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View Full Version : Stern makes a lot of sense: Pregame decibels, pyrotechnics too much



Unclebuck
05-13-2008, 08:31 AM
http://usatoday.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=Stern%3A+Pregame+decibels%2C+pyrotechnics+to o+much+-+USATODAY.com&expire=&urlID=28481240&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.usatoday.com%2Fsports%2Fbaske tball%2Fnba%2F2008-05-12-notes_N.htm&partnerID=1662



Stern: Pregame decibels, pyrotechnics too much

By Jon Saraceno, USA TODAY

CLEVELAND — Increasing use of NBA pregame pyrotechnics and rising decibel levels are an "assault" on the senses and Commissioner David Stern said Monday that he plans to seek audio and visual relief for fans.

"I'm going to get into trouble for this: I think they're ridiculous," Stern said before Game 3 of the Boston-Cleveland Eastern Conference semifinal. "I think that the noise, the fire (and) the smoke is the kind of assault that we should seriously consider reviewing whether it's really necessary, given the quality of our game.

"It may be these are the maniacal rantings of a fan from a different era, and I recognize that. But I'm sitting there waiting for the next cannon to go off and then the fire heats up the arena, so the temperature rises by 15 degrees. That's if you can see it because you're waiting for the smoke — which is chemical — to clear, which is invariably done by the end of the half."

Game 1 of the San Antonio-New Orleans Western Conference semifinal series was delayed 20 minutes after residue from a fire extinguisher had to be cleaned off the court. Super Hugo, the Hornets' mascot, dived through a flaming hoop that team officials had trouble putting out. The league fined the Hornets.

"I always bite my tongue," Stern said, "because I say, 'Maybe I'm not the demographic that likes to be assaulted by loud rap, smoke, pyrotechnics and chemicals.' I'm outdated, but I think it's time for us to say, 'Hey, guys let's look at it one more time.'

"I think we should have (this issue) as a time capsule item because in some future century, people will say, 'What were they thinking?' I'm positive (the late Celtics icon) Red (Auerbach) is watching and getting ready to call me. I think we've gone over the top."

Evan_The_Dude
05-13-2008, 08:37 AM
Before the game and during half time I don't mind it as a fan. It's the music during the possessions that annoys me the most.

RomanGabriel
05-13-2008, 08:59 AM
Amen, brother Stern. Back in my day we walked barefoot, uphill and against the wind in the snow both ways to enjoy our NBA hoops. Actually, all this mess started in the 80s when they started playing the music a little louder, a little longer, then a little louder and a little longer. It was one thing to put up with the cliche Gary Glitter/Otis Day & The Knights, etc. during timeouts, but when it morphed into loud-a$$ music blaring DURING THE GAME that was the major factor that reduced my in-person game spectatoring from about a dozen a year down to once or twice a year. I'll be back if the NBA wises up and cuts way down on the sensory assault. And I'll bring my geezer friends with me.

PBB
05-13-2008, 09:02 AM
Hear! Hear!

owl
05-13-2008, 10:01 AM
When I go to the games anymore I take ear plugs along and I can still hear everything,
except my ears don't bleed.

Putnam
05-13-2008, 10:11 AM
Here's a link to a related story from ESPN that is cited above in the RSS feeds section:


http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2008/news/story?id=3392778&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines

Ben Wallace said the smoke from pregame fireworks in Boston prior to Game 2 worsened the dizzy condition that knocked him out of that game after just four minutes, and the Cavs decided to keep him in the locker room prior to Game 3 so he would not have a similar reaction during pregame introductions in Cleveland. The Cavs put on one of the league's most elaborate player-introduction rituals, with four huge jets shooting large streams of fire out of the corners of the center-court scoreboard.



If it is making a player sick, it has gone too far.

