04 November 2013

Happy Anniversary to Me

This weekend my wife and I celebrated our 9th anniversary. We took a trip down to Utah to watch my beloved Houston Rockets play our hated rivals, the Utah Jazz. It was the first NBA game I have been able to attend, as Idaho is relatively far away from just about anything related to any big-league sports. We couldn't stomach the prices for seats in the lower portion of the arena, but we did get seats on the front row of the upper bowl pretty close to midcourt, so we had a clear view of the action.

During the first half, the Rockets were down by as many as 19 points, which was pretty disconcerting as I paid good money for tickets and traveled six hours to see them win. I think they were down 16 points at halftime, and the superstars they signed over the last couple of years hadn't shown much of anything at all to that point. Here I got a picture of Dwight Howard shooting a free throw. He was the big free agent this past offseason, and Houston did a big show of groveling and begging him to come and be the centerpiece for the team. He has a reputation for disappearing when he doesn't get to be the star, so he struggled last season with the Lakers as he had to share the spotlight with Kobe Bryant and work in a system that didn't suit him. I hope he can find enough motivation to play hard for Houston. He usually makes fewer than half of his free throws, but on Saturday night he hit a hot streak and made 7/10 in the game. Here you can see on the scoreboard that the Rockets had closed the gap to 60-64 with about four minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

Dwight Howard (12) tries really hard not to brick more free throws.

The guy wearing #25 in the background of this shot is Chandler Parsons, who was the player of the game for the Rockets, making huge plays throughout the night to keep the Rockets in contention until Dwight Howard and James "the Beard" Harden, Houston's other star player, could get going. Once the two stars began to heat up the Rockets took the lead in the 4th quarter and didn't give it up again. This picture shows James Harden shooting a couple of free throws with 34 seconds left in the 4th quarter and the game well in-hand for the Rockets. This is about when the Jazz fans began to file out of the arena en masse.

James Harden (13) shoots a free throw while Chandler Parsons (25) and Jeremy Lin (7) exchange fashion tips.

And here is a rather fuzzy photo of the final score. The Rockets took this one 104-93, a 30-point turnaround from their lowest point in the game. The Jazz lack a superstar player and are now 0-3, while the Rockets are 3-0 in the young NBA season. They are going to have to play a lot better as the season goes on, because a better opponent isn't going to let them come back from 19 points down.

Look at all of the sad Jazz fans leaving.

It was such a landmark experience for me that I even allowed myself to be photographed. Unfortunately there are a bunch of retired Jazz numbers hanging in the background. I tried to find their NBA Championship banners up in the rafters, but couldn't see any.

In all it was a pretty good experience. I was glad that the Rockets were able to gut out a win in hostile territory on my account, and our seats turned out to be pretty good for the money. There were seats closer to the court that cost much more than ours did with worse views of the court. In all I had a good time, and my wife didn't have to deal with me pouting over a loss on our anniversary.


  1. Happy Anniversary and congrats on the 3-0 start.

  2. Happy anniversary! And congrats on having a wife that will drive that far to watch a basketball game for it! I'd make another joke about Utah not having a championship banner, but the team that I root for (well, when I can remember that it's basketball season) is ringless as well. Oh Blazers.

  3. The Blazers have never quite been able to put it together. I hold a grudge against the Jazz specifically because after Houston won their two Championships in 1994 and 1995, it seemed like the Jazz would beat them in the playoffs and then go and roll right over for whichever team they faced next. In reality it probably only happened once or twice, but in the wayback machine it feels like it happened all the time. I do kind of wish that Barkley had been able to get his ring during the two seasons he played for them when the Jazz knocked them out of the playoffs. We were able to get Clyde Drexler his ring, but we couldn't do it for Sir Charles.