View Full Version : The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

10-11-2012, 11:12 PM
Since there was no opposition from Area 55 members I am now going to make a new thread & sticky it for all Pacer fan sections.

Please feel free to post any information or thoughts here.

Hopefully IndyHoya will once again start giving us news that we can take to the bank.

Also I included PTO because there is always questions about it like where is it, what should people bring, etc.


10-12-2012, 11:58 PM
Nice work tonight from my fellow Area 55ers and also G2zoners. Not our best effort, but good for the first preseason game, and I actually felt like there was improvement as the game went on. Just what we were looking for.

10-13-2012, 01:01 AM
Definite potential. Once we get the rookies in both sides up to speed, we'll be in good shape.

10-14-2012, 02:01 AM
Was fun. Can't wait till regular season.

11-01-2012, 03:01 PM
Hey Area 55, G2, Pacers fans, Colts fans, AA members.
Remember Saturday afternoon in the old parking lot on south street across from Arby's OPENING NIGHT PTO. If you have never been to a PTO this is the place to start usually the best turnout of the year. Crazies start rolling in between 4 and 5.

11-01-2012, 03:12 PM

One problem: I have a feeling that the stinkin Blue Crew will have that lot reserved.

11-01-2012, 03:16 PM

duke dynamite
11-01-2012, 03:20 PM
Yes, the Blue Crew will have that lot. :cry:

11-01-2012, 04:32 PM
Thay only get the back right? And we still have the small lot if not.

11-01-2012, 04:42 PM
Nah, dude, they got the entire thing.... even though they only use about a third of it on Saturday.

11-01-2012, 05:28 PM
in the words of superfan. "The PTO will go where it's got to go, to put on the show, rain sleet or snow, its the only place to go, we run full throttle, clean up your bottles. OHHHH YEAHHHHH!

11-01-2012, 08:23 PM
Can anyone help me get some tix in Area55 for the home opener. Rob doesnt seem interested in selling me tix unless I buy a full season. Which does me no good, because I have a wife and get to take too. I gave away a ton of Area55 tickets over the past 2 season, so Im hoping favors will be returned.

11-01-2012, 09:47 PM
They aint selling single game tix to even members of Area55 and G2 at the moment.....

11-01-2012, 10:33 PM
Thanks to Area55er Scott Roosa for 1 ticket in Area55. Just need 2 more for wife and daughter. Anyone else not able to make home opener?

11-02-2012, 01:32 AM
Please keep updating where PTO will be happenin.
I'll be breakfast clubbing/tailgating at Purdue, but I got me a sober ride. :buddies:

11-02-2012, 02:03 PM
Can't wait to see what you guys have in store for the opener. By the way.... I thought the folks in G2 out did the old faithful in Area55 during pre-season. :devil:

11-02-2012, 05:39 PM
But of course, look who was brought over from Area55 to the G2Zone... they sent a lot of the good season 2 rookies over... ;)

11-02-2012, 08:14 PM
not able to get in area55 but scott roosa has a ticket up for grabs $20 you can find him on twitter @Reggie_For_3

11-02-2012, 08:28 PM
Rookie Area 55er here. I didnt try out for Area 55 or G2, but I decided to buy a season ticket. I couldnt decide which section I wanted to sit in. It was a tough decision, but I eventually decided to sit in Area 55. I will be at most, if not all of the games, and I am looking forward to the season! I had already bought 4 tickets to the home opener to take my son and my parents before I decided to buy into Area 55. So if anyone is interested in buying my ticket, let me know.

11-02-2012, 11:38 PM
Me and the wifey just finished making some new Big Heads for the groups, and they are ready to rock!

11-03-2012, 12:55 PM

Salutations 55ers!

Tonight the 1-1 Pacers return to Indy for their home opener against the Sacramento Kings. It’s a “gold out” night and the Suits will be turning BLF yellow with a T-Shirt giveaway to what is supposed to be a sellout crowd. In case you missed it, Roy’s instructions to us were as follows:

“I want @PacersArea55 packed on Saturday & I have a couple tix left. You have to be loud. Sign up at http://on.nba.com/YwQBOC ”

Beating the Kings won’t be easy. Our Pacers are banged up. Danny Granger is on “indefinite” status with a bum knee. George Hill is playing through pain with a hip pointer. Sam Young may be out with a severely bruised shoulder picked up in last night’s loss to Charlotte. Gerald Green has been struggling in his new role as a starter.

Over the past two road games, the Pacers have looked strong at times and sloppy at others. Turnovers, spotty free throw shooting, and defensive rebounding have been particular problems that need to be corrected.

For their part, all the Royalty from Sacramento aren’t exactly slouches and tonight’s game isn’t exactly a “gimme.” The Kings’ roster includes the likes of 6’ 11” 270 lb. center DeMarcus Cousins and flashy guard Tyreke Evans. From a historical standpoint, Cousins, particularly, has given the Pacers fits. Area 55’s mission tonight, from a chanting perspective, is to help Roy neuter him.

Last night neither Cousins nor Evans showed up and the 0-2 Kings found a way to lose a road game to a Minnesota Timberwolves team that was playing without Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Wolves guard J.J. Barea was the difference maker, torching the Kings with a game-high 21 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench. Sacramento didn't have an answer for him all night.

Cousins (more on him below) had an awful game, garnering just 11 points and 4 rebounds in 25 foul-plagued minutes of action. Reports have it that he was thoroughly outplayed by the Wolves’ normally lackluster backup center, Greg Stiesma, who hounded him defensively all game. Evans, who had 21 points and 8 rebounds in Sacramento's opening road loss to the Bulls, finished with only 6 points on 3-for-14 shooting. When Cousins and Evans play like that, the Kings lose. Pacers take heed.

PTO! For those Area 55 rookies (and their camp followers) that have yet to experience the surrealistic weirdness of the Pacers Tailgating Organization, tonight’s your big chance. PTO founder and self-anointed President for life Aaron “Brickyard” Coleman advises me that the festivities will be kicking off, as usual, in an as yet to be designated parking lot at an as yet to be designated time. This temporal and spatial vagueness is in keeping with PTO’s beer-inspired, not-to-be-missed carnival ambience and shaky leadership. Coleman, of late, has been attending school and has been more absorbed with abstruse trigonometry problems than professional basketball. As a consequence, PTO’s day-to-day organization and bratwurst roasting responsibilities have basically devolved to its second-in-command, Casey O’Brien, PTO’s VP and General Manager. O’Brien is a convicted arsonist whose managerial skills stem largely from prison correspondence courses and unsuccessful efforts to organize mass escapes.

Generally the PTO convenes at around 4:00 PM and congregates in the cheapest parking lot we can find within hailing distance of the Arby’s located at the South East corner of Pennsylvania and South Streets. Ordinarily G2 Zone member Bill “Sandman” Manlove shows up first, locates the cheapest place to park and starts sending out admonitory tweets to give location heads ups to would-be PTO attendees. Manlove’s Twitter handle is THE PACER MANIAC @ TheSandman21. It’s a good idea to "Follow" him on Twitter for up-to-the-minute dope on where the PTO and parking is apt to be. If you show up early (the real weirdness usually starts around 5:30 PM for 7:00 PM games) you can park your chariot for $5.00 at a lot next to the Subway on the south side of South Street.

It’s usually best to bring your own beer to the PTO unless you’re an aficionado of Hobert Montgomery’s Pabst Blue Ribbon. Food is a sometime thing. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it isn’t. So bring that too if you're inclined to stuff your maw pre-game. It’s often cheaper to dine at the PTO than to blow your kids’ allowances on the tasty, but pricey, comestibles served at the trendy Blue Flame Grill (which is located behind Section 101) once you get inside BLF.

Coat and tie are optional at the PTO. In fact, often clothing is optional. Many PTO attendees, after drinking enough PBR, morph into nudists – usually of the male, full-frontal Roncalli High School variety. Those of you who might be offended by the sight of painted and exposed male nipples, be forewarned!

The PTO is a good place to strategize, find out what the latest chanting ideas are, and generally get to know your Area 55 and G2Zone peers. To the extent anything really every gets decided in Area 55, it usually happens at the PTO.


How Royalty Came to Sacramento! The Kings trace their origins to a local semi-professional team based in Rochester, New York in the early 1920s (making them one of the oldest pro basketball clubs continually in existence). The team joined the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1945 as the Rochester Royals. The Royals defected to the NBL's rival, the Basketball Association of America, in 1948. In 1949, as a result of a merger between the NBL and BAA, the Royals became members of the newly formed NBA. Though the Royals were often successful on the court, they had trouble turning a profit in the comparatively small market of Rochester, and relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1957, becoming the Cincinnati Royals. In 1972, the team relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, initially splitting its games between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska, and taking up the name Kansas City Kings. The team again failed to find success in the lucrative big time Omaha-KC market, and moved to their present kingly realm -- Sacramento -- in 1985. The Kings have been there, shakily, ever since.