Unclebuck
05-13-2008, 10:33 AM
Here is another related link to an AP version of this, with a few more quotes from Stern. Sounds like he doesn't enjoy the artificial sound while the ball is in play.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AnNTWxJjTfBGS3MZbPLMnLSLvLYF?slug=ap-stern-pyrotechnics&prov=ap&type=lgns&print=1


Stern wants NBA to review pregame pyrotechnics, noise
By JOE MILICIA, Associated Press Writer
13 hours, 1 minute ago

Printable View
Return to Original Buzz Up PrintCLEVELAND (AP)—On the subject of the NBA’s infatuation with pregame pyrotechnics, smoke and noise, commissioner David Stern was loud and clear: He’s had enough.

“I think they’re ridiculous,” Stern said Monday before Game 4 of the Cavaliers-Celtics second-round playoff series. “I think that the noise, the fire, the smoke, is a kind of assault that we should seriously consider reviewing in whether it’s really necessary given the quality of our game.”

His comments came just a few minutes before Cleveland’s over-the-top player introductions, which include fire—hot enough that fans can feel the heat in the stands—shooting out of four swords on the scoreboard.

Such pyrotechnic displays have become common around the league. The barrage of fireworks in Boston is so intense it leaves a fog hanging over the court for most of the first quarter.


“It may be that these are the maniacal rantings of a fan from a different era and I recognize that, but you know I’m sitting there waiting for the next cannon to go off and then the fire heats up the arena,” Stern said, “so the temperature in the arena raises by 15 degrees. That’s if you can see it because you’re still waiting for the smoke, which is chemical, to clear.”

Cavs forward Ben Wallace says the smoke in Boston contributed to the dizziness that forced him to leave Game 2. Wallace didn’t go onto the court for Game 3 in Cleveland until the onslaught of smoke and fire had ended. Anderson Varejao ran onto the court in his place.

The special effects aren’t limited to pregame introductions. White residue from fire extinguishers delayed Game 1 of the Spurs-Hornets series for 19 minutes between the first and second quarters after a mascot soared through a ring of fire for a dunk in New Orleans.

Another thing that annoys Stern is the nonstop loud music and other noise that isn’t generated by fans.

“I always bite my tongue because I say, ‘Well, maybe I’m not the demographic that likes to be assaulted by loud rap, smoke, pyrotechnics and chemicals,”’ he said. “I’m outdated, but I think it’s time for us to say, ‘Hey guys, lets look at it one more time.”’

There’s rarely a quiet moment in Cleveland’s arena where the video screen routinely displays a meter registering over 100 decibels, as loud as a rock concert.

Stern, more of a Simon and Garfunkel fan, says he’s got nothing against hip hop and the music appreciated by younger audiences, but says the volume is over the top.

“What’s happened is that very well intentioned people feel that it’s their obligation to root their team on to victory, to urge them … they think if you turn up the loudspeaker it’s going to help them perform better even though there are babies in the building,” he said.

AP Sports Writer Tom Withers contributed to this report.

Naptown_Seth
05-13-2008, 10:41 AM
Whats happened is that very well intentioned people feel that its their obligation to root their team on to victory, to urge them they think if you turn up the loudspeaker its going to help them perform better even though there are babies in the building, he said.
JayRedd is a Cavs fan?*



Stern and reason in the same thought, seems incredible. I hate this crap at the arena just like I hated sitting in the Astrodome listing to a 3 second clip of whatever song cranked up just before a guy batted. Give me Wrigley, give the sport some sense of decorum and then let the game do most of the talking.

Can you imagine MSG firing off fireworks when Reed walked out of the tunnel? Great moments don't need someone pointing them out to you at the top of their lungs or as far as teh speakers can go (and usually beyond that point).



* ironically I picked JR as the target because I knew he could take it and wouldn't be a baby about it, and yes that kind of reason is counter-productive to my most offensive campaign

Hicks
05-13-2008, 11:16 AM
I think the audio is too loud in arenas, generally, though Chicago's didn't seem bad until the 4th quarter, which is a step up from Conseco's all-blaring, all-the-time setup.

Doug
05-13-2008, 11:52 AM
Stern, agree do I.
Distracted by noise, I am.
Focus: Basketball!

Hicks
05-13-2008, 11:57 AM
Thanks, Yoda.

Doug
05-13-2008, 12:25 PM
Thanks, Yoda.Combining Yoda and Haiku was my challenge for the day...

