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In which Kevin infiltrates the Target Center

By Kevin Sawyer


Managed to score seats in the corner, five rows behind the Pistons bench, for $50 each. The NBA, where "hell, I don’t want these tickets" happens (accompanied by a B&W photo of Mark Madsen manically dribbling the ball off his foot as a Laker fan celebrates in the background). Onto the house McHale built.

The Wolves have a "T-Wolves history" display on the way in from the skyway to the Target Center. In past years, this was basically a Garnett montage. Now, apparently, it is Craig Smith battling a dinosaur.

Virtually nobody is wearing a Timberwolves jersey. To the extent that there are T-Wolves fans, they don’t attend the games. Even when they were a WC finals team, the only people who went to the games were the ones with free tickets.

The announcer informs us that the Pistons are sitting Billups, Hamilton and Sheed. Well, pay 40% of face value, get 40% of the starters, I guess.

The security guy loves my "Maxiell Eats Babies" t-shirt.

1st quarter

Nobody respects Spellcheck’s jumper. This leads him to make bad decisions.

Conversation behind me:
Person A: Wow, there are a lot of Pistons fans here.
Person B: Yeah, they really turned out.

This is about the only thing the two gentlemen say to each other the whole game.

The Wolves play "Moving on up" when Al Jefferson scores. This would be appropriate if it were referencing a hit show about a family that is forced to move to Compton.

Well, this is certainly a lackadaisical little start we are having.

2nd Quarter

Cheick Samb in a mask is the scariest thing ever. All he needs is a chain saw.

In attempt to distract the opposing team at the free throw line, the A/V people play the sound of a howling wolf. But the effect is timed so that it comes immediately after the ref’s whistle, as though it is celebratory. I kept thinking the Pistons were getting called for offensive fouls.

Crunch the Wolf is the most manic mascot I have ever seen. Dude is on ladders that shoot fireworks, waving banners, shooting t-shirts everywhere. And not just during breaks. The T-Wolves set up their half-court offense, and Crunch starts banging a drum for some reason.

Samb II, the uprising. And the Pistons make a game of it.


Maybe this is an NBA policy, but the Target Center no longer serves tap beer. This sucks because bottles of beer are the same price for half the beer.

Clearly the waitstaff did not take into consideration Pistons fans buying every seat in this corner of the stadium. Normally, people in this section are just happy to have gotten the free tickets from work, and might order a pretzel. We came to party. As a side benefit, she literally forgot to ring up $20 of our order.

You know how during games you usually have to time bathroom stops during the game so you don’t wind up spending 20 minutes in line. Not a problem when only 6,000 people show up.

3rd Quarter

Chauncey has taken a seat at the very end of the bench. But someone yells "Chauncey" and he looks up. HE KNOWS I’M HERE!!!! I giggle coquettishly.

I’m on the jumbotron. Everyone look at my Maxiell shirt! Yes, I am famous now. Everything is magical.

The Timberwolves are even more overweight in person, with or without Antoine Walker.

This game is actually turning into something of interest.

4th Quarter

The free ticket people leave, so I move to the front row. Chauncey is not paying attention to the game at all, and is jawing with Theo Ratliff.

Stuckey-snax is taking over this game. At least I get to see a career high out of the deal. Actually, two, with Samb dropping a four-spot on the Wolves.

Last minute. Chauncey isn’t even looking at the court as Stuckey pulls a vintage Billups move.
Victory! I am beside myself and rush to court. Everyone stares at me awkwardly as the security guards take their batons to my skull. I lie back and await the darkness.