TRAVEL HERE: AN EVENING WITH THE TEXAS LEGENDS BASKETBALL TEAM
OK – I’ll confess. Sports aren’t exactly my thing. They were my Dad’s thing, so I’m well versed in football, baseball, golf and bowling, but the passion didn’t trickle down. Though my husband loves snow skiing, hang-gliding and golf, he’s not a team sport kind of a guy.
Part of the reason is the price of professional sports. Dallas has a team for every sport imaginable and good ones, but decent tickets are about $100 a pop, the parking can cost almost as much and it’s easier to buy gold than pay for a meal from the concession stand. If I’m forking over that kind of money, I’d rather go to the opera, thank you very much.
I’m telling you this so you’ll know where I’m coming from. If you’re the guy with all the sports channels on cable and season tickets to home games, you can move on. You’re out of my league.
That being said, my husband and I have on occasion ended up at a sporting event and had a great time. We’re just not given to forking out obscene chunks of dough to watch people sweat. So, when someone offered me cheap tickets to a Texas Legends game, we were all over it. Especially when I figured out a hot dog was included.
Attending a Game
If you want to go see them, my first bit of advice would be to go early! There’s free parking all around if you get there before the crowd, but when we arrived, it was a madhouse and we were lucky to get into the $10 lot. By miscalculating we not only missed the free parking, we also missed the tip off, but we weren’t alone. I think most of the crowd was in the lobby when the game started.
When we found our seats, it was like arriving late for a three ring circus. There were so many places to look that I couldn’t focus on any one thing. A basketball game was certainly going on in the center of the arena, but there was a whole lot more begging for attention.
Immediately surrounding the court were all the basketball-related personnel, coaches, relief players and a bunch of people sitting behind computers, but I’m not sure what they were up to. Then there was a ring of entertainment – scantily clad cheerleaders, some sort of blue mascot called Dunker and a guy who spent the whole game throwing t-shirts into the crowd.
We’d just sat down and were trying to figure out which team we were supposed to be for, when someone called a time out and a super-sized dance squad marched out on the court. These were big boys and they were well padded, but I’m not sure who they were or why they were there.
Soon the ball was back in play and my eyes wandered from one end of the pit to the other. Tumbling mats covered the north end and a sea of kids were hula-hooping. A souvenir shop graced the south end and behind the team colors were a bunch of air-inflated kid’s structures, like a bounce house, slide and who knows what else. A good time was being had by lots of screeching kids, but I’m not sure what it had to do with basketball.
Finally, I adjusted my focus and tuned in on the game. I figured out the guys in red were from Idaho (Idaho?), so the guys in camouflage were ours. (Camouflage?) Yes, camouflage! I also figured out that we were doing pretty good and were ahead by a decent number of points. I settled back in my chair for a little b-ball.
But the game was elusive. Just about the time I would get into it, a time-out would come along and something bizarre would happen on the court. Sometimes kids would appear and compete at some odd event, but the super-sized dancers also showed up for encores. And all the while, either end of the court was in constant motion and young voices screamed at the top of their lungs. If you’re looking for action, let me tell you, the Legends have it going on.
When the second quarter rolled around it seemed like a good time to get our free hot dog. I wasn’t sure how much more of the chaos I could stand, so we found the concessions. I won’t complain about the wait, because the food was free. We missed a good portion of that quarter and before we knew it, it was half-time.
Military Theme Night
Looking back on the game, I have figured out that they must have been having some sort of theme night related to the military. That would explain the camouflage-printed uniforms, anyway. (They were so ugly, they needed an explanation.) The half time was devoted to honoring a fallen soldier from the Iraqi conflict. Then periodically throughout the game the announcer recognized people who served in each of the branches of the military. He’d ask every one who had served in a given branch to stand up, but with so much going on, I was never sure who I was honoring when I applauded. I thought the whole thing was a little odd, but with hindsight, the pieces began to fall into place.
One thing I figured out as I took in all the chaos was that whoever does the marketing for the Legends has targeted families. Along with jump houses, time-out competitions and hula hoops, I realized there were birthday parties going on in almost every corner of the building. Scrolling across the bottom of the Megatron screen were texts from kids thanking their daddies for the cool birthday parties. Kids rule at Dr. Pepper arena.
I also noticed there wasn’t an inch of visual real estate that didn’t have some sort of sponsor. My eyes were complaining almost as much as my ears. Some of the sponsors were local universities, like my alma mater, UTD. They were the ones who’d offered me the evening for a very affordable $10 each. Had I had to pay full price for our seats, they would have been $28.00 a piece.
At half time a pair of mini-dirigibles made their way around the arena. One was shaped like a large car and advertised a limo service. The other one touted a casino and dropped coupons of some sort into the crowd.
Another sponsor was Veracruz, who had their name painted in bright colors on the center of the court. I’m not sure what there was about the experience that would make me consider a vacation to Veracruz. Did they think all the noise would make me want to escape to a tropical getaway? That’s possible, because by the middle of the fourth quarter, we decided to beat the crowd and head to the parking lot. Perhaps we were in visual overload or maybe it was the screaming kids. Visually or by audio, our brains were short circuited.
Then again, maybe it was that the Legends had lost their lead and the gap was getting bigger as the seconds ticked by. I checked the next day and we were soundly beaten 104-88. Idaho? I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that one.
Should you go see the Texas Legends? Well, for a whopping $30 we had a darned good time. I don’t know if it would have been as much fun at $66, but I do know one thing, if you have kids, you should certainly take them. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything more completely devoted to a family having a good time. Even Disney could learn a few things from them.