Tom White
05-13-2008, 12:26 PM
Give me Wrigley, give the sport some sense of decorum and then let the game do most of the talking.



Although I've never been to Wrigley, I agree with you about the decorum.

Let the fans create the decibels.

Unclebuck
05-13-2008, 01:40 PM
Although I've never been to Wrigley, I agree with you about the decorum.

Let the fans create the decibels.

I saw the biggest change at Pacers games in the 7 years from 1994 until, 2000. As I remember it Reb never told the fans to stand and cheer in 1994. he never said and here are your Indiana Pacers in 1994. He never told us when to cheer, when to "make some noise". We didn't need Samuel L. Jackson telling us when to make some noise. But slowly over those 7 years a big change took place. And I think today a good portion of fans know only when to make some noise - when someone tells them to.
For example at the start of the 4th quarter we are told to get loud - Ok, I think that is good. But if the pacers are down 25 - then why bother - in that case the fans are only doing it because they are told to our maybe out of boredom

duke dynamite
05-13-2008, 02:40 PM
I don't really see a problem if it gets the fans excited.

When it comes to player and team introductions, getting the fans pumped for the game is what I enjoy most about going to the games.

Putnam
05-13-2008, 02:48 PM
I don't really see a problem if it gets the fans excited.



The issue here isn't simply how much or how loud Reb Porter dithers at Pacers games. Stern is calling out extreme pyrotechnical displays: "four huge jets shooting large streams of fire." At least one player (Ben Wallace) was unable to perform in a playoff game because of the smoke in Cleveland.

Again, a player was incapacitated by something they did to "get the fans excited." This isn't about our personal opinions about how much noise is too much. The crap is getting in the way of the game.

duke dynamite
05-13-2008, 02:51 PM
Yeah, I noticed the smoke in a few arenas. They do make it difficult to play, or the fans to see. That calls for a ventaliation problem, but that is besides the point.

To an extent, there should be limits on what is "fired" off and what-not, but there should not be limits on getting the crowd pumped up as long as it's appropriate or deters the game.

Possession banter is pointless, though.

Naptown_Seth
05-13-2008, 04:13 PM
in that case the fans are only doing it because they are told to our maybe out of boredom
Boomsticks - killing time in 4th quarter blowouts. Or in the case of kids under 13 it's more like the early 2nd. :D


Reasons 1 through 10 that my buddies and I never took interest in arena football - constant music blaring, explosions, etc. In arena football TDs are every other second, let alone first downs. But each one got more celebration than the end of game 5 in 2000.

Dr. Goldfoot
05-13-2008, 04:21 PM
Stern said, ' I'm outdated,

pretty much

JayRedd
05-13-2008, 05:53 PM
"Baby?" Really?

What's really weird is to see so many people supporting something Stern says. I thought I was the only one who still thought he was awesome.

madison
05-13-2008, 06:35 PM
Why did it take Stern a week to make these statements? Does he even watch the games? You get the feeling that this is just another PR play from the NBA office. It's trendy to pile on right now about the fireworks mishap. ESPN's been doing it for a week. Next thing you know the NBA will come out against earthquakes and tornados, too. No doubt that'll get 'em some favorable publicity.

grace
05-13-2008, 07:35 PM
Why did it take Stern a week to make these statements?

Because it didn't happen at a Pacers game he didn't pounce on it. Now if it had happened at Conseco he probably would have forced the Pacers to forfeit the game.

naptown_baller
05-13-2008, 08:01 PM
You guys have to realize most people don't go to the game just for the game itself. Most people are not die hard basketball fans like we are. They need something else to keep them entertained and engaged at all times so they are more willing to come back to games. Shoot, this franchise needs more of that with how low attendance is. I guarantee you that a game with a lot of the "extras" and a lower quality of basketball will draw more people than a great game and no off the court entertainment. It is a basic principle of sports management. It's called the stadium experience. If the fans do not have a good stadium experience (not really including the game at all) they will not return.

Putnam
05-13-2008, 08:11 PM
I guarantee you that a game with a lot of the "extras" and a lower quality of basketball will draw more people than a great game and no off the court entertainment.


