Back in the day, Arco Arena in Sacramento used to rock pretty good. Even when it was hosting a perennially lottery-bound squad, and the Sacramento brass was drafting the likes of Pervis Ellison first overall in 1989 and Bobby Hurley in the 1993 lottery, fans would still show up and represent.
Ultimately, they were rewarded (sort of) with a solid playoff team and a near-miss at the NBA Finals in 2002. Since then, the team has slowly been dismantled and fallen apart to where last season their best player was a skinny, one-dimensional ball hog out of Western Carolina (Kevin Martin). Suck on that, Kings fan!
This season the Kings have been a bit of a pleasant surprise. Entering last night 10-13, they were playing on national television for perhaps the one and only time all season. The Washington Wizards were coming to town, and despite an 8-3 home record thus far, the Kings have had the second-worst attendance numbers in the league.
So with no Kobe, LeBron, or D-Wade on the other side to ensure that there's not a bunch of vacant seats on ESPN, the Kings turned to the great equalizer. The one thing since the dawn of time that you know you can count on to put asses in seats....
That's right, knowing that a drunk crowd is a rowdy crowd (and that the attendance numbers would actually justify the use of the word "crowd" in describing the size of the audience), the Kings unveiled "Dollar Beer Night" last night. Genius!
"Sacramento and its fans have such a good reputation nationally," said Kings spokesman Mitch Germann. "We want to showcase that on national TV."
Nothing like galvanizing a "reputation" with some good ol' barley and hops.
Apparently, it was successful as the Kings were able to ride the beer-drenched wave that was the Sac-town crowd to a 112-109 win over the Wizards. HA HA...TAKE 'AT, SOBRIETY!!! Beer 1, Teetotalers 0.
Thankfully, pro sports leagues are copycat leagues. If something works in one arena, likely someone else will jump on it in hopes that it works for them, too. Trust me, the win tonight by the Kings was one small step for beer, one giant leap for drunk-kind.
In fact, I've already picked out the five NBA games (other than the remaining 32 Rockets home games) that I would most like to see Dollar Beer Night implemented. Here goes...
5. DALLAS MAVERICKS at DENVER NUGGETS, Sunday, December 27
In case you need a refresher, last spring the Mavericks played the Nuggets in the playoffs, and at some point Mark Cuban decided that the Nuggets should be called the Thuggets and decided the best person to take this up with would be Kenyon Martin's mother. No seriously, Cuban went over and told Martin's mom that her baby boy is, as my kids would say, a "real meaner." What better than a bunch of $1 drafts to stoke the embers and find out who is tougher -- Mark Cuban or Kenyon Martin's mother?
4. LA LAKERS at DENVER NUGGETS, Thursday, April 8
You probably don't need a refresher on this one -- Kobe Bryant got in a little bit of trouble back in 2003 in Eagle, Colorado. Something about ordering up room service, I think. Anyway, you can read the whole police report here. Needless to say, the drunker the better when it comes to the crowd "welcoming" Kobe back to the state of Colorado.
3. ANY UTAH JAZZ HOME GAME
Utah is known for a lot of things -- lakes with lots of salt, Big Love, and basketball fans that think the Jazz's opponents travel on every play. "Beer drinking" is not that high on the list; my hope is that Dollar Beer Night will cause at least a handful of the Jazz fans to experiment and we wind up with a city full of first-time drunks. Because nothing is funnier than someone dealing with the effects of alcohol for the first time in their life. Don't believe me? Well...
Still don't believe me? Really?
What's it gonna take for me to convince you that first time drunks are the best? How about Bubbles from The Wire forcing water down this dude's throat...
You're just gonna have to trust me on this one. Dollar Beer Night in Utah...good.
2. SAN ANTONIO at ORLANDO, Wednesday, March 17
This is one where we need a few things to fall into place, but if Tiger Woods (a Magic season ticket holder) shows up and decides to tie one on, and Eva Longoria (wife of Spurs point guard Tony Parker) decides to make the road trip, and Tiger's libido is in full swing (which it sounds like it is 24/7)...well, you do the math. If Tiger can't beat Europe in the Ryder Cup, then he'll steal a Euro's wife and win the Ride-Her Cup.
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1. LA LAKERS at DETROIT, Sunday, December 20
Malice at the Palace II. Enough said.
The best part? There's a decent chance Artest might order two or three beers himself at halftime. ]
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 PM weekdays on the "Sean & John Show", and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.