Hornets Hype

In a basement. In our pajamas.

About a week and a half back, I got a ticket to attend the ESPN taping of Chris Paul’s annual celebrity bowling event. Well, here’s my big shiny recap of the day, complete with pictures. Be warned, though, since this is going to be on TV, I can’t tell you who wins. But believe me when I say the ending was about as exciting as you can get in bowling.

The trophy

The trophy

Upon my arrival at Harrah’s Hotel to catch the shuttle to the event, I immediately see Ludacris wander out (on the phone) and stand right next to where I am. He’s wearing sunglasses and a red leather jacket with his name stitched on it. (I tweet: “Ten minutes ago I was standing right beside Ludacris. He DEFINITELY is not tall. He may be shorter than me.”) Jack Del Rio, coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was also there to bowl, as well as LaMarr Woodley and Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Tweet: “Am standing beside Hines Ward and LaMarr Woodley. I guess they are football ppl or something. They’re not very tall.”) I’m not sure what my strange obsession with celebrity height is. It just seems that every time I meet someone I expect them to be tall, and they’re not. Haha.

Everyone was waiting around for Chris Paul to arrive. Which he did, quite ironically, as I was leaning on a column in the hotel lobby tweeting on my Blackberry about how none of the celebrities were tall. He literally strolled through my field of vision about two feet away. It will probably not come as a shock to you that he is not tall, either. Chris Paul is wearing a Yankees cap and a pair of navy and orange Nikes. I immediately decide to start an obnoxious Twitter rumor about him signing with the Knicks.

We hopped on the shuttles to the event (I was on the one with the Hornets people and PBA people, not the celebrities), which was held on the Belle Chase Naval Base. The audience was basically all servicemen and women, in uniform, and some of them brought their kids. The minute we got there I realized A) the place was really, really small, and B) I was sitting in the front row. I was definitely going to be on TV at some point. Yuck. I pulled my stuff out of my bag and began to furtively tackily do my makeup. Meanwhile, the celebrities and the PBA bowlers they were matched up with started to warm up, as the ESPN crew gave instructions to the crowd.

Jason Belmonte, Pete Weber, and Ludacris

Jason Belmonte, Pete Weber, and Ludacris

This was the first TV taping of anything I’ve ever been to. I can tell you that it was mostly three things: 1) Hot, 2) Long, and 3) Late. Everything was late. It started late. It ended late. Mostly this was due to the “commercial breaks” they built into it, even though it wasn’t live. So the guy would get on the loudspeaker and tell people they had ten minutes to get food or go to the bathroom. And whenever he did this, the entire audience would– you guessed it– get up. And then it took forever to get everyone back in their seats and continue with the tournament. The event started with a play-in round between Jack Del Rio and LaMarr Woodley to see which of them would be on the fourth team in the main tournament. (I’m not sure that part is going to be televised.) But after that, we didn’t get to take any more pictures, so as not to spoil how it all turns out. Yes, I know who wins, BUT I’M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU. Muahahaha… Chris Paul, however, has never won his own tournament, which, considering the supercompetitor that he is, must really really irk him, so I can tell you he was gunning for it.

Chris & Ludacris

Chris & Ludacris

One of my favorite moments involved little CP, Chris Paul’s baby son who was sitting with his parents two rows behind me. At one point, Chris was about to bowl, and little CP starts loudly going, “Da-da! Da-da!” The whole place was silent, so everyone heard him. Chris turned around and gave him a smile and a little wave. Then he bowled a strike. It was super, super cute. My other favorite moment was when Hines Ward dived down the lane on his stomach after making a really big shot. The guys were being goofy and making it fun to watch.

The only other Hornet who made an appearance was Peja, who came for a bit with his five-year-old son. He actually sat right behind me, which is a nice way of saying his knees were in my back because it is really hard to sit on bleachers when you’re 6-10. This is the point in the broadcast where you will definitely see me, because they do a close-up of Peja and put his name up on the screen. And lo, there I will be, trying to look like I’m not looking at myself on the screen across the way. Chris Paul came up and sat behind me and talked to Peja for a bit. Peja was mentioning a present CP had gotten his son for Christmas, I think, and saying his son wasn’t really into basketball (he knows that his dad plays but that’s about it) but ever since then he talks about Chris Paul. Aw. Peja and his son, by the way, do not speak in English to each other.

I did get introduced to and shake hands with both of them. Chris Paul was his usual polite self. I mentioned I had met him before when I won a video contest, and he said, “Oh, that’s right, the MVP video.” (I think this is more a function of there being only one video contest in the last 3 years than Chris Paul having an OMG AMAZING MEMORY, so don’t get too excited. Haha.) I was sitting right in front of the whole Paul family and friends contingent, and they were all very nice.

