Mark and I have been attending Orlando Magic basketball games for quite a while now, and we've been season ticket holders for the past three years. Above is a picture Mark snapped of me in 2004, where Rich DeVos, owner of the Magic and co-founder of the Amway Corporation, can be seen in the suit and tie at the top of my head.
More than 20 years ago, the DeVos family came to Florida looking to buy a major league baseball team. When an opportunity came to purchase the fledgling Orlando Magic franchise, they went for basketball instead. They're truly a wonderful family and tremendous asset to the Orlando community. An accountant friend who works at Orlando's University of Central Florida (50,000 students) says the DeVoses have given so many millions to that university that people have almost lost count!
Mark and I are preparing to attend the final home game of the season for the Orlando Magic tonight as they try valiantly for a win over the L.A. Lakers, thus enabling them to stay in the contest for the NBA National Championship. The Magic have never made it this close to a championship, and it's do or die tonight, so-to-speak. If the Magic win, they will play another game or two versus the Lakers on their home court, with the biggest Laker fan, Jack Nicholson, cheering and booing from the sidelines. One team or the other must win four games to win the series, and L.A. already has three under its belt.
All sports, including those on the professional leve are representative of life in general, in that there are always things about them to appreciate and always things about them to complain about. So, which will we choose?
I must admit that I have fallen prey at times, much to Mark's surprise, to feeling significant criticism for the coach of the Orlando Magic, Stan Van Gundy. He's a hot head, a nervous nelly, a pessimist to the core, it seems. So what? I remind myself. He's taken this team to unprecedented victories and given the City of Orlando many reasons to celebrate. Ah-h-h, that feels a lot better.
: in a word, expensive unless you want to be sitting in the "nosebleed section" mainly watching the game on the giant monitor in the middle of the arena. So what? Mark and I look forward to each "date night" that we have for the games, and simply being season ticket holders reminds us of how prosperous we're becoming. Ah-h-h, that feels a lot better than carping about prices.
some of them drink too much, some of them yell too loudly (in my estimation), some of them have been known to literally knock each other down to retrieve a team t-shirt that the "Jet Blue Crew" launches into the crowd during time-outs. So what? Overall, it's a tremendously cheerful and convivial experience to attend a game. You don't see many people who are down-in-the mouth come out to cheer on their team. And then it's fun spotting celebrities in the crowd: Tiger Woods, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Rhianna, Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat, and Tim Tebow, star quarterback of the University of Florida, to name a few of late. Ah-h-h-h, that feels way better than recalling how my purse has sometimes ended up sitting in a puddle of someone's spilled beer.
Scrunched up seats, slow access to the restaurants and clubs. So what? Orlando is building a new arena that will be ready in autumn 2010. I can put up with some burly guy spilling over part-way into my seat for one more year. Besides, it gives me an excuse to snuggle with slim and trim Mark on the other side of me. M-m-m-m-m.
So, tonight two fine coaches and their teams (including uber-athlete Kobe Bryant for L.A.) will lock horns, perhaps for the final time. It's Phil Jackson, who will likely go down in history as the greatest NBA coach, vs. the Magic's Stan Van Gundy. Since Phil Jackson is well known for his study of Zen meditation, he may have the edge over our easily agitated Van Gundy. However, one can never really know how a person is feeling inside. It could all be an act with Van Gundy, and maybe Phil isn't as still as he seems.
You can never really know how any other person is thinking and thus vibrating and thus setting themselves up to attract. But that's a topic for another time. Right now, I must gear up for some fun and a win, or at least some fun. There's just so darn much to appreciate.