Got proof?

Kstat
05-13-2008, 08:13 PM
I'm a die hard basketball fan and I absolutely love our pre-game pyrotechnics.

Take away the noise if you want, but keep the flares! They're the reason i never ever miss the pregame intros.

grace
05-13-2008, 08:49 PM
You guys have to realize most people don't go to the game just for the game itself.

And that's on the long list of reasons why Kegboy and I no longer have season tickets.

tdubb03
05-13-2008, 09:36 PM
The pre-game/halftime music doesn't bother me. The pyro stuff is too much though, can't you get the same sort of effect with just a light show? As for the blaring music while the ball is in-play, that's gotta go. Imagine the commotion that would cause if it were the NFL.

Naptown_Seth
05-15-2008, 12:55 PM
Got proof?
I agree. Spoken like a guy who wasn't at the 2000 Finals. Yes there was pre-game stuff still, but the electricity and interest was squarely based around the game. Boomer could have left the building and taken Reb with him and no one would have noticed.

Plus MSA featured many an excited crowd in the pre-fireworks days.

Why do the yutes just think they invented the sport? If you sell the atmopshere as being about ball then the fans will start to gravitate toward that. If you sell it as being about getting the cheapest sponser T-shirt in the history of mankind then they'll flip out about that instead.


I will say that the one exception I would make, nay insist upon, is the inclusion of the Mike Dunleavy song during every pre-game. How this hasn't happened yet is beyond me, it's just stupid not to do it and the silly phenomenon that would come with it if you used it like that would actually get some positive buzz going. As it was you got a mild bump when ZPL had him on and featured it.

It might not be about the game, but at least that would be about the player and have people laughing and talking about it, even very casual fans.


Wait, I forgot, the brilliant move to hide the negative image was to market the team all around Bird and JOB, thus leading to the "who is Travis Diener" and "I thought Jackson was still on the team" comments by most casual observers.

Putnam
05-15-2008, 01:04 PM
I will say that the one exception I would make, nay insist upon, is the inclusion of the Mike Dunleavy song during every pre-game.


Absolutely.

It would be bigger than "YMCA" at Victory field ever was.


Dun-Dun-Dun, Dun-LEE-vey!!!

OnlyPacersLeft
05-15-2008, 02:31 PM
stern might as well turn this game into the no fun league...I mean first he bans things like nicknames on the arm bands now this? wtf is next?

duke dynamite
05-17-2008, 02:12 AM
I will say that the one exception I would make, nay insist upon, is the inclusion of the Mike Dunleavy song during every pre-game. How this hasn't happened yet is beyond me, it's just stupid not to do it and the silly phenomenon that would come with it if you used it like that would actually get some positive buzz going. As it was you got a mild bump when ZPL had him on and featured it.

I don't think they have included that because the song starts out as "Mike Dunleavy, b!tch!"

Mike insisted that my friend and I create a rap or something to post on the internet about Jeff Foster, because he apparently won't let Mikey live that down.:laugh:

Roaming Gnome
05-17-2008, 08:18 PM
Got proof?

Mark Cuban's blog about this subject (http://www.blogmaverick.com/2006/02/22/they-did-it-at-the-all-star-game-and-no-one-noticed/)



They did it at the All Star game and no one noticed !
Feb 22nd 2006 12:24AM

Much has been written about the leagues curiousity about whether or not the majority of fans at an NBA game prefer music to be played while the ball is in play.

The NBA has from time to time mentioned that they would like to experiment with "silent nights" to find out for themselves. When this topic has come up, without any exceptions that I have seen, the media has fully endorsed the concept.

Rather than waiting for a proclamation from the NBA to experiment, I decided to try a "silent night" or two at Mavs home games. We tried playing no music , no only while the ball was in play, but also during stoppages. We did however play music during timeouts. The response was that there was a noticable decline in energy in the building and I got several emails asking what happened to the "show" at the games.