Meet the Maloofs! For the last 13 years, the Kings have been owned by the Maloof family. If you want to get to know them on a first name basis, all you have to do is go the Kings’ Official Website and click the “Maloofs” box. I’ve saved you curious types the trouble. It’s here:


If you took the trouble, you now know Joe, Gavin, Coleen, George, Adrienne, and Phil. From their adulatory, self-written bios, you might also now feel a little like you’re on Walton Mountain. Unfortunately, there’s more to this rosy portrait of a happy family than meets the eye.

On February 19, 2011, NBA commissioner David Stern admitted that the Maloofs had been talking with officials in Anaheim, California about relocation. It was later found that the Maloofs had gone as far as filing for a trademark on the name "Anaheim Royals", among others. The Maloofs prepared to make their case for relocation in an NBA Board meeting in New York, in what many expected to simply be a formality.

However, in a surprise announcement, Sacramento Mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson announced during a presentation to the NBA that Ron Burkle, a billionaire associate of former United States President Bill Clinton wanted to buy the Kings and keep them in Sacramento. Johnson also pledged some $10 million from local businesses as a show of support from keeping the Kings right where they were. As a result, the Maloofs were pressured into temporarily withdrawing their Anaheim plans and the Kings remained in Sacramento for the 2011-12 NBA season. The Maloofs, however, indicated they intended to move to Anaheim for 2012-2013 unless the city of Sacramento built (Surprise!) a new arena. The city had plans for an arena and awaited a 100-day analysis of funding options for the arena.

On February 27, 2012 the Maloofs, the city, and the NBA came to a tentative deal on the construction of a $387 Million in downtown Sacramento. Per the deal, the city was to pony up more than $250 Million (raised by leasing city-owned parking lots to a private company). For their part, the Maloofs were to contribute $75 million up-front, as well as money from the sale of the old Kings venue – the colorfully named “Sleep Train Arena.” In addition they were to pay a 5% surcharge on ticket sales to generate another $75 Million through the span of the deal. Arena operator AEG was to contribute another 60 million up-front for the right to operate the arena. With this agreement, it was expected that the Kings would play in their new arena as early as 2015.

Amid great fanfare, the outline of the deal was approved by the city council on March 7, 2012. On April 13, 2012, the Maloof family backed out of the deal. Since then, all has been speculation. The current rumor is that the Maloofs are broke and that’s why they pulled out of the deal.

The Maloofs persist in telling everyone who asks that they are still flush with assets and are liquid enough to run the Kings and make them competitive. However, the Kings have been at the salary floor -- that is, at the lowest legal salary a team can carry as assigned by NBA rules -- for the past two seasons. To boot, the Maloofs have in their employ one of the lowest-paid general managers, one of the thinnest basketball operations departments and one of the lowest-paid coaches (Former IU star, Keith Smart) in the entire league. In July, the Kings (who then had just 11 players under contract), sold their No. 36 pick to the Pacers for cash. Generally, teams that sell picks for cash either (1) have too many players under contract or (2) are bumping up against the luxury tax line or (3) have owners who are broke.

The ongoing “Sacramento or Anaheim” saga for the Kings thus continues.

Meet DeMarcus Cousins – Mr. Misunderstood! DeMarcus Cousins is a troubled man. Nobody really understands him. Consequently, he presently ornaments his lengthy right calf with a lengthy “Misunderstood ?” tattoo. You can buy into the general misunderstanding by viewing it right here!


DeMarcus came out of John Calipari’s Kentucky with much fanfare. Sure he had a record of arguments with the coach there and altercations with teammates. But that was all over once he joined the pros, right?


Well, not exactly.

First, prior to the drafts for the 2010-2011 season, he refused to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a personal workout due to the fact that “there were too many young big men already on the Timberwolves roster.” So, being one of the first teams to pick in the draft, the Timberwolves stated that they wouldn't touch DeMarcus with a 10 foot pole.

That little incident didn't stop the Sacramento Kings from taking Cousins with their #5 overall pick in . The Kings believed that Cousins had so much upside that his past record of “immature actions” could be corrected. In fact, Cousins was said to be a shoo-in “Rookie of the Year” candidate even before he played his first game. However, once in a Kings uniform it didn't take long for some of his old patterns to reappear.

As his rookie season ensued arguments with the Kings’ coaches and teammates began getting him kicked out of practices. There was even talk of the Kings sending him to the D-League. He was benched for making a choking sign at an opposing player shooting free throws during a loss to the Golden State Warriors. After that reprisal, he was benched again because he refused to acknowledge another teammate that tried to give him a high-five. While a minor thing, it was treated as major due to all his prior troubles. After that, DeMarcus took to sulking and his scoring and rebounding stats plummeted, causing his overall effort to be questioned.

Prior to the 2011-2012 season, Cousins professed to repent. Self-labeling his past actions as “selfish” and “immature” he promised to reform. The reform program, however, didn’t last long. Cousins In December 2011 he reportedly announced that “he was tired of being disrespected due to his rookie status” and demanded that he be traded. His agent blamed his dissatisfaction on the Kings coach, Paul Westphal. Westphal suspended him and put the onus on DeMarcus to make things right before he could play again. No candy or apologies were forthcoming. As a result in January 2012 the Maloofs elected to jettison Westphal, and not Cousins.

All did not go smoothly after Westphal's departure. In February, 2012, DeMarcus got into a locker-room fracas with a teammate, Donte Green. DeMarcus reportedly chided Green for not inbounding him the ball for a last second shot. Words were then exchanged and the two came to blows. Cousins wound up calling Green “too scared to make decisions to win games late.” The upshot of that altercation had the Kings kicking DeMarcus off the team’s flight home, assessing a $5,000 fine and awarding him a 3-game suspension.

There’s a real possibility that we can bother DeMarcus Cousins tonight 55ers. “Misunderstood” might be one chant we can use. Think about others. This could be fun!


Indy Hoya

11-03-2012, 12:59 PM

Ahoy G2ers!

As many of you know, the Pacers were defeated by the disturbingly bad Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night (just moments ago as I write this line). I, like the rest of the you, have a sour taste from this embarassment of being the team that Charlotte breaks their 23 game loosing streak, but fortunately, the Pacers have a chance to immediately wash away that awful in our mouths with tonight's home opener as the almost-as-putrid Sacramento Kings pay their one and only visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the season, and its going to be one doozy of a night!

As everyone probably is aware, all the hype surrounding the upgrades that were untaken at the "Bank" over the offseason has all led to this night, as the Pacers break out the ever feared GOLD OUT, which not means the Pacers will wear their gold uniforms, we all get free gold T-shirts, but it also means the return of the most fearsome element of an Indiana Pacers Gold Out: The Golden Boomer.

Oh, and the scoreboard that is bigger than my house finally gets fully unleashed after Pacers Sports and Entertainment spent most of the last month teasing us with glimpses of its full potential. But that's not important. What IS important is that its OPENING NIGHT!

Do you have your tickets?
As everyone knows, the Pacers sent out our tickets through the US postal system, and we all should have received them before Friday (most received their tickets on Thursday I believe). If you did not receive your tickets because of some postal oversight, you need to contact the G2Zone staff at G2Zone@pacers.com immediately, so that we can get into tonight's game with the G2Zone at full strength.

PTO! (As mostly written by Area55 Grand Poobah Joe Murphy and G2Zoneized by me)
For those G2Zoners rookies (and their camp followers) that have yet to experience the surrealistic weirdness of the Pacers Tailgating Organization, tonight’s your big chance. PTO founder and self-anointed President for life Aaron “Brickyard” Coleman advises me that the festivities will be kicking off, as usual, in an as yet to be designated parking lot at an as yet to be designated time. This temporal and spatial vagueness is in keeping with PTO’s beer-inspired, not-to-be-missed carnival ambience and shaky leadership. Coleman, of late, has been attending school and has been more recently absorbed with abstruse trigonometry problems than professional basketball. As a consequence, PTO’s day-to-day organization and bratwurst roasting responsibilities have basically devolved to its second-in-command, Casey O’Brien, PTO’s VP and General Manager. O’Brien is a convicted arsonist whose managerial skills stem largely from prison correspondence courses and unsuccessful efforts to organize mass escapes.

Generally the PTO convenes at around 4:00 PM and congregates in the cheapest parking lot we can find within hailing distance of the Arby’s located at the South East corner of Pennsylvania and South Streets. I show up first, locates the cheapest place to park and starts sending out admonitory tweets to would-be attendees. My twitter is THE PACER MANIAC @ TheSandman21. It’s a good idea to follow me for up-to-the-minute dope on where the PTO is apt to be. If you show up early (the real weirdness usually starts around 5:30 PM for 7:00 PM games) you can park your chariot for $5.00 at a lot next to the Subway on the south side of South Street.

