This blog will chronicle my attempt to visit all 30 NBA Arenas during the 2007-08 season.

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Contact info: Drew Cieszynski 2637 N. Frederick Ave. Apt# 106 Milwaukee, WI 53211 / 717.676.9963 / acieszyn@hotmail.com

Click below on "2007" to view the first 13 arenas.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cleveland Cavaliers (#10)

We are all witnesses

Wow~ 10 arenas complete...1/3 of the way there. In my lifetime, I had not even been to 10 NBA games and now after 8 weeks and 10 arenas, I've had some of the most memorable experiences of my life, let alone NBA experiences.

With the flat tire from Chicago now fixed, it was off to Arena #10 - Cleveland, OH.

I chose to drive this trip. Big mistake. After leaving Milwaukee, I was stuck in Chicago traffic for nearly 3 hours. Then, for those of you who haven't had the luxury of driving it, the Indiana ($4) and Ohio turnpikes ($8) are possibly the least scenic/exciting drives that America has to offer. When it was all said and done, the drive took 9 hours, plus the time zone change, so we'll call it 10. What I found funniest along the way was that at the Indiana toll road, there were people handing out toll road tickets. I've been on the Indiana toll road before, so I know that this is not a confined incident; this is how they operate. No automated machines for tickets, but tax dollars at work paying people to hand out your tickets.

Some of my former neighbors, the Blashford family, from Pennsylvania were generous enough to put me up for the weekend.

Early Saturday afternoon we went into the city of Cleveland. The weather that has cursed the NBA TOUR over the past 3 weeks arrived again, so there was not many photo opportunities

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Cleveland's big tourist item is the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME.

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Another thing to see, and yet another installment of "What the **** artwork" is the Free Stamp

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So we arrived at Quicken Loans Arena, or "The Q," where we were to use "Flash Seats" to get our tickets. Pay attention fans, this is the future of ticketing. Fans can buy and sell seats to sold out events while remaining completely anonymous. What happens is the recipient brings a form of I.D. (credit card, driver's license) to the ticketing line and simply swipes it and a "seat locator" prints out for the ticketholder. No more worries about forgetting your tickets, losing them, or even the uncomfortable purchases from scalpers. If you can't make a game, you can transfer the seats instantaneously over the Internet.

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We met up with Holly Yanak from Community Relations who was kind enough to provide us with some souvenirs for our visit. Arm band, hat, t-shirt, pen, and a really nice notebook. Our original seats were in section 228, which are pretty good seats, but Holly upgraded us to seats that were 8 rows above the Cavaliers bench. 4 tickets at $147 face value. You do the math. It was probably the best view I've ever had at a game.

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A bit blurry, but here's a pic of me at center court with Clare and Scott.

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Me with some of the Cavs staff members at center court

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76ers warming up to our right

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Ira Newbie

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Who's that guy?

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Eric Snow mingling with fans

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Good to see Anderson Varejao out of contract disputes and back in uniform

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Oh my god! A Todd McCullough sighting!!!!

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Moondog basketball

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Live band playing before the game

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It seems now that at the arenas, the teams are paying people to walk around with signs urging fans to vote to players

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Cleveland was the first game in which I caught something thrown out to the crowd

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Cavs logos over the years

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The greatest player intros I've seen to date. It starts with displays of "Better, Faster, Stronger" on all of the scoreboards, and then Kanye West's song "Stronger" plays over the loudspeakers. The swords on the corners of the scoreboard tilt diagonally. From these swords, fire blows out as the players names are called. Within a second, you can feel the heat on your body. I was sweating by the time LeBron was announced.

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During the week leading up to this game, I was very concerned as LeBron had missed 5 games due to injury. When the Cavaliers came out for warm-ups however, he was there.

LeBron pumps himself up right before tip-off. Notice the chalk-dust floating in the air above

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Apparently you can take a basketball with you in the Men's room

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Don't we all miss Mark Price?

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The scream team doing some dancing before the game and enticing fans to vote the Cavs into the all-star game

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The best food at Quicken Loans Arena - the Panini

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I fell in love with "The Q" when I saw they had Frank's Red Hot

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They don't teach you this in school: 76 - A.I. = zero

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"Z"

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Drew Gooden

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James during warm-ups

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The King prevents "cherry-pickers"

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Andre Iguodala at the line

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Reggie Evans doing what he does best - rebound and put back

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Can you spot Moondog?

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LeBron at the line

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Who wants defense when free chalupas are involved?

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Varejao calling for the ball

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The huddle

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Full court shot

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I wouldn't exactly call 6 foot short?!?!

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Another full house. Possibly the most entertaining part of the game was when the Sixers would shoot free-throws, the jumbotron would show an image of either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Michigan logos, prompting the fans to boo. Also, as Ohio State prepares for its upcoming bowl game, Moondog led the crowd in many chants including an entertaining one that played the song "Hand on Sloopy" and followed with the fans chanting "O-H-I-O!"

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Donyell Marshall still hurt

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Before you leave Cleveland, make sure you "witness" the sign....

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I expected this game to be an easy win for the home team, however it appeared that the 76ers wanted to get me a win after I saw them lose at home over Thanksgiving. The Sixers constantly seemed advanced on the fast-break as well. Both teams played the night before, but Cleveland seemed slower. Yet another entertaining game down to the wire. The Cavs only made 2 or 3 field goals during the last 8 minutes and it cost them dearly. The couldn't hold off the balancing scoring attach of Miller (20), Iguodala (20), and Korver (13). Dalembert was an animal on the boards, tallying up 19 of them. 76ERS win 92-86.

On Sunday I would drive straight into blizzard-like conditions (if you saw the Bills vs Browns game, you may have a sense for what I dealt with. I thought for sure I would either die or wreck my car, but I made it home safely in about 8 hours.

Next up, 3 games in 40 hours on the East Coast during Christmas weekend.

Thanks to The Blashfords (Clare, Scott, Tim, Phil) & Holly Yanak.

No Thanks to the Ohio DOT for their inability to clear the roads in a timely manner and allowing several accidents to occur on the Ohio Turnpike (I counted 31 in all).

3 comments:

DunlopReggie said...

Hey, I saw a post about your blog on the Spawn board, and checked it out, and just viewed your pics on the Cavs and the Q. I must say, I'm pleasantly surprised: being from Cleveland we're very, very used to negative comments about the City, our teams, etc, and your photos really brought out what a blast it is to go to Cavs games. I've never even had the Panini you listed, and I go to games every season at the Q, so you even gave something for me to check out! The Cavs went through a little tough time during and directly after LeBron's injury, but they're starting to put it together again, although I don't know if they'll go as far in the playoffs as last year. Thanks for a pretty good story on our great City, and if you want to avoid the snow, come in October/November or March/April! Go Buckeyes!

Carolyn said...

Ditto. Great story, great pics. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

hey drew,
i agree with the first comment on this. Cleveland is really a fun place to live in, and a fun sports town. A couple comments on your pictures. The panini truly is the best sandwich at the Q, I love it. And also, I'm a bit suprised that the flash seats were only at the Q. I assumed everyone else had them, I guess. I was at that game vs. Philly. It was a painful game to watch. But I love reading all of your blog posts, and i loved seeing the different features in different arenas around the NBA. I'm a 15 year old highschooler, and this really gave me a good idea to start saving up and possibly doing an MLB tour. Thanks for everything!

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