Hornets Hype

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Archive for the ‘ Around Town ’ Category

TC 6 repairs a ceiling fanThe Hornets better watch out.

All three teams who were down 2-0 won last night. Washington and Toronto did it at home. Houston took a rare one on the road in Utah (but then, Utah had already won a rare two on the road in Houston, so it’s proving to be a weird series). The Hornets have looked impressive in the first two games in the series, but tonight is going to be huge. If Dallas takes one back, it’s a new series.

We’re going to find out who this team is tonight.

Speaking of this team, has anyone noticed that ESPN has been dispensing mad Hornet love lately?

* This article finally praised the Hornets, maybe overmuch, calling them “the most complete team left in the NBA.”

* John Hollinger gives the team almost daily attention.

* David West, Chris Paul, and Josh Howard talk about the influence of their shared college coach, the late Skip Prosser.

Meanwhile, the good ol’ boys who “played in the ’80′s, man” on TNT keep talking Mavs, Mavs, Mavs. Charles Barkley jumped on the CP3 bandwagon briefly a couple of weeks back, then promptly changed his mind and jumped back off. Never mind his ignorant “the Hornets play in a mausoleum” comment, which by the way, was immortalized by our favorite hometown signmakers, Apple and Larry, at the Arena.

So we’ve got the beginning signs of ESPN playing themselves off the $#*t List. And we’ve got TNT sinking deeper and deeper into the mire of Hornets hate…

Speaking of crowds, who caught the Toronto game? Wow. They’re so coordinated. Not only did they manage to all be wearing the proper color t-shirt, but they managed to coherently sing an entire “Ole.” The Hornets crowd is like a disorganized mob in comparison. It’s loud… but it needs work on its cheer coordination.

Finally, there’s a watch party tonight starting at 6:30 at Gordon Biersch, which is sort of the Official Bar of the New Orleans Hornets– if you didn’t know, they broadcast the Hornets postgame call-in show from G.B. after games, plus there’s a discount if you bring your program. You can also ask Joe Block a question on the air. I’m sort of ambivalent on watch parties, since the Hornets are 0-4 this year in games with an official watch party. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to drag my superstitious ass down there.

But then again, everything starts fresh in the playoffs! You should come on down and say hi. I’ll be the one wearing who’s a girl.

Last night the Hornets threw a party on Fulton Street downtown. Well, I’m not one to miss a good party, so here’s a recap of the event… with pictures!

Hornets take the stage at the rallyWe got there just as the team was taking the stage. Rob Nice introduced the players one by one, and they came out tossing shirts to the crowd. Then Byron Scott took the mike and said a few words. They announced that the giveaway for Saturday night is a free t-shirt—here’s what it looks like: guess they decided to go for the “teal-out”– and stressed that you are supposed to put them ON. Then the team was out, high fiveing fans as they left. Oh, except Jeff Bower, the NBA’s most anonymous GM, who, as usual, didn’t leave but instead slipped into the crowd unnoticed by pretty much everyone except our group.

Fans enjoy the rallyAll the TVs outside the bars were playing the Hornets’ season montage over and over (I could watch that thing all day, I swear). There were performances from the Hornets Drumline, the Honeybees, and the Used to Bees. There was also a band, who got murderous “not amused” looks from us for bringing up LSU way more often than acceptable at a Hornets rally. They had a couple of bars set up outside, some tables where you could win prizes, and a small merchandise booth. FYI, we were told the Southwest Division T-shirts are available at the Arena now, if anyone’s interested in grabbing one. Poydras Street has Hornets signs hanging from all the streetlights, and that building with the dome on top is lit up in teal, gold, and purple.

They gave away some nice swag at the rally, the best freebies being lawn signs (there I am with mine below) and “Geaux Hornets” window decals. Because we are dedicated to bringing the Hype, I debated snagging 20 or so of the signs and sneaking around at night sticking them all over the neutral ground on St. Charles, but it would have been hard to hold a beer with a stack of 20 signs.

I decided to make a HornetsHype Flickr account, so you can go there to check out the rest of the pics from last night.