It’s usually best to bring your own beer unless you’re an aficionado of Area55 member Hobart Montgomery’s Pabst Blue Ribbon. Food is a sometime thing. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it isn’t. So bring that too if your inclined to stuff your maw pre-game. It’s often cheaper to dine at the PTO than blow your kids’ allowances on the tasty, but pricey, comestibles served at the nearest concession stand once you get inside BLF.

The PTO is a good place to strategize, find out what the latest chanting ideas are, and generally get to know your G2Zone and Area 55 peers.

The Sandman Scouting Report: The Sacramento Kings

Sacramento enters the Bankers Life lions den looking for that first win, which makes them hungry. Their head coach will be very familar to IU fans as 1987 Championship Game hero Keith Smart makes his return to Indiana at the helm of his third NBA team, and this may be the first one he may actually have a fair chance with, as his first head coaching experience came with the pre-Lebron James Cleveland Cavaliers (and if you saw the pre-Lebron Cavs, you understand WHY he didn't get a fair shake with them), and then he was awarded by the Golden State Warriors for winning 10 more games than the previous year's team did by being given a pink slip. That one still boggles me.

Smart leads a young team led by SG Tyreke Evans and C Demarcus Cousins, who is considered by many to have million dollar potential and skillsets, and the maturity of a 5 year old. (Actually, sometimes I think the 5 year old has Demarcus beat). This is a hungry young team, but theres a reason they only won 22 games last year. Of course one of those 22 wins came in rather embarassing fashion against our Pacers, as the Kings came back from 18 down in the fourth quarter to win last season, a loss that spurred my personal "No Tweeting/Facebooking during the game" rule (who says fans can't be superstitious?) after I made a remark about the game being over in the third quarter. Oops.

Indiana Special Olympics Torch Run
If you have received this email, then you should also have received an earlier email from me regarding next week's work with the Indiana Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for next Thursday evening. The Pacers really want us, Area55, and High Octane to have a presence for this, and right now, I've only gotten a few people saying they will be coming. We are coming to the point where we need to get an idea of how many people we will be bringing. I've had a couple of G2 members ask me about parking, and at this point, I have not heard anything from Area55 Grand Poobah Joe Murphy, however he has passed the question onto our contact with the ISOP, stay tuned regarding an answer.

Who cares about the Kings starters? I found a 50% off coupon for Gatorade!
Finally, for tomorrow night, G2 members Hayden Weaver and Clayton De Fur will be bringing copies of the IU student newspaper for us to read during the introductions of the Sacramento Kings. Although they believe they should have enough for everyone, other G2 members are welcome to bring newspaper as well, and I have reached out to our Area 55 "cousins" to see if they will be joining us in this antic.

That wraps up the inaugural G2 Zone mailblast. Doing this as a one man show does take some time, but at the same time, I don't want just one person putting the word out. If anyone wants to contribute material to the mailblast, always feel free to send it to me and I will include it into the mailblast. I don't think you can add it to a resume, even if you are looking to become a writer, but contributions are contributions, so if you got em, send em in!

One final note, G2: We did well in our preseason tuning, but tonight, not only does the curtain come up on the Indiana Pacers home schedule, but this is our big debut as well, so paint up, break out your best props, and bring that voice and let's forget this stinker in Charlotte and DETHRONE THE KINGS (because as we all know, Paul George is the TRUE KING)!

11-04-2012, 10:09 AM
Were you two responsible for the young Gary Coleman? I like!

11-04-2012, 05:50 PM
Don't look at me for Gary and Stamos LOL

11-04-2012, 08:37 PM
Were you two responsible for the young Gary Coleman? I like!

No, Rob wanted us to make Bon Jovi and a couple of players. Still don't know the inside joke about the Bon Jovi request. I think a couple of guys made the 70's sitcom bigheads themselves.

11-04-2012, 08:52 PM
Joey, I've got a couple of fathead ideas I think we might have to look into originating... namely involving a certain Gatorade bottle, Mustard bottle, and Uno card......

11-04-2012, 11:14 PM
Joey, I've got a couple of fathead ideas I think we might have to look into originating... namely involving a certain Gatorade bottle, Mustard bottle, and Uno card......

Sandman, I was sitting in our regular STH seats last night, so I must have missed something. The wife was sitting in her G2 seat but she also didn't know what you meant. Please clarify!

11-04-2012, 11:21 PM
I didn't say anything about it at the game, but I forgot I had these and the Roy Hibbert Uno card in the prop box:


11-05-2012, 12:21 AM
I didn't say anything about it at the game, but I forgot I had these and the Roy Hibbert Uno card in the prop box:

Ah, I definitely remember that we brought the mustard last season! Thanks.

11-10-2012, 12:57 PM

Salutations, long suffering ones!

Yes, last night’s epic 96-94 fail in Minnesota was painful to watch. Confronted with a Timberwolves group that lacked Kevin “So Much Not to Love” Love, Ricky “Honey I’m Home” Rubio, and J. J “I’m a Guard You Never Heard Of But I’m Good” Berea, our guys fell asleep and let an unguarded non-entity named Chase Buddinger beat us at the buzzer. It negated a stellar, 29-point career night from George Hill, a solid effort from always reliable David West, and a foul-plagued, but pretty good defensive performance from our patron, Roy Hibbert. The Pacers now are 2-4 in the Central. We should be 5-1.

Chemistry, my friends! Chemistry! Successful NBA teams are built on it and right now our guys are trying to find it.

OK, we can point fingers and scream about this and that. But our recent problems, in a nutshell, pretty much boil down to Danny Granger’s knee. With DG having been wrenched out of our roster, our chemist in chief, Frank the Tank Vogel, has been forced to re-don his lab coat and search for the right molecules, chemical bonds, sub-atomic weights, and obscure valences needed to get us back on track. These things take a little time.

So, fear not! Ignore the faithless! It’s still going to happen for us. It’s just a question of getting the right assemblage of electrons, neutrons, and protons back into the right formulaic sequence. Tonight’s game with the 0-4 Washington Wizards is exactly the kind of elixir our Pacers need to right themselves and find their missing molecular mojo.

My bet is that the Pacers return to the warm confines of BLF not particularly happy. When our guys are like this, seething frustrations tend to translate into bad news for the opposition. If I weren’t so partisan, I’d almost feel sorry for what I believe is going to happen to the hapless Washington Wizards this evening.

And remember this, 55ers! We are a small part of the Pacers home chemistry. Tonight, like our team, we have to bring it. Like the Pacers, we have a job to do. Nobody should be arriving in 101 late or leaving early. Nobody should be sitting down. No voices should be going home without being hoarse. There should be no let-ups in our noise level and the hell we need to visit upon the Wizards.

We’re Off to See the Wizards! So who are our foes this evening? The Wizards are presently flopping like beached carp at the bottom of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. In some ways their problems mirror ours. Their biggest guns – Maybyner Rodney Hilario a/k/a Nene and Former Kentucky star, Johnathan Hildred Wall, Jr. a/k/a John Wall – have been out with plantar fasciitis and a knee injury, respectively. The Wizards, as a result, have become unglued and basically have lost their moorings. Last night they lost another one at home 101-91 to the Bucks. The only team playing worse than them in the NBA right now is 0-6 Detroit.

For what it’s worth, last year the Wizards had a similar dismal beginning, going 0-8 and precipitating the firing of their coach, the affable Flip Saunders. Flip was responsible for one of my favorite basketball quotes:

“Don’t think it can’t get any worse, because it can!”

So true.

Washington comes to BLF extremely frustrated and probably clueless. Former Pacer, A. J. Price sums up their situation thusly:

“We just need a win. We need a win. We need a win as much as possible.”

The problem has been inconsistency. The Wizard’s coach, former IU-standout Randy Wittman, stated post-game last night that sometimes the Wizards get good games out of their starters and sometimes out of their reserves, but so far, never both. Key matchups for the Pacers will be Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okofor. If we contain them, then: Presto! The Wizards will be returning to Hogwarts for a refresher course in basketball legerdemain and likely transmogrified into 0-5 slices of buttered toast.

PTO Doings: Unseasonable November balminess should make for heightened attendance at tonight’s pre-game Pacers Tailgate Organization conclave. As usual, the revelry will commence around 5:00 P.M.-ish and continue until just before BLF’s standard tip off time of 7:00 P.M. There’s a band competition in town today, Fun Seekers, so be prepared for $10.00 Parking prices in the otherwise placid facilities that surround PTO’s normal node at the South Street and Pennsy Street connection. Those Area 55ers, G2 Zoners, and the non-affiliated should keen their eyes for the Arby’s and then mingle at whatever parking area near the node that the costumed are congregating.

The PTO is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the motley cast of characters that populate Area 55 and the G2 Zone. Warning! Many are schizophrenic, dipsomaniacal, and/or, like PTO’s VP and GM, Casey O’Brien, criminally sociopathic. Others are merely demented, like El Pacero, and not really dangerous.

