Monday, June 25, 2012

2011 NBA finals vs. 2012 finals: A tale of two bars

I watched the 2011 and 2012 NBA finals at the same sports bar in Silver Spring, MD -- a suburban county only a stone throw away from Washington, DC.

Same spot, same sport and yet the ambiance could not have been any different.

Last  year in game 6 the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat and there was an unmistakable atmosphere of excitement.

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord 
And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord 
Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord 

The suburban crowd was overwhelmingly rooting for the Mavs; not because they were pro-Mavs: they enthusiastically embraced Dallas because they were anti-Heat. Or to be more precise, the crowd was rabidly anti-Lebron James.

How could I tell?

That night I did not see one Dallas T-shirt, jersey or cap in the crowd. In fact, I mainly saw Wizzards, Nationals, Knicks, Phillies, and University of Maryland sports paraphernalia worn.

The Mavs had the big Mo (momentum) on their side and it looked as if they were going to win the title. When the final clock read zero, the crowd organically erupted in sheer joy -- high fives and hugs were plentiful. LBJ and the Heat lost so all was right with the universe. 

The 2012 NBA finals contrast.

This year's final game was quite different, to say the least. The crowd was sparse and the mood was funeral like austere. The volume of the game was muted -- only music from the bar stereo broke the silence. The Heat had the big Mo and LBJ was performing on a Magic/Bird/Jordan/Kobe level. However, the patrons could not have been anymore indifferent.

As I was enthusiastically cheering the Heat on -- I am a Philly fan but got fam in South Beach -- I was sarcastically asked by the bartender: Do you think your cheering and clapping is helping them play better?

Of course, the Heat won the championship that night and LBJ was crowned NBA finals MVP. And this is my Tale of Two Bars.


  1. I said, LBJ hate in full effect. If you can't take the Heat get out of the kitchen lol