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.

Monday, April 7, 2008

New Orleans Hornets (#25) - game

No, that's not a typo. It is the NEW ORLEANS Hornets, no longer Charlotte. To most of us basketball fans, that's common knowledge. However, I've found that many people I've come across were dumbfounded by the fact that New Orleans has a franchise or by the fact that Charlotte does not have the Hornets.

When you see pictures of New Orleans, you often see the Superdome. If you look at bit closer, you can see the New Orleans Arena, dwarfed by the much larger football facility.

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Out front, Cobaugh & I were enjoying "Buzzfest" with live music and $1 beers.

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New Orleans was the home of the 2008 All-Star game. In the photo below, you can see that they are finally starting to tear down all of the advertising. Keep in mind I wanted to go to this event as part of my tour, but unfortunately this game is only for the media and celebrities.

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I started showing myself around the arena & found Face Painters, a French Market, the Crescent City Cafe, and a Hairspray Station.

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Some nifty "hive" lighting fixtures

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Some great food throughout the arena. Check out this one w/ Jamalaya, Crawfish, and Alligator.

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A view from up high. Judging by the cock-eyed photos, I had a little too many drinks at Buzzfest.

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Then I found "The Shoe." I must have played this 23 times before going back to my seat. Unfortunately, some child under the age of 12 beat me on multiple occasions.

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The Audubon Cafe & Winery.

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When the Hornets players came out for warm-ups, the players started throwing out t-shirts. I saw one land several rows in front of me and went on offense. I jumped the first row but didn't make it over the second, but i kept pushing, hopping two more rows of seats, reaching down and grabbing the t-shirt. I beat some old man by a second, who tried to hit it out of my hands and then swung at me. I said, "Whoa, are you okay buddy?" To which he replied, "No!" in a very child-like voice. What makes this even funnier is that he had already caught one of them. Check out the bruise I got from trying to jump the seats.

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#25 in the books

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The only two retired #'s of the franchise. "Pistol" Pete Maravich from his days with the New Orleans Jazz & Bobby Phills, who lost his life while racing his car against David Wesley.

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Oh no, it's Gospel night!

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Before the start of every game, they do an invocation. I believe they are the only team in the league to do such a thing.

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Hugo the Hornet

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One of the best hot dogs I've had to date.

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Player intros

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The tipoff

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Peja letting it fly...

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Chris Paul. MVP candidate of course. What was absolutely most interesting about the game was that every time CP3 scored, the entire crowd started yelling "Woooooooo." For those of you who are familiar with professional wrestling (WCW, WWF), the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair used to and still does give a "Woooo." There were even portions of the game where they would show a clip of Flair on the jumbotron holding a basketball and giving a "Woooooooo." The fans were consistent, yelling it out after every Chris Paul jump shot, free throw, or layup.

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Capital One. It's not just a credit card anymore.

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Vince Carter going in for the dunk.

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During the 3rd quarter a man came into our section with a microphone & went down to seats below us. The mascot and several members followed. I thought to myself "Hmmm, the representatives from the Hornets told me that they might send a sideline reporter over to me during the game." Then I saw one of the cheerleaders holding a ball that said "ANDREW." I thought that was one too many coincidences and said to the cheerleader, "hey, I'm Andrew!" Her response was, "Sure, everybody wants to be Andrew." I assume that she expected some guy in a suit or something, but I'd like to thank that cheerleader for depriving me of that opportunity.

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Tyson Chandler getting the board and preparing to put it up for 2.

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New Jersey started out hot and got out to an 8-0, but after that, it was all Hornets. After seeing this game, I was a bit disappointed that this would be my only look at at Chris Paul all year. He scored 25 points and 16 assists - many of which were to rookie Julian Wright, who was filling in for All-Star David Wright. Morris Peterson and Peja Stojakovic added a couple of 3's and the Hornets ran away with it 107-96.

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Another win for the Hornets, moving them closer to the number one seed in the west.

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Thanks to Jason Cobaugh, Harold Kaufman, and Garrick Amos.

Let me leave you with one last piece today...

I’m getting exhausted with the NBA. Every team I visit, the staff says “Why haven’t you contacted the NBA about this? ... it’s a wonderful story ... The NBA should be all over this….etc etc.” I’ve tried contacting them, the teams I’ve visited have contacted them for me – but they haven’t responded. I’ve tried and tried to get their attention through numerous emails as well as many people I’ve met forwarding information. I wish they’d let me know so I could stop trying. I'm just plain exhausted mentally and physically. I've sacrificed career opportunities to finish what I've started. Then I find a link like this that makes me sick.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Goldstein

James Goldstein is called a superfan. Sure, the guy loves basketball & I’m sure he’s a great fan. But he is a MULTI-MILLIONAIRE. His resources don’t make his visits at all challenging. David Stern says “He probably has the largest investment of any fan in America, so we get a kick out of him. He has got quite a flair, and we love him as a sort of a superfan” (from Wikipedia). Yet Drew Cieszynski is spending more than 50 % of his annual income to complete this tour and the NBA hasn’t even responded to a single inquiry. So fine, I’ll stoop to a new low – can everyone donate to me below so that I can be a multi-millionaire also? Maybe then I can get the NBA to give me some love.






5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, anyone can be a super fan if they don't have to go to work every day and tons of money. David Stern, Commissioner, Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022 if you WANT TO COMPLAIN about the real superfan!

Anonymous said...

After reading that article on the sentinel online, i will ONLY buy frangrances at Boston Store........to awesome

Anonymous said...

Your an american idol...just witout the singin part

Erin said...

Hey, I read about you in Jim Stingl's column today - very cool what you're doing. Best of luck! :)

Anonymous said...

Drew, Loved the article about you today http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=738098
You Are the true SUPERFAN. (so there David Stern) All of us bloggers know that. Good luck this weekend on number 30!!! Can't wait to read about the finish. We should all buy our fragrances at the Boston Store

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Milwaukee, WI, United States