Females take notice! Some of the male attendees at the PTOs, like the cherubic and green-haired Elijah Helton are self-professedly lonely, have Profile Listings on Christian Mingle, and, the Lord willing, are in the market for life partners. Area 55 has had no intermarriage of yet. I hope to see at least one conjugal bond occur among our many members before my current lame-duck term as Area 55 Prez and Imperial Poohbah expires!

Clothing at the PTO is optional. Also, bringing your own booze and eats is a good idea as hoarding is ordinarily the by-word until people like Hobert (That’s Hobert with an “E”) Montgomery gets drunk enough to share the Pabst Blue Ribbon he normally totes in from Lebanon. Informality is the rule and RSVPs are unnecessary.


El Pacero Confronts G-Wiz! There is serious bad blood between long-time Area 55 Member El Pacero and the Washington Wizards. It all stems from a confrontation between our Mexican Women’s Wrestling Champ and Wizard’s Mascot G-Wiz that happened many moons ago. Fortunately it was captured through the magic of videotape here:


As interested viewers will note, El Pacero was simply there in DC (as usual drunk – but harmlessly so) trying to watch a road game when G-Wiz abruptly accosted him and tried to pick a fight. Surprised at the unanticipated hostility and in the embrace of cerveza, Pacero was obviously not at his best at the time.

Actually, G-Wiz is fortunate that Pacero didn’t respond by figure-fouring G-Wiz’ head and making him bleat for mercy – Pacero’s normal reaction with the mujeres he wrestles.

If you want more info on this epic tete-a-tete you can interrogate Pacero himself at tonight’s PTO. I tried to get more of the particulars on this at an exclusive Area 55 Newsletter interview conducted last year. Unfortunately Pacero was intoxicated at the time and most of his responses were in an excited form of Tex-Mex Spanish. I recognized only the words “Un ataque injusto,” “Fuí muy borracho” and “¡Quiero venganza!” After that my poor powers of Spanish comprehension were exhausted.

Where is Flip Saunders Now? I liked the Wiz’s (not to be confused with Cheese Whiz – which I don’t like) former coach Flip Saunders. He was the last in a long line of Wizard’s coaches burdened by the so-called “Washington Curse.” He came to epitomize the angst and pathos inherent in trying to pilot a team in the NBA basketball hell that is Washington. To name some of those dearly departed affected by the Curse consider Gar Heard and Darrell Walker, Leonard Hamilton and Doug Collins, Eddie Jordan and Ed Tapscott. Then came Flip and then (after going 51-130) he went - just like all his losing predecessors. The current uneasy occupant of that DC coaching chair is Randy Wittman.

Good luck, Randy.

Luckily after starting 2-15 last year and then getting canned, Flip was able to land a cushy job with ESPN calling games. In the cloistered world of NBA basketball coaching, no coach ever is really permanently gone. Generally once you’re in the club you always land another gig with another team sometime, somehow, somewhere doing something no matter what your performance record at your last gig looked like. And while you wait for that new gig, you can always do a year or so as an opinionated but knowledgeable (and well-paid) color guy with ESPN.

Still, I miss Flip. He was always good for an incisive post-loss quote or a memorable but arguably belated good coaching move. Some favorite examples:

(After losing to the Sixers) "The first half we looked like ‘Space Jam’ where everyone lost all their talents and couldn’t do anything there for a while."

(After losing to the Jazz) “Palacio, Williams and Ostertag all hurt us in overtime. Those aren't the guys you'd expect it from.” No kidding!

Asked if having to deal with the troublesome Andre Blatche on top of all the Wizard’s other issues surrounding Gilbert Arenas frustrated him, Flip was philosophical. Recalling his minor-league coaching tenure at Sioux Falls, Flip said:

“It's not frustrating, having coached in the CBA for eight years. That's life; every day was like that.''

To be fair, Flip had to contend with a lot in DC. Last year he memorably disciplined Wizard bonehead JaVale McGee after JaVale alley-ooped to himself off the backboard to perform a breakaway dunk while the Wizards were behind. Clueless, McGee defended his decision later by saying:

"Apparently if you get a fast break and throw it off the backboard in the third quarter and you're 1-11, you're not supposed to do stuff like that."

I could regale you with more tidbits of memorable Washington Wizardry but unfortunately it’s real late and I better go to press.

Be strong 55ers. Tonight I think we win!


11-10-2012, 02:37 PM

Ahoy G2ers!

There's no way around it, this has not been a fun week to be a Pacers fan. Between one bad loss in San Antonio and two heartbreakers in Atlanta and Minnesota (giving us yet ANOTHER reason to hate Chase Budinger) last night, coupled with the news that "The Captain" Danny Granger is out for at least three months, it has been REALLY depressing week to be a Pacers fan. But don't panic! All is not lost! We are six games into a 82 game grind, and five of those have been on the road! Only the Detroit Pistons have played as many road games, and they are still winless. Alas, the Pacers get a chance to come home to the friendly confines of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and I think our opponent might just be the medicine for what is ailing our Pacers in the winless Washington Wizards.

The Sandman Scouting Report: The Washington Wizards

Washington enters the Bankers Life lions den still looking for their first win, which makes them hungry. Much like our previous home opponent, their head coach will be very familar to IU fans as Indianapolis native, former Ben Davis Giant, IU alum and former Pacer Randy Wittman makes his return to Indiana at the helm of his third NBA team, and this may be the first one he may actually have a fair chance with, as his first head coaching experience came with the Cleveland Cavaliers for a couple seasons where he couldn't get the Cavs out of the division cellar, followed by a year and a half stint with Minnesota before he was fired for starting 4 and 15, and now getting his shot with Washington after getting the nod following his interim stint replacing Flip Saunders last season, in which he got the Wizards to actually appear to have a pulse.

On paper, the Wizards look to be a team that would be a dark horse for the playoffs. However, this is another team who has a key player sidelined indefinitely as the Wizards are missing their young starting point guard, John Wall, who is battling a stress injury in his left knee (wow this sounds familar). In his stead is a familar face in former Pacer AJ Price, who isn't doing half bad filling in, other than in the W-L record, as he leads the Wizards in the assist column and 3rd in scoring per game. The team has also been without the services of starting center Nene, as he has not yet suited up this season with a nagging case of plantar fasciitis. As a result, the Wizards are currently paced by young center Kevin Seraphin and first round draft pick Bradley Beal, and try as they might, their offense is just anemic, averaging 88 points per game, worst in the NBA.

Got a question for Born Ready?

Area 55 Grand Poobah Joe Murphy passed this along to me, via former Area 55 member Zach "LANCE STEPHENSON FOR PRESIDENT" Brown, who happens to be the webmaster for the official Lance Stephenson website, bornready6.com (the number change hasn't quite taken effect with the website yet). Zach wants to gather a huge list of questions for "Born Ready" for a Q+A session on the site, so if you've got a question you've always wanted to ask Lance, now is your chance! Email any of them you'd like to see answered to redfoster@gmail.com .

Indiana Special Olympics Torch Run

Much thanks to the G2Zone members who were able to attend the Law Enforcement Torch Run conference event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday night for the Indiana Special Olympics. Between G2 Zone and Area 55, we were to get roughly 30 members to appear and provide a gameday experience for visitors entering the fieldhouse, many of whom wearing their own teams' colors. Needless to say, much fun was had by all, especially with those who wore the colors of rivals to our Pacers and Colts. We've received all sorts of positive feedback from the SOI and police officers. Those who stayed for the entire event also got a little surprise, as former Pacer Sam "Big Smooth" Perkins was in the house for the Special Olympics and acknowledged the remaining G2 and Area55ers in the house during his speech.

Fantasy Basketball!

For those who are interested, G2 Zone member and Flava Flav doppelganger JT Cocherell is running a G2Zone Fantasy Basketball league may still be in need of players. I don't quite have the math skills required to be anything more than a doormat, but for those who are fantasy sports junkies, inquire with JT to see if he still has spots available.


In a somewhat surprising development, we actually for once should have a good idea of what lot PTO tailgating will occur in for tonight's game instead of the traditional winging it and seeing what the first person to show up can find: For those who arrive a little after 5pm, the large parking lot across Pennsylvania Street from the South Street Arbys is currently slated to be our home, with forecasted $5 parking fees, however, with a marching band contest occuring at Lucas Oil Stadium, this could change. Come on out, meet and have some pregame beer with the bizarre denizens of both Area 55 and G2 Zone. No word yet if Area 55er Hobert Montgomery will be supplying his traditional supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Stay tuned to @TheSandman21 for live information when people start arriving downtown.

Finally, I close with the words of G2's favorite evil Sith Lord, Darth Pacer after last night's heartbreaker:
"G2Zone better use this as motivation and scream until it hurts. Lets go. "
He's absolutely right folks (and I'm saying that without being threatened by the powers of the dark side of the Force). Our Pacers are struggling, they need our energy, so let's put this last week behind us, and go ALL OUT, tip to buzzer and get back to our winning ways. One win is all we have to do to get this train back on track, so let's follow the advice of our dark side wielding Sith Lord and go do work!