FAN UP your lawn! Woo!Finally, I’m going to be in Tampa through Sunday morning, so I leave you in the capable hands of mW. (Yes, I’m missing Game 1. Don’t get me started.) I’m on the plane now, and the guy two seats over is reading today’s Times Picayune. I noticed from looking over his shoulder that there appear to be at least two editorials on the Hornets in the Metro section, a measure of how far things have come.

Behind me, a woman is lifting her little kid up to the window to watch the other planes taxi down the runway at MSY. “No, no,” she says. “We haven’t taken off yet. But we will in just a little bit. And then we’re going to go higher and higher.”

Sounds familiar.

Hyping the Hornets in his column in the T.P.:

And then the Hornets game came on TV. And I witnessed a phenomenon that I had associated only with the Saints for the past 25 years and it was this: Everyone in the bar was watching the game. And friends and strangers alike cheered, back-slapped, high-fived, hugged and toasted the team.

It was, dare I say, communal. It felt great. I watched and thought: I need to pay attention to this team.

And:

There is no question in my mind that the story of New Orleans’ recovery and rejuvenation has reached more Americans through sports telecasts than by any other means. The Saints’ return to the Superdome on Monday Night Football, Louisiana State University’s victory in the BCS Championship Game, the New Orleans Arena playing host to the NBA All-Star Game — they have all served as glowing, prime-time advertisements for our city, its charms and its resilience.

Check out the rest…

Plus an interesting dust-up in Dallas over bloggers’ credentials, as recapped on True Hoop. It’s not like I’m ever going to have a media credential for anywhere, but this is the sort of thing I like to keep an eye on. I think Mark Cuban & co. might be taking a stance here that they’re going to regret.

Bill Simmons plays “What If?” on ESPN’s Page 2, listing the Top 15 What Ifs? of the last decade in the NBA. The Hornets-related highlight:

Anyway, if Portland takes Paul, that sets off a crazy chain reaction: New Orleans ends up with Deron Williams instead of Paul; Utah never gets its franchise point guard; Oden and Aldridge land in other cities; maybe Roy doesn’t turn into a franchise guard playing second fiddle to Paul; and maybe Paul isn’t quite as driven because he’s not as ticked off for the next few years after three teams passed on him. I have to say, I like the way it worked out.

And ABC picks up another Hornets game, this time the home game against Golden State on April 6th. Tipoff has been moved to noon for TV, so make sure to mark your calendars!

tyson3.jpgIn which I make some predictions for the game, almost none of which are basketball related. (I told you I have a talent.)

  • How many beers will ticktock6 consume at the season ticketholder Beer Garden before her fingers fall off from the cold? Well, folks, we’re asking the tough questions tonight. I’m going to go with 3.
  • Will D West’s bench-sitting outfit involve colors besides black or gray? Are you new?
  • Will the Back Row Believes sign get on the jumbotron, despite being the awesomest sign in the New Orleans Arena? No. Those people hate on the back row like nobody’s business.
  • Will Super Hugo drop kick the basketball into ANY SECTION BESIDES 101? Hell no. This is a serious number based on actual statistical analysis of all home games this season.
  • Will Birdman dress? No.
  • How many CP-TC alley oops tonight? My guess is six.

41-19 looks pretty. Put that up again.

41-19.

Ready for some more of that?

41-19.

Cold.

OMG a positive attendance story sighted in the wild!
……But thanks!

With an attendance goal to meet, the Hornets’ MVP is turning out to be the fans.

Here we have a rare sighting of a positive Hornets attendance article in the wild. This elusive specimen was glimpsed on the front page (not the front page of Sports, the Front Page front page) of the Times Picayune, marking it as an article of a doubly rare species. It had to be photographed quickly before it disappeared, never to be seen again by scientists for many, many years.

Historic.

HypeMeter: Possibly at an all-time high.

I myself have whoooo-ed in this same tunnel.

Last night, despite the 98-89 loss to the Spurs, we met up with some people off the HR boards at the airport. We had beers, jerseys, flags, and signs, which is really all you need when you are drinking in a cold parking lot off the back of the airport at 12:30 AM waiting for the team to come home. It was cool to put some faces to the names.

