A funny thing happened to me last Friday night. A colleague from work, Kemet, had won a pair of tickets to the Charlotte Bobcats basketball game and invited me to join him. I picked him up prior to the game and we made it into downtown (Uptown) Charlotte easily enough, found parking in the dirt lot across the street from Time Warner (took the Highlander this time so I wouldn’t scrape the undercarriage of the BMW in what has at times been a nasty parking lot) and then walked up to College for a pre-game beer and bite to eat at Carolina Ale House.
We walked back down to the arena just prior to game time to claim our seats at the will-call window, which is inside the venue. We cleared the security search (they searched everyone, even those adorable pre-teens ahead of us in line who must have looked like they had trouble on their minds), picked up the tickets and made our way to our seats. Kemet’s original seats were in the nose bleed section but he contacted someone he knew with the Bobcats and they arranged for us to switch to better seats, which these were, Section 101, row Z. We were a bit off the floor, directly behind the basket, with a good sightline and close enough so that you could actually make out what was occurring on the court with the naked eye.
Here is where the funny thing happened. As with all arenas, they have a large four-sided scoreboard hung directly above center court with a sizeable video screen on each side. I tend not to go to many live sporting events, preferring to take in the action at home in high definition on my big old plasma, so over the years have become conditioned to watching sporting activity on a video monitor. So, I’m sitting there in the arena, live game in front of me and I couldn’t stop watching the scoreboard monitor.
I remarked to Kemet a couple of times about it and then tried diligently to watch the game on the court. The next thing I knew I’m back to watching the scoreboard broadcast. In my defense though, the scoreboard broadcast consistently showed sideline shots of the Lady Cats (our very own Bobcat cheerleaders) and so as a red blooded American Male, I’m using that as my defense for not watching the live action. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Just don’t tell Joanna.
What you are writing about is in actuality a comment about contemporary reality. I attend live simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. (You may recall attending one with me a year or so ago.) I have been so impressed by them that my desire to see live opera has been considerably diminished. So, the question becomes not so much “What is real?” as what enhances most our appreciation of an event. Whether sports or concerts or theater, we have become so removed from the actual event that the camera has replaced our eye. It brings us a truer picture of the event than our own eye. Now about the girls…. At some point, no doubt, the real thing will no longer suffice. Think of Ray Bradbury. They upshot of your weird experience is that reality has become redefined.
Glad you enjoyed the game.