11-13-2012, 12:12 PM

Salutations 55ers!

Tonight is Toronto Tuesday and the Raptors, reptilian invaders from The Great White North, slither into the warm confines of BLF to test their scaly mettle against our Pacers. If their presence engenders a vague sense of déjà vu in the back roads of your alcohol-poisoned minds, do not be taken aback. We’ve seen these guys before. Back around Halloween we nipped them at home 90-88. That game was won, you’ll recall, by the Pacers going on a 16-4 fourth quarter run that culminated in a George Hill 5-foot floater at the buzzer. That softie was enough to provide the narrowest of winning margins.

The Raptors, like the predatory carnivores they are, present themselves tonight as forlorn 1-6 bottom feeders in the Atlantic. Given their rotten record and the closeness of how things were in Toronto, they will likely be arriving fairly confident and certainly thirsty for a win. Sadly, we can’t take them lightly.

In our first game, their guard, Kyle Lowry, drove us crazy. He exploded for 21 points, 8 assists and 5 steals. Worse, we let their Italian forward, Andrea Bargnani, post 16 points and their rookie center, Jonas Valanciunas, get a double-double -- 12 points and 10 rebounds. The first game was extremely up-tempo for both teams and we had a lot of trouble corralling them until our defense finally went into lockdown mode in the 4th.

As usual, we need to bring it tonight, fellow reprobates. Tonight let’s have no reprise of “Jurassic Park.”

PTO! There was a power turnout at Saturday’s pre-game PTO. Buoyed by unseasonably warm weather, Area 55’s Women Wrestling Champ El Pacero was the highlight as he arrived in style, piloting his newly repainted and refurbished, custom, Blue and Gold AMC Pacer. His coming brought rightful pause to the revelry. While PTO members possessed of more plebian chariots watched, slack-jawed and gaping, Pacero entered and then expertly orbited the PTO parking area several times. When he finally slid into a safe parking spot (one where no carelessly opened doors would dent or otherwise mar the racing sheen of his vehicle’s sharp exterior), he immediately opened his AMC’s hood, allowing amazed bystanders a not-to-be-missed listen to the catlike purr of its well-tuned engine. His engineer, Kyle Brumback (a man in many ways responsible for the AMC’s current running condition), was also on hand and took pains to point out to auto buffs the car’s state-of-the-art Jeep + Plastic PVC pipe gerry-rigged customized carburetor. Even better, the mechanically-challenged (which included yours truly) were permitted to fill their nostrils with lugubrious scents emanating from the engine’s oil-guzzling moving parts. Personally speaking, I also had to blink my eyes in rapture at the Pacer’s spanking-new chrome rims (which Pacero, rumor has it, supposedly installed himself). When and if Pacero ever manages to stick the rest of the missing chrome trim on it, that Pacer of his will certainly be worth some coin! At least the price of the chrome trim, at any rate!

Yup, I can only say it was a marvelous spectacle to behold! After viewing his vehicle, everyone present walked away exceedingly jealous. As the owner of a car like that, it was readily apparent how Pacero manages to get his gloved hands on so many hot women!

And speaking of Pacero’s effect on women, the whole thing proved to be too much for female PTO attendee and racing junkie, Mandy Dicks. Overcome either with lust or beer, a paralyzed crowd watched in awe as she made an impulsive stealth attack on the lower portions Pacero’s outer attire. Wrenching his unbelted pants downward, Mandy’s maneuver exposed one of Pacero’s darkest secrets – i.e., the hot-pink underwear he sports beneath his costumed luchador exterior.

Pacero’s depantsing was so well received that PTO President Aaron “Brickyard” Coleman is reportedly considering making it a standard part of all PTO game days.

I should also add here that Ericka Harris provided the hungry with tasty bowls of her homemade chili (which was consumed by ravenous members in a manner and frenzy that was reminiscent of nothing less than many of the episodes we've all seen while watching The Discovery Channel during Shark Week).

Tonight, of course, the PTO reconvenes at 5:00 P.M. or so in the mammoth $5.00 lot at South & Penn opposite Arby’s. If you like Fellini movies, you might wish to attend.

Other Stuff: Area 55 and G2 Zone both got indirect kudos after the Wizards game from Pacers reserve guard, Ben Hansbrough. Ben tweeted thusly about the general BLF noise level:

“Ben Hansbrough ‏@bhans23
Big win for us tonight! Thanks for all the support Indy you guys were big for us tonight #pacernation”

Reviews were not completely positive. Both Area 55 and G2Zone did get critiqued a bit by some on Twitter for apparently cheering or chanting during the “Indiana Hero” award portion of the pre-game. Personally, I don’t remember doing this, but in the future, I guess, we all should try to be more circumspect.

A New Nick for Tyler Hansbrough? I’ve been advised that Tyler Hansbrough doesn’t particularly care for his nick, “Psycho T”. This sobriquet was placed on him during his North Carolina days and it’s followed him to Indianapolis. I guess Tyler inwardly fears being mistaken for a Hitchcockian slasher or axe-murderer.

So what SHOULD we call him? I have it on further good authority that he would prefer, instead, being referred to, at least occasionally in our chanting, as “Gucci”.

Why does Tyler wish to be likened to an elite Italian shoe company? Well, this “Gucci” nick was apparently also occasionally employed for him at NC basketball games by some of the student body. Supposedly, his on-campus dressing habits were nothing one would find within the pages of GQ Magazine and he was generally considered the worst-dressed guy on his North Carolina team. Hence “Gucci”.

Anyway, Tyler unburdened his negative feelings concerning his “Psycho T” nick (and his preference for “Gucci”) to G2Zoner Bill Manlove and Area 55 member, Barb Somes, in an uncharacteristically long chat (for Tyler, at least) that they had with him at a recent airport arrival. So, be aware. Maybe an occasional GUUUUUUUUUUUUUCI! chant when Tyler hits a FT would make him happy and feel less psychotic. Let’s do it!

Critical Critiques: Fighting Jon LaFollette’s Halftime Reviews!

Hey, something new to the august pages of the Area 55 Newsletter!

Jon R. LaFollette (who can usually be found Twittering away at: @JonFilet) is a second-year Area 55 member and recent graduate of the IU School of Journalism. Besides currently running a music criticism blog, his resume also includes a terrific cover piece on Roy that appeared in NUVO and, more recently, a blurb on the Pacers in Indianapolis Monthly.

Possessed of writing and analytical skills beyond those of the typical Area 55 denizen, Jon, at my urging, has reluctantly agreed to help elevate the tone of this Newsletter. Henceforth, he will manfully keep his *** glued to his seat during all BLF halftime shows and, afterwards, provide us with belated, but incisive, reviews of everything the rest of us (owing to our having to leave to replenish our beers) may have missed.

Accordingly, Funseekers, from now on when halftime arrives at BLF you may abandon your seats without nagging pangs of regret. No longer will your alcoholism cause you to miss out on the halftime pomp and pageantry. While you’re gone, our man, Jon, will still be inside serving as your vicarious proxy. As Jon puts it: “I won’t be leaving, so you can.”

The sacrifice which Jon made for you lowlifes on Saturday is reflected in his noble inaugural effort. As you will see, we totally blew it by leaving. Our reviewer, Jon, gives an emphatic "thumbs up" to the animalistic Vets' Day entertainment you callously elected to miss at the Wizards game:

Canine Tony and his Kennel of Frisbee-Loving Dogs Reviewed!

To witness the Frisbee flinging flair of Saturday's halftime show at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was to experience a fitting tribute to Veterans of all generations! On the weekend of Armistice Day, patriotic pooches clad in scarves bearing the Stars and Stripes, yipped and skipped about as their mustachioed master (dressed for the month of Mo-vember), tossed multicolored plastic toys merrily across and over the hardwood. Their performance was slick and well executed, although all three dogs occasionally missed their targets (most assuredly distracted by Boomer and/or one of the eye-catching Pacemates!). Still, given the flag-toting nature of the holiday, and mindful of Lincoln's historic reference to Frisbee Dogs in his immortal Gettysburg Address (Abe was a HUGE Frisbee dog fan apparently), it would take the most cynical and unpatriotic of bigots to not be heart-warmed by Canine Tony’s fluffy, eager-to-please entertainers. Here's hoping they got a biscuit! Hell, give 'em two! GRADE: B+

On this elevating note, Area 55ers, we bid you a fond adieu!


11-13-2012, 02:58 PM

Goooood morning G2Zone!

I don't know about everyone, but I felt a whole lot better about our Pacers pulling out the much-needed W on Saturday night against Washington to put an end to last week's wretched string of losses and heartbreaks. More importantly, I started to see glimpses that the Pacers are waking up on offense, Tyler Hansbrough is playing much like he did in his second season in Indiana and that Lance Stephenson should be making a case for Most Improved Player with his start to the season, but we cannot rest on our laurels as the NBA's sole Canadian team makes one of their many trips south to the border to pay a visit to Indiana.....