Me and Hines Ward after he tried to cut me off. Haha

Me and Hines Ward after he tried to cut me off. Haha

Afterward there was a reception at Harrah’s Hotel. We chatted with some fans, random people, and Hornets employees. I had an entertaining conversation with one of the biggest name-droppers I have ever met (seriously, this guy deserved an award). Hines Ward and LaMarr Woodley amusingly parked themselves at the bar and made themselves the center of the party, chatting and taking pictures with just about everyone who came up to get a drink. They also kept pushing pineapple juice and vodka (ew!) on people. I have one funny celebrity story from that night, and here it is: I went up to the bar to grab myself a drink. After declining the pineapple and vodka, I mentioned that I was going to have one drink, because I had to work the next day. It was only 9:30 at that point. Hines asked me what I did for a living, that I had to be up at 6:30 AM for. I told him, and he informed me he was going to order the perfect drink for me. He turned away for a second, and then turned back to me with…. a bottle of water. I said, “Wait, did you just cut me off?” Him: “Yup.” Other appearances at the party included local artist Amanda Shaw and Danny Glover, who strolled in in a long trench coat and had everyone excited, even Chris Paul.

The event will air on ESPN on Super Bowl Sunday. I recommend watching or DVR-ing if you like:

  • actual PBA bowling
  • Chris Paul
  • glimpses of Ticktock6 looking goofy on national TV
  • exciting endings that go down to the very last frame

Below the cut, a gallery of pictures from the event (they’re big, so Scary Loading Time Warning). Huge thanks to Matt of Storm Surge Photography. Please contact him and not me if you’d like to use any of them on your site:

Chris Paul Celebrity Invitational

Chris Paul Celebrity Invitational

Chris Paul warms up

Chris Paul warms up

Chris & Ludacris

Chris & Ludacris

Ludacris doing his warmup

Ludacris doing his warmup

LaMarr Woodley takes a break

LaMarr Woodley takes a break

This is the Hines Ward Game Face

This is the Hines Ward Game Face

Look at all this frantic tweeting going on in the front row

Look at all this frantic tweeting going on in the front row

A face we all know well: the Chris Paul Game Face

A face we all know well: the Chris Paul Game Face

Jack Del Rio gets ready to bowl. If you are like me and have a weird obsession with celebrity height, he was the tallest one there

Jack Del Rio gets ready to bowl. If you are like me and have a weird obsession with celebrity height, he was the tallest one there

Something good must have happened... haha

Something good must have happened... haha

Jason Belmonte, CP's partner for the event

Jason Belmonte, CP's partner for the event

Pete Weber & Luda rocking the sunglasses

Pete Weber & Luda rocking the sunglasses

Hi, ESPN booth crew!

Hi, ESPN booth crew!

HornetsHype at the reception

HornetsHype at the reception

Even the photographer (@stormsurgephoto) gets a pic with CP!

Even the photographer (@stormsurgephoto) gets a pic with CP!

Me and Hines Ward after he tried to cut me off. Haha

Me and Hines Ward after he tried to cut me off. Haha

Danny Glover made an appearance, and everyone was excited, even Chris Paul

Danny Glover made an appearance, and everyone was excited, even Chris Paul

LaMarr Woodley and Hines Ward holding down the bar at the reception

LaMarr Woodley and Hines Ward holding down the bar at the reception



Comments

18 Responses to “Recap: Chris Paul’s Celebrity Bowling Invitational 2010”

  1. Danny Glover looked seriously homeless. Just sayin

  2. Many quality individuals rock a homeless look. STOP JUDGING ME!

  3. LOL! I agree stormsurge! He seriously looks like a bum off the street in that pic. Just goes to show we can’t judge a book by its cover. LOL!

  4. I can see him breaking out into “Pants on the Ground”

  5. RE Danny Glover. No way, look closer: the threads are way too expensive to be “homeless gear.” Plus, I resent the comments insofar as they refer to his scruff. The man had just gotten off a plane and came right to the event.

    As someone said to me that night, “you know you’re big time when the people you want to be photographed with are there to get a photo with you.” Truth. Chris Paul, you are kind of a big deal.

  6. Montaignejns says:

    Would it be wrong of me to point out that I recognized another all star twitterer in one of the photos from the back of her head. I don’t mean that like the cab driver in the Beasty Boys song, just sayin, that’s her right?

  7. [...] Recap: Chris Paul’s Celebrity Bowling Invitational 2010 (No Spoilers!) [...]

  8. C’mon, you knew the answer to that before you typed it.

  9. I’m a huge Steelers fan, so consider me jealous when you got to take a picture of (potential Hall of Famer) Hines Ward!

  10. @Montaignejns Yes, it is. :-)

  11. montaignejns says:

    Ha! you put an @ before my name even were not on twitter.

  12. [...] Recap: Chris Paul’s Celebrity Bowling Invitational 2010 (No Spoilers!) [...]

  13. 1chicklette says:

    Troublemakers

  14. james hartman says:

    am i blind or is the author of the story’s name omitted from th entire article

  15. The byline is at the top. It’s just ticktock6. I don’t use my real name on this site.



Write a Comment