educator, writer, speaker, devoted family man, amateur philosopher, chess enthusiast, basketball junkie, connoisseur of fine hip hop, and purveyor of wit and wisdom
Another item knocked off the 40 by 40 list…and in a BIG way! The plan was to take MDB #1 to the Staples Center to watch a Lakers game. What we got was so much more.
I looked for the tickets a little too late in the season, and the only tickets I could find that were next to each other and reasonably priced were for the February 29 game against Minnesota. The tickets were $37 each and they were serious nosebleed seats (section 328.) We were as far up as you can go without walking on the catwalks.
But here’s the thing…
We got there VERY early before the crowds arrived. We were walking around the concession area and a lady with a badge and a clipboard stopped us and asked MDB #1 if he wanted to go down to the court during warm-ups and take pictures of the players.
It turns out that before each game, the staff searches for families with kids and picks a few to experience what it’s like on the court during warm-ups. Five kids are picked to be Camera Kids, and another five are picked to give high fives to the players as they run onto the court. MDB #1 was chosen to be one of the Camera Kids. The Camera Kids were given a yellow vest and a digital camera. They were told they could take as many pictures as they wished of anything they wanted. Then at halftime they would be given a CD with the photos and an album to hold them in.
The parents, of course, were not allowed on the court (they probably thought we would cause too much trouble asking for autographs and getting in the way…and they’re probably right.) The parents were banished to aisle fifteen to keep an eye on things. I turned to my right and there was the media table with the TV and radio announcers. All of them were there…Stu Lantz, Bill McDonald, John Ireland, and Lakers legend Mychal Thompson. I talked with the usher about the possibility of snapping photos of the media folk and he asked Stu Lantz over to take a picture with me! Here’s the pic:
That was cool, but then the usher said, “Hey look over there. Vic is standing over there to the right.” I look over and I see Vic “The Brick” Jacobs! I listen to a LOT of sports radio (Fox Sports on AM 570 and ESPN Radio on AM 710). I know Vic The Brick’s voice better than I know my own wife’s voice. I run over to the next aisle and ask him for a photo. He says “Dude, feeeeelin’ you, man! What’s your name?” I said “My name’s Robert Brown.” He said, “Ah Bobby Brown. Well it’s your prerogative.” Then he takes my camera and hands it to someone else to take the photo. Here’s the pic:
The night was pretty amazing…and the Lakers won! Anytime the Lakers win and keep their opponent below 100 points, streamers come down from the ceiling and everyone gets vouchers for free Jack in the Box tacos. So the tacos were icing on the cake for us.
Click here to see some of the photos from that night.