The Sandman Scouting Report: The Toronto Raptors

Toronto enters our hallowed Fieldhouse looking for some revenge against Indiana for spoiling their opening night party on Halloween when George Hill hit that last second tear drop to seal the game, and to be honest, I don't think they've recovered, as they entered Monday night's home game against Utah at 1 - 5 before losing in an exhausting triple overtime showdown 140 - 133. Apparently, both teams had an allergic reaction to defense. Personally, I think part of their woes involve that god awful optical illusion behind the baskets (seriously, does anyone else get dizzy looking at those 3d sandwich boards?), but a more educated basketball analyst would put out that the Raptors have been hit hard by the injury bug early on, with starters Kyle Lowry (18.3 PPG) battling a sprained ankle, Alan Anderson battling a sprained foot and big free agent acquistion Landry Fields dealing with a sore wrist on his way to the worst start of his career with a 21% shooting percentage. None of these guys played last night. However, the Raptors still have DeMar DeRozan (18 PPG, 37 points last night), Andrea Bargnani (17.2 PPG) and young rookie Jonas Valanciunas (don't ask me how to pronounce that), who has been leading the Raptors in offensive boards with 3 per game.

Got a question for Born Ready?

Bornready6.com webmaster Zach "LANCE STEPHENSON FOR PRESIDENT" Brown is still looking to gather a huge list of questions for "Born Ready" for a Q+A session on the site, so if you've got a question you've always wanted to ask Lance, now is your chance! Email any of them you'd like to see answered to redfoster@gmail.com .


Speaking of Tyler, he has made a request that we move away from the "Psycho T" chants and towards using "GUCCCCHI" instead. I'm not exactly sure how to spell it, but from a conversation a small band of G2 Zoners had with Tyler out of the airport when the team came in from a preseason game last month, we learned it was what his UNC teammates used to call him because he was the worst dressed player on the team. Now, I don't think "Psycho T" should go away for good, but maybe save it for moments like that 45 second stretch where Tyler almost singlehandedly turned the momentum towards the Pacers late in the game on Saturday night. But in most other situations, GUCCCHI UP!

Shirts Info

For those who either missed Saturday's game or got a shirt that is the wrong size, please talk to Zac from the Pacers. He can be reached via email at intern-websites@pacers.com, please make sure to address the email to him.

Southside Explosion Relief

As we are all aware, the southeast side of Indianapolis was rocked by a massive explosion shortly after the Pacers game Saturday night. An effort is underway to partner with Area 55 to put together a donation drive for those who were displaced, hopefully for Friday night's game against Dallas. Stay tuned for further news on that.


Remember that PTO is going down in a parking lot around the Pennsylvania/South street stoplight, usually in a lot that is cheaper to park in than in the Virginia Ave garage. Look for the band of people milling around in blue and gold around 5 to 5:30. Bring some beer to share with the over 21 crowd, and the PTO regulars will love you for life!


11-16-2012, 12:37 PM

Greetings, 55ers!

Friday breaks clear and cold. As I fumble to the front door to pick up the copy of the Star that the newsie left, crows (Celtic portents of death!) inhabit the tree in my front yard. They caw at me raucously, like a passel of irritated ESPN sports pundits, nattering at me in bird-talk about tonight’s upcoming struggle. I open the sports page of the Star to find that Mike Wells’ game-day feature isn’t exactly buoying. Today, his byline presents me with the viewpoints of anonymous NBA scouts, all sharing their learned (and sometimes conflicting) insights on just why it is that our (3-6) Pacers haven’t been exactly tearing up the league. I read the article.

Frank Vogel is too predictable, they say. He keeps running the same elementary plays over and over again and opposing teams are onto him. Nobody’s been able to replace the missing Danny Granger; we can’t pass; and we play too much one-on-one. Roy can’t cope with adversity and isn’t earning his money (the latter being a little gig that Wells seems to take pleasure in inserting in every Star article he puts to print). For his part, David West is “too unselfish” and, hence, is incapable of putting up 25 points a night. Paul George, they say, is an overrated disappointment. D. J. Augustine lacks motivation, plays carelessly, and doesn’t display the same flair and determination he had at Charlotte. Gerald Green is an airhead, good only for an occasional dramatic stuff, and but not much good for anything else. Our bench, they say, lacks the grit and wild intensity that last year’s Goon Squad featured. The gist of it all? The Pacers just aren’t any good.

I sigh, and ponder for a couple of seconds the merits of just returning to bed.

But I rally and remember!

I’ve experienced these kinds of dark stretches before. And the nice thing about them is that they always end. And generally when that end comes it is sudden, unexpected and happy. I’ve got a funny feeling that end might start tonight.

The Pacers, I submit, are a lot better than their record. Our biggest problem has been our shooting. Right now, we’re a league worst 39.8%. Against our most recent competition, Toronto and Milwaukee, it was a combined 34.8%. Watching Roy's and DW’s and PG’s shots skittering around the rim and then always dropping the wrong way has been painful. Seeing us go 5-20 from 3-point-land (like we did against the Bucks) isn’t very invigorating either. But shooting is a karmic thing. It isn’t always this bad. If you live right, the balance in the universe eventually returns.

Our foe tonight is 5-4 Dallas. The Mavs are a good team, but have been laboring a bit without their main stud, Dirk Nowitzky (who’s been recovering from – what else? – knee surgery). Another Big D mainstay, Shawn Marion, has been out too with strained knee ligaments (Knees again!). Their remaining active contingent will be kind of familiar to us. Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones, and Troy Murphy are all former Pacers - old friends from yesteryear. Their coach, Rick Carlisle, used to pilot the Pacers in days of yore.

Keys to this game involve our keeping Collison and O. J. Mayo under control. Our guys have to ramp up the defense on them and prevent them from entering the lane and creating defensive fouls on our bigs and other miscellaneous havoc. Roy and Ian have to keep tabs on Chris Kaman, an underrated big man that has a good outside shot. Lastly, we can’t allow perennial Pacers-killer, Vince Carter, to go off on us.

Defense will be key. If the D is there, we keep our turnovers under control, and we win the battle of the boards, we can beat the Mavs – assuming karma happens and our shots start to fall again. The Mavs turn the ball over a lot and like to spray from outside – sometimes to ill effect. We can beat them if we play them the right way.

Familiarity, they say, breeds contempt. I like our chances. We know these guys. What’s more, we’ve beaten Dallas 4 out of the last 5 times we’ve played. The last time we met – back in February of last season – PG torched them for 30 and DW went for 20 on 9-11 shooting. A reprise of something like those performances might be just the tonic our guys need to get our skewed shooting back into an ambit of respectability.

PTO! Turnout was good at the last meeting of the Pacers Tailgating Organization. The November cold was no barrier to the merriment. VP and GM, Casey O’Brien saw to that, showing up with a fire pit, logs, and a purloined copy of the Yellow Pages to encourage the flames. As usual, O’Brien (a convicted arsonist) wowed the crowd, displaying the same pyrotechnic skills that earned him those long prison stretches in Michigan City.

The only discouraging words at the PTO came from the blusih-tinged lips of Lebanese member Hobert (that’s “Hobert” with an “E”) Montgomery, who, expecting continued unseasonably warm temperatures, appeared wearing his customary thin, unlined black jacket. Challenged by the cold, he soon spasmed into hypothermic shock.

Hobert ascribed his chills to a lack of “Old Granddad” at the PTO. This comment says a great deal not only about Hobert’s sense of reality, but also his questionable taste in whiskey. Happily, he later managed to purchase a nifty knitted Pacers chapeau at the BLF Gift Shoppe. This buy served to restore Hobert’s lagging body temperature and, additionally, his normally upbeat demeanor. It also caused him to strongly resemble a grinning Peruvian alpaca herder.

The PTO will undoubtedly reconvene tonight at around 5:00 PM at the Big $5.00 Lot across from Arby’s at Penn & South. There’ll be fun and games aplenty and, who knows? Maybe someone will bring some old Old Granddad too!


What the Hell’s a Maverick, Anyway? Well, for this we need appropriate mood music:


In the mid-1800s, a gentleman by the name of Samuel Augustus Maverick settled in Texas with the goal of becoming a cattle rancher. By tradition, ranchers at that time branded their cattle with various markings to make them easy to identify. Sam Maverick refused to do this. Some people have suggested that he was simply lazy, but the real explanation was probably commercial in nature. Maverick knew that, by convention, unbranded cattle belonged to whomever managed to claim them first. Using his political clout, Maverick made sure that any unbranded cattle that came his way were regarded as his. He could claim them because, after all, he was the only rancher around not to use brands. As a result, in or around 1867, Texas ranchers started calling unbranded cattle “mavericks.”

