players to sit. And I agree with him, even though I'm a stander. And it's not because I'm a former resident of Arlington Heights.
Not to get too haughty, but these are paying customers. Not only are they contributing to the ticket revenue, but their eyes are what drives ad sales at home, making it possible for the NBA to sell TV rights to its games for a stiff price, making it possible for the standers in question to make millions of dollars. Even if they play five minutes a game, every two weeks.
And really, that's a house of cards I'd rather not mess with. I just drove around listening to some AM radio cats slightly mock the selling of ads on WNBA jerseys. In times like these - in any time, really - we need those advertisers. Sure, to paraphrase Bill Hicks, advertising executives are quite loathsome, to say the least. But they also make it so that you can read this website, for free. And make it possible for me to listen to those AM radio chatters, for free.
And if they go away, we're in trouble. And the people that shell out hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to see a game that they could easily experience in the comfort of their own home, for a fraction of the price, with a hundred camera angles and instant analysis, in HD, with the ability to fast-forward and rewind, with cheaper snacks, more comfortable seats, and their lovely better half at their side? If they suddenly decide en masse to stop coming out? Uh oh. Then every team, your favorite team, turns into the Grizzlies.
So I guess what I'm getting at is, yes, sit down, NBA players. Don't make us all root for the Grizzlies.
Grizzlies benchwarmers? Go ahead and stand. You're not blocking anyone's view.