So i decided to try it again, because honestly, I hoped the concept would work. If the fans could lead the cheers and create the energy, my job got a lot easier. Our goal at any Mavs game is to make it an experience. We often liken it to a great wedding where everyone from Grandma and Grandpa to the 15 year old with blue hair and pierced everything all have a great time dancing, singing and interacting. Playing orchestrator as I often do at home games isnt always the easiest job.

So we added microphones to the floor so the entire arena could hear the sneakers squeaking on the court. We turned up the mics on the rim, so the arena could hear the grunts and guys talking on the defensive side. We brought in the Maniaacs to clap and cheer and encourage the fans to get involved. It didnt work. The energy wasnt there. We got far more complaints than compliments.

So we shelved the experiment. We went back to music, prompting and energy and the feedback improved considerably.

Which brings me back to the All Star game. I had a box along with my family, and friends. Some of whom were from Dallas, some who werent. Someone asked me why, with the exception of when the non basketball acts were on the court, or when they were throwing baby basketballs, there was no energy in the building. These were the best players in the universe. Where was the buzz.

It took me about 1 minute to realize what was going on . It was a "Silent Night" . No music while the game was in progress. Some organ prompts. Some limited music during breaks in play. No mics on the rims. No energy in the building until the final few minutes.

I applaud the NBA for taking the chance and seeing what happens. The All Star game is a great place to experiment. But thats not the point of this entry.

The point here is that NO ONE NOTICED.

The media response I got when we did our version was that it was noticably better to them. That they really enjoyed it. That it was the way "games were supposed to be" . Yet, at the game where there were more media members in attendance than any other game pre Finals.... not a word was spoken or written about the fact that it was a silent game.

I did hear commentary on the radio about the lack of energy in the building, but again, not a word about the lack of music , prompts, mics.

I guess we have our answer on "silent nights"




This isn't neccessarally proof, but this is usually what I've hung my hat on when this argument has come up in the last 2 seasons. I actually can understand this too because the only reason that I have season tickets are because the games are remotely entertaining to my wife because of all the diversions to just the basketball. Look, I know the hoops would be enough for myself and most of us folks that are here, but to the children, fellas just out and spouses they need something more then just squeeking sneakers.

Most people are in a situation that if they cant take the wife or the kids, they don't get to spend that much on season tickets, so if the wife and kids are BORED because it is "just basketball" and don't want to go because of that.... I can see a problem. The few times this season that I have taken my 6 year old daughter to games this season, she has really really enjoyed it because she gets to scream when the jumbotron tells her to, she gets to use those annoying *** thundersticks, and loves the musc while the ball is in play. What I'm getting at is she really loves going to games for the entertainment and could give a flip whether the Pacers win or lose as long as she's entertained. I know that my 6 Y.O. is not the best example, but you would be suprised at how many adults just go there for the show and could really care about what is going on down on the floor. It always amazes me to hear people go on about the Pacemates but could barely remember who won or anything about the game.

I know that I talked to Peck, Unclebuck, and Hicks (Sorry, I don't recognize your new name) about why my dad hates going to sporting events now days. He hates that sporting events cater to families and kids now versus adults that are there for the game. He loves the crowds at the games when they would get into it because of the action on the floor, field, or ice...but, can't stand screaming brats that are just screaming because they can or banging thundersticks just because they hand them out. I guess where I'm going with this is.... Like him, a lot of us yearn for the days when going to games was about just the game and not the business of drawing the largest crowds they canget thru the door.

Roaming Gnome
05-17-2008, 08:33 PM
I'm a die hard basketball fan and I absolutely love our pre-game pyrotechnics.

Take away the noise if you want, but keep the flares! They're the reason i never ever miss the pregame intros.

My first trip to the Palace was just about 6 weeks ago and I can see why you love that pre-game intro. I was amazed that I could feel the heat off that gigantic fireball all the way at the top of the Palace.

"The greatest players in the world, playing the greatest game in the world....In the great state of Michigan!"

That may not be how Mason says it, but it definately stood out to me along with that whole pre-game intro. Good stuff.

grace
05-17-2008, 10:04 PM
After attending tonight's Fever game I have to say pyrotechnics and loud noise aren't that bad. However, Freddie Fever in a tong...:puke:

I kid you not. During a time out they did a take off on Quick Change. Freddie ended up in nothing but a thong!

