Here’s another mid-summer story from my time spent in the Boston Garden as a Celtics season ticket holder:
In each game at some point during a time out the P.A. announcer gets the crowd all excited by saying “Who wants a t-shirt?” The mascot “Lucky” and a number of cheerleaders then hurl tightly rolled up shirts into the crowd. The fans jump to their feet eagerly hoping to grab one. The past few seasons I haven’t even bothered to stand up anymore. I’ve been going to games for 5 years, and not only have I never gotten one, I haven’t even been remotely close. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing anyone in my entire section catch one.
My seats are in the “loge,” section 8, about half way between the floor and the balcony. The vast majority of the shirts are tossed from the court and never make it beyond the first several rows (I could go on a rant about how ridiculous it is that nearly all the free shirts end up in the hands of people who’s tickets are in the 3 and 4 figure price range); there’s only so far a human being can throw a balled up piece of clothing.
In order to make it look like everybody has a fair chance they do send a couple of the cheerleaders up to the balcony to fling them from the aisles. In the past they also had a giant sling shot, and then later a “t-shirt cannon,” but for some reason both of those are no longer used. It didn’t make much of a difference anyway, they only ever launched a few of them into the balcony, and never the loge.
So my suggestion to the Celtics: Pay a little more attention to the fact that the entire middle area of the arena never gets any shirts, and do something about it (maybe let some fall from the rafters, like they do with the parachute drop?). That and hold tryouts before you just let any random old person attempt the half court shot contest.
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