As the slang term “maverick” spread like tumbleweeds across the purple sage of the West, people also started using it in reference to freethinking individuals, meaning that such people were not “branded” with some kind of orthodoxy. The first written record of the use of the word “maverick” in this sense appeared in a San Francisco newspaper in 1886. There are still a lot of freethinkers in Frisco, by the way.

In pop culture, the term “maverick” has come to mean a “contrarian” or a “gambler." In my research I discovered that the word even has a special meaning in the game of poker. When you have a queen and a jack in the “pocket” (not your real pocket, you cheater!), you have a "maverick." How about that!

Want a peek at Samuel Maverick? Well, the link’s a little slow, but here he is!

http://tinyurl.com/28sjy6v (Great tie, Sam!)

So, are the Dallas Mavericks named after that canny, cattle-rustling entrepreneur Sam Maverick?

Or are they named after a bunch of unclaimed, unbranded cattle?

Or are they really named after a poker hand?

Nope. Nay to all of the above! The Dallas Mavericks actually got their name from a TV Western!

The “Mavericks” name was supposedly chosen by the local fans in 1980 in a “name the team” contest. From 4600 postcards received, the name “Maverick” beat out the also-rans of “Wranglers” and “Express.”

Significantly, actor James Garner, who played the namesake character in the famous TV western, happened to be a member of the ownership group. The owners were the only ones to examine all 4600 of the postcards and some disgruntled locals claimed that they engineered a “fixeroo” for Garner. We’ll never know, I guess.

Anyway, here’s James Garner as the TV character, Bret Maverick:


Here are some more Mavericks:

This is a 1971 Ford Maverick: http://tinyurl.com/26vwhsb

Here’s a Political Maverick: http://tinyurl.com/2adlp2m

Here’s some Mavericks You Smoke: http://tinyurl.com/24aq9tf

And here’s a Maverick Roller Coaster Which Operates at Cedar Point:


I, for one, am glad that James Arness (TV’s Matt Dillon) wasn’t in the Dallas ownership group. Otherwise, today’s Mavericks might well have been named either the "Dallas Dillons" or worse, the "Dallas Gunsmoke". The latter would’ve been a name to cause NBA Commish David Stern (a guy always anxious to clean up the NBA’s violent image) a lot of sleepless nights.

Meet Champ the Horse and Mavs Man! Hey, like the Washington Wizards, the Mavs have not one, but two (Two-Ah!) official mascots!

One is “Champ the Horse.” Champ is a cutesy blue mockup of a familiar hooved mammalian quadruped.

Here’s Champ: http://tinyurl.com/9wshvox

Given Sam Maverick’s history, why Dallas elected to choose a cutesy horse for its mascot, and not a cutesy unbranded steer, is anybody’s guess. Maybe the Dallas management didn’t want a mascot that looked too bovine. After all, the Bulls already had a monopoly on that.

Dallas’ other mascot is “Mavs Man,” a sort of part-basketball, part human, muscled-up super hero that the Mav’s management uses for the all of the time-out trampoline dunking and tee-shirt throwing that constitutes mandatory fun at every NBA game . Actually the term “Mavs Men” might be better here, as there are apparently more than one of them.

Wondering what they look like? http://tinyurl.com/22udzvv

Not sure, but I think some of the Mavs Men may also work the Dallas bachelorette scene as Chippendales. Personally, I’m always suspicious of men that shave their chests, but hey, that’s just me.

Well, that’s enough worthless Dallas basketball lore for your jaded edification, 55ers. Time to go to press.

Let’s see if we can bring it to BLF tonight. Be nasty, loud, and vocal. Obviously, our Pacers need a really big shot in the arm!


11-16-2012, 01:03 PM
Tonigh we get to do what Pacers fans have wanted to do for quite a long time and were never "morally" able to. Tonight my friends we get to booo, hisss, and scream at JOB!
Now some of you may say this is harrassment, but it is indeed our due diligence!

11-16-2012, 01:12 PM
Tonigh we get to do what Pacers fans have wanted to do for quite a long time and were never "morally" able to. Tonight my friends we get to booo, hisss, and scream at JOB!
Now some of you may say this is harrassment, but it is indeed our due diligence!

You're a hard, unforgiving man, Kielbeze.

11-16-2012, 01:21 PM
I concur with Kielbeze, and add that we also boo the human turnstile El Matador out of the building as well.

11-16-2012, 01:33 PM
I concur with Kielbeze, and add that we also boo the human turnstile El Matador out of the building as well.

You're gonna make Pacers Chants cry. (I'll bring a hankie)

duke dynamite
11-16-2012, 02:17 PM
Okay, when Troy Murphy has the ball, that is if he gets it, we all need to chant, "TURNSTYLE DEFENSE" or "REBOUND ROBBER".

11-16-2012, 03:49 PM
Turnstyle implies that he offers some form of resistance on defense.

Saloon Door is far more appropriate

11-16-2012, 03:56 PM
I'd be careful about slamming anyone else's defense until we see whether we are playing defense ourselves...

11-21-2012, 02:35 PM

Greetings, 55ers!

Tonight our (5-7 Pacers) try to bring more balance to their won-lost record by hosting those pestiferous social insects from the Big Easy, the (3-6) New Orleans Hornets. I submit that this will be an interesting (and potentially dangerous) game for our guys.

First, Us! Tonight’s game will be interesting because it will be something of test. We need to see if the Pacers can keep their mo going from Monday’s win against the Wizards. That win was heartening, as Roy and DW used it to break out of their slumps and basically dominate Washington’s Nene-less front line.

Roy’s performance (registered under the watchful eyes of his parents) was nothing less than stellar, His stat sheet featured 20 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 blocked shots. In his 33 minutes of work, the Pacers were at their most efficient. Roy’s +/- was a whopping +21 while he was on the floor.

David West’s contribution was incredible too. He posted 30 points on 10-10 shooting and carried the team through crunch time after the Wizards managed to rally and make the final outcome a bit questionable.

Our bench, however, struggled big time in DC. They let the Wizards return from a big deficit and make a game of things at the end. It then took clutch work from our starters, and particularly David West, to pull the game out of the fire. A major question tonight, then, will be whether our bench can find a handle after two consecutive clueless outings against the Knicks and the Wizards.

Tonight’s game will also be dangerous -- both because of its pre-Thanksgiving timing and because of the nature of our hapless foes. Butterballs (that’s roast turkeys, my friends), and not basketballs, are apt to be uppermost in the Pacers minds tonight. Also, it’s also hard to get fired up playing teams like the Hornets, who occupy the cellar in the Southwest and are riding a 4 game losing streak. Our pesky foes, however, will be playing without the onus of any expectations and are thus apt to show up loose and hungry for a win.

Now Them! On paper, the Hornets are kind of confusing. There aren’t many stats to back up any assertions one can make about them. Well, check that. There’s this one: For the Hornets to win, points in the paint are crucial and without their rookie stud from Kentucky, Anthony (The Unibrow) Davis, in the lineup, the Hornets tend to struggle. Happily, the Unibrow is reportedly “questionable” for tonight’s game. If he’s really unavailable, the chances are good for Roy and DW reprising their recent mammoth performances in DC.

In their last game, played sans The Unibrow, the New York Knicks basically had their way with the Hornets, outscoring them in the paint 30-20. With Davis gone, the Hornets are left to rely mostly on Robin Lopez, the less gifted brother of the identical twin Lopez Gemini. Robin’s game has always been kind of soft. Without Davis there providing his customary 16 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks per game, the Hornets are more like Gnats and their reputed stings are pretty benign.

The Hornets do have a few decent lesser lights occupying other positions. For one, point guard Greivis Vasquez, has been a pleasant surprise, He’s been having a career year, averaging 8.9 assists per game, 3rd best in the league. Owing largely to him, the Hornets are 6th in the league in assists, up from 16th last season. There’s also small forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who has transformed into a solid contributor, averaging 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block per game. Finally, there’s former Orlando Magician, Ryan Anderson, who is the Hornets’ only 3-point threat. He’s averaging a career high 16.4 points and 8 rebounds per game. As usual, Indy native and former IU standout, Eric Gordon, is out with injuries. So it goes.

View the Pre-Game Shoot-Around! This just in from the Pacers Suits:

“As an Area 55 member, you are invited to attend a pre-game viewing of tonight’s shoot-around. During the pre-game event, you’ll get early access to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to watch Roy Hibbert and other Pacers players warm up before tonight’s game against the New Orleans Hornets.

To attend, you must have a ticket to tonight’s game in Area 55 (Section 101). Fans with a ticket in Area 55 should arrive to the Indiana University Health Entry Pavilion by 4:55pm. The meeting spot will be in the area near the 3-Bank Elevators by Guest Relations. Any fans with an Area 55 ticket at this time will be escorted to the pre-game viewing. If you show up past this time, then you will have to wait until doors open to enter the Fieldhouse. Unfortunately, we will not have multiple escorts for the pre-game viewing so get there early.