My eyes! My eyes! :dead:

Unclebuck
05-19-2008, 11:43 AM
Mark Cuban's blog about this subject (http://www.blogmaverick.com/2006/02/22/they-did-it-at-the-all-star-game-and-no-one-noticed/)





This isn't neccessarally proof, but this is usually what I've hung my hat on when this argument has come up in the last 2 seasons. I actually can understand this too because the only reason that I have season tickets are because the games are remotely entertaining to my wife because of all the diversions to just the basketball. Look, I know the hoops would be enough for myself and most of us folks that are here, but to the children, fellas just out and spouses they need something more then just squeeking sneakers.

Most people are in a situation that if they cant take the wife or the kids, they don't get to spend that much on season tickets, so if the wife and kids are BORED because it is "just basketball" and don't want to go because of that.... I can see a problem. The few times this season that I have taken my 6 year old daughter to games this season, she has really really enjoyed it because she gets to scream when the jumbotron tells her to, she gets to use those annoying *** thundersticks, and loves the musc while the ball is in play. What I'm getting at is she really loves going to games for the entertainment and could give a flip whether the Pacers win or lose as long as she's entertained. I know that my 6 Y.O. is not the best example, but you would be suprised at how many adults just go there for the show and could really care about what is going on down on the floor. It always amazes me to hear people go on about the Pacemates but could barely remember who won or anything about the game.

I know that I talked to Peck, Unclebuck, and Hicks (Sorry, I don't recognize your new name) about why my dad hates going to sporting events now days. He hates that sporting events cater to families and kids now versus adults that are there for the game. He loves the crowds at the games when they would get into it because of the action on the floor, field, or ice...but, can't stand screaming brats that are just screaming because they can or banging thundersticks just because they hand them out. I guess where I'm going with this is.... Like him, a lot of us yearn for the days when going to games was about just the game and not the business of drawing the largest crowds they canget thru the door.


I understand that and I've taken people to games before who don't even know who Jermaine O'Neal is. And yes I understand that they have to do something to attract the very casual or even non-pacers or NBA fan. But I think a little balance is needed. When you have 2 players back in the lockerroom during pregame intros because of the smoke, when you have a film of debris over everything - it is just too much. When you have a playoff game stopped for 20 minutes because of something that has nothing to do with the game - it is just tooooo much.

When you have home coaches complaining because they can't communicate with their players (Popovich) - it starts to diminish the game.

I read a good article this morning on this with several quotes from Pop, and I can't remember where.

Using the allstar game as an ecxample is a bad idea, there isn't a rooting interest and the crowd is always quiet

Fool
05-19-2008, 12:10 PM
Pop fouling everyone with a sub 70% free throw average every game does more to ruin the experience then any mishap from the ring of fire.

Go watch golf if you are looking for a library atmosphere.

Kstat
05-19-2008, 12:31 PM
Agreed on both counts.

Putnam
05-19-2008, 12:43 PM
The selection of music played at sports events has to be the second most stodgy, limited, uninspired playlist in the world -- second only to what NPR uses for filler. Yes, all the songs they use during games are up-beat. But there are only about a dozen tunes, played night after night.

There is a lot of good music in the world, and much that I haven't heard yet. But what are the chances that I'm going to hear something good for the first time at an NBA game? On the other hand, what are the chances that I'm going to hear something insipid and tiresome -- something I hated the first time I heard it (Bang on the Drum All Day), or something I may have liked in the 80s but am tired of now (Rock and Roll, Part II).

If NBA venues took music seriously, it could make a better contribution to the game atmosphere. This shouldn't just be a discussion of more or less, louder or quieter, etc. Somebody is in charge of music -- why aren't they more interested in it?

A more creative music director could stir up a whole lot of interest. The possibilities are endless. Just for starters, who would like a Lisa Lopes song when Derek Fisher lines up for a free throw?

grace
05-19-2008, 04:32 PM
Yes, stadiums play old songs but they also play new crap that I can't stand. I'd rather listen to Bang on the Drum All Day for the entire game than some of the crap they play.