I got my Chris Paul jersey, which I won by correctly guessing his line in the All Star Game. Much excitement! Ryan Bowen rolled down his window to say hi, and most of the players waved and honked as they drove out of the gate. I now know that most of the players drive something sleek, expensive, and black. The better to stalk them, my friends. (I kid.) There was a tense moment when we thought security was coming in a long white car to kick us out of the lot, but it turned out it was just Gil’s wife. The TV guys thanked us for being out there, or commented that we were all crazy.

I’ve been called crazy for lesser causes. Geaux Hornets!

If I was a Hornet, I’d be pretty stoked about six people at the airport for a loss. That being said, I hope Chris Paul singlehandedly eats the Wizards’ souls tomorrow.

Quote of the Night:

“Did we see David West yet?”

“I think I saw him go by.”

“Which car?”

“A BMW?”

“That really narrows it down.”

“A black one?”

“Riiight.”

Bullets of the Moment

By on February 22, 2008

  • Yesterday afternoon I was in my car listening to actual Hornets talk on WWL. I thought, “Is this happening?” It was rather unbelievable. One guy said he has Direct TV and doesn’t get to watch the Hornets games. Wednesday’s game was the first time he’d ever seen Chris Paul play. He said he called up and immediately bought tickets for the next two Fridays.
  • How big is the love fest for CP right now, by the way? The crowd on Wednesday wasn’t a sellout, but it was probably the loudest of the season. They were ready to go crazy right from the get-go. They screamed for Shinn when he talked about how great New Orleans did at hosting the All Star Game. They screamed for the starting line up. There was one moment when Chris Paul was just dribbling the ball up court, not even particularly doing anything except touching it, and there was a spontaneous standing, screaming ovation.
  • Chris Paul systematically dismantled Kidd and the Mavs. He possibly was bent on destroying their souls. That was fun.
  • Sorry to see Bobby go, especially after the game he had. The deal gave us more options, toughness, and a bit more size, but it remains to be seen whether chemistry will be disrupted. One would think Byron Scott would simply bench any one who even started to start shit. I imagine they know that about him and I hope attitudes won’t be a problem.
  • At Casino Night last night, I missed my moment to get my pic with David West. (I was totally gonna blog it, too.) We were like ships passing in the night. Or really, ships loitering by the buffet table. I decided to go for the food first, but alas, I didn’t know the players were going to take off shortly afterward due to their game the next day. Opportunities pass.
  • We got a nice numbered print with Chandler, Paul, West, and Stojakovic on it. If you renewed your season tix, you got free courtside seats for an upcoming game. We didn’t bite, but many people did.
  • Hey, did you know there’s a whole aisle of Hornets gear in Walmart? I generally boycott Walmart as a rule, but I had to stop and get cat food on the way home from Metro. We were all excited to see it. They have jerseys (I didn’t know there was a whole other tier of jersey below the replica, but it turns out there is), T-shirts, sweatshirts, and… Chris Paul pajama pants!
  • More and more I get the feeling this is the Hornets’ moment, and it is really starting to roll in NOLA. I feel momentum. I hope they sell out the game tonight! And hey, Buzzfest!
  • I seriously don’t think I can live without a pair of Chris Paul pajama pants, so if anyone knows where to get them in a size smaller than XL, please tell me where!

Unflagging Support!

By on February 14, 2008

Hornets flagErr…or flag support?  Can we get TickTock6 in here for a grammar check?  Any way, heading into the All-Star Break here in New Orleans, the Hornets are guaranteed at least a share of the NBA’s Western Conference.  Outstanding!  And to top things off, our friend who stayed with us during Mardi Gras got us a Hornets flag as a thank you present!  Here’s the picture of it in our front window, proudly supporting our team.  (And although the pictures wouldn’t show it, it looks great at night too, with light shining through it from the apartment).    So bottom line, we’re hyped and the rest of Nola should be too!

Now This?

By on February 8, 2008

I take full credit for this by the way… is much better.

To recap. What I said yesterday:

“And here I was having fantasies of CP3 jumping on Peja in color under a headline.”

Naturally I am going to claim full credit for this. You know it. Even though the claim has absolutely no basis in reality. But it’s cool. The Times Picayune doesn’t have to thank me for designing today’s sports page for them. This one’s a freebie. It’s on me.

Consider it my gift to them.