See you tonight!

-Area 55 Staff”

“Je M’appelle Ianni!” G2Zoner Bill Manlove tells me that Ian Mahinmi wouldn’t mind very much if we called him “Ianni” (pronounced Yaaannnneeee! - with a lot of stress on the “eeeee” part). It’s OK by me. Let’s do it. Although I like Area 55 MVP Kielbeze’s crooning, kazoo imitation, of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise too.

Google is your friend. I actually found a kazoo version of this hallowed anthem. Listen to it and learn! Then you can add your mellifluous voices to Kielbeze’s when he gets all Frenchy and Revolutionary on us:


Also, if and when Ianni does something good on the court, let’s give him a loud “Ianni!” too.


Fear the Brow! As this rag goes to press, I confess to harboring pangs of regret about Anthony Davis’ “questionable” status tonight. Why? Well, if he played, then I could boast of having seen “The Unibrow” in action. I could tell my wife. I could tell my friends! Then I could die, truly a happy man, knowing that I have fulfilled my bucket list and seen all that is worth seeing in the goofy world of the NBA.

Why do I have this Unibrow fixation? Hard to say. I guess I just have it. And today, after reading this article, you’re going to know just as much as I do about unibrows (or monobrows, as they are also called).

Actually, what Anthony Davis has has a medical name. It’s called “synophris.” In some cultures, for example in India, this condition is viewed as an attractive quality, something true for men and women alike. An Indian woman with conjoined eyebrows is supposedly regarded as pure, virginal, and untouched by sin. In India for men, a monobrow is supposedly is a sign of virility. Different strokes for different folks!

Most Western societies find unibrows unappealing. There are sound reasons for this.

In olden times, particularly in Central Europe, a unibrow was a telltale sign that a person sporting one was probably a werewolf. Indeed, it is just this factoid that has always made me a tad suspicious of Anthony Davis. Personally, I’ve always thought that NBA Commish, David Stern, should look into this. Werewolves do NOT contribute to the family-fun atmosphere he’s been trying to create in the NBA! The NCAA should look into this too. John Calipari, at Kentucky, is certainly a person that would not be above recruiting a werewolf just to get an NCAA championship. Stripping Kentucky of its title due to lycanthropy wouldn’t bother me one bit!

At any rate, on Hornets power forward Anthony Davis, synophris manifests as an uninterrupted map-like line of demarcation – kind of a facial Korean 38th Parallel -- that is located just north of his nose. It serves to separate, in major fashion, the upper areas of his brow from the otherwise unremarkable features of his lower frontal physiognomy. It gives Davis a controversial and distracting face -- one that his proponents call, funny, unique and unforgettable. His detractors, like me, however, generally describe his monobrow as weird and definitely unearthly. Call me traditional, but monobrowed werewolves have never appealed to me.

Hell, I’d better just show you a picture of The Unibrow and you can form your own opinion:


It’s hard to say what strange genetic anomaly gave Anthony Davis his singular eyebrow. Whatever the cause, Davis has had synophris since he hit puberty. During his freshman year at Kentucky, his teammates exhorted him to take a razor to its middle part and get rid of it. Davis always resisted (Werewolves always do!).

Resisting proved to be a good move financially. Soon after Davis’ play as a Calipari freshman began making news, it became apparent that his furry browline would be a future profit center.
NCAA rules rightly prevented Davis from exploiting his unibrow's brand value while he was a so-called “non-pro” at Kentucky. Indeed, the school's athletic department kept a tight leash on merchandise celebrating the uncommon facial feature of its fabulous freshman. Jason Schlafer, Kentucky’s athletic department's marketing director, reportedly had to send out a lot of cease-and-desist letters and place a lot of phone calls to mercenary vendors who were eagerly "sprinting up to the line" to use Davis’s monobrow for their own venal and mercenary ends – ends that often infringed on Kentucky’s own more noble trademarks.

A sensitive man, Schlafer was also concerned that unlicensed T-shirts reading "Bow to the Brow" and "Brow Down" might offend Davis because they "highlighted what might be thought a negative feature." But he needn’t have worried. Anthony’s mom knew where the money was and soon began sporting a 'Fear the Brow' T-shirt of her own at all her son’s games. She also took to penciling in a unibrow on her face. I’m not surprised. The mother of a Satan-spawned werewolf, is capable of doing just about anything.

Anyway, when Anthony blew off his sophomore year at Kentucky and entered the NBA he was ready to cash in on his unibrow. He wasn’t about to get rid of it by this time:

"It changes none whatsoever when I'm in the NBA," he said. "I'm not going to change who I am. It's me."

This self-identity with his eyebrow prompted action. Once drafted by New Orleans, Davis immediately took out U.S. Trademark protection on all pictures of his facial hair. He also took out trademarks on the catch-phrases, “Fear the Brow!” and “Raise the Brow!” As he told CNBC at the time:

“I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it. Me and my family decided to trademark it because it's very unique."

All this trademarking did not come without controversy. Reid Coffman, owner of the University of Kentucky’s apparel store, “Blue Zone,” claimed that he, and not Anthony, had created the “Fear the Brow” slogan and that he, and not Anthony, owned the rights to that trademark. Coffman reportedly said he’d be willing to sell his mark to Anthony … “for a high price.” Such is sports and materialism in America.

When asked if a razor company might pay him to shave his unibrow into two separate conventional parts, Davis was open to the general idea:

“I might have a commercial where I’m acting like I’m shaving it and then I’ll throw the razor down.”

While I am unaware of his unibrow’s sparking any generalized fashion emulation (after all, who would want to deliberately be mistaken for a werewolf) or any really serious money-making by others, its sheer existence has undeniably had a small, but growing, impact on other aspects of modern American life. Want some examples?

Graphic Art: http://tinyurl.com/awjw5bg (A portrait of Anthony (in which his Unibrow is prominently featured) that adoring Kentucky fans made, all by themselves, using only breakfast cereals.

Chest Depilation: http://tinyurl.com/bsmjxuf

Cuisine: http://tinyurl.com/cjy8ev8

Birthday Festivities: http://tinyurl.com/cuq7oz8

Mascotry: http://tinyurl.com/d85vuqc

I could go on. But I won’t. It’s time to send this sucker out.

Let’s end on this coda. We need to be loud and obnoxious tonight, 55ers. Let’s support our team and, in the process, express our scorn for unibrows and all the negativity and lycanthropy unibrows represent!


11-23-2012, 03:01 PM

Salutations 55ers!

Tonight we play San Antonio at 8:00 P.M., people! It couldn’t come at a better time.

I say this because now maybe our guys have gotten their mojo back! The Pacers emerge from Wednesday’s overtime win on a definite upper. At 6-7, we’re now 2nd in the Central, just 1 ½ games behind Milwaukee.

Clearly, we seem to have turned a corner. Wednesday, Roy had a triple double, going for 10 points, 11 bounds, and swatting the Hornets 11 times. That ain’t bad! Even better, Paul George just went nuts, pumping in 9 threes – mostly from the corner and all of them coming either in a torrid second half or in overtime. PG wound up with a career high 37 points and, with all the 3s, managed to do something that even Reggie Miller never accomplished.

Actually, everyone seemed to play pretty well against the Hornets. There was a flow to the offense, the defense was stingy, and when it came down to the OT crunch, our guys performed. Upset-minded New Orleans was sent out of town buzzing (as Hornets are admittedly apt to do) and frustrated. Now, the big question: Can we continue this same kind of play tonight against the Spurs?

Maybe we can. But it won’t be easy.

The Spurs are 9-3. They come to Indy fresh off a 112-100 road pasting of the Celtics. Tony Parker, their Belgian-born import had 26 points. His teammate, Tim Duncan, thoroughly outplayed Kevin Garnett, registering 20 points and 15 boards. Rookie reserve center Tiago Splitter had a perfect game, going 7-7 from the field and 5-5 from the line. Overall, the Spurs shot 58% -- the highest percentage Boston has allowed an opponent since 2007. Spurs coach, George Popovich, a guy generally sparse with accolades, was particularly effusive in his post-game praise of Parker, touting his “aggressiveness” and calling his Boston effort a “complete performance.”

The Spurs are arguably the best team in the NBA. Duncan, a 16-year NBA vet, is currently playing as well as he’s ever played in his life – averaging 18.2 points a game and 10.4 boards. When he and Parker have it going - like they did against Boston - they usually win.

The Pacers are on a 10 game losing streak against the Spurs. When we last played, on November 5th, they destroyed us, coasting to a 101-79 win despite Parker only going 3-13 and scoring just 6 points. In that game, however, Roy was still mired in his offensive troubles. He netted just 2 points, going 1-7 from the floor, corralling just 5 rebounds, and turning the pill over 3 times. Tyler (“Gucci”) Hansbrough had his troