I copped a last-second ticket to the gold medal game between Spain and the USA, jumped into the VIP van with one of the wealthiest men in India, (bet him 100 rmb the US would conduct a basketball clinic to the tune of a 35 point spread, a bet I lost and which proves I remain the planet’s biggest sports dork). The game was back at Wukesong Stadium (site of yesterday’s gold medal baseball game), and in no time I was walking in the sunshine amongst some rapper types and their ladies.
Nice stadium, classic Lenovo seats — mid-court and up in the first loge. Surrounded by frantic fans of Spain, with a good contingent of loud USA-chanters right behind me.
The game? Ummm….. Basketball after Larry Bird is lost on me. It’s every man for himself, lots of travelling, and no precision teamwork. The old Bird-Parrish-McHale-Johnson teams of the early 80s …. that’s what I like to watch. But, enough bitching. I was at the last event of these Games and digging it.
Spain came out strong, never permitted the USA Dream Team to walk away with it, and actually led for a good portion of the first quarter. Spanish fans were insane, but for the first time in the past two weeks I actually heard some good old fashioned American fan spirit. This is our Game, so shut up and watch how it’s played.
The crowd was the action — as Fester puts it, leave the action photos to the pros with the Bazooka lenses and focus on people. People are the most interesting thing, and sure enough, that was indeed the case today.
I gave up a chance at a closing ceremony ticket. No sports there, I can see fireworks off of Oyster Harbors on the Fourth of July, and there’s a slim chance Zhang Yimou is going to top his opener (famous last words, I owe the dude from India a hundred yuan because the final margin was like ten points, not 35). I rather get a great dinner at the Xian place Mike Mann showed me last Sunday (I’ve since been back and am on my way there now), could Tsingtaos, some “fried rib” (best f$%%&ing thing I’ve ever eaten), “beef on fire” Guizou-style fried rice …..
I’ll watch the action from the bar on the roof of the Hyatt, check out the fireworks over Tienanmen … then call it a night and the end of these Games. I am ready for a swim on the point of Dead Neck, some rug wrestling with the dogs, and a deep breath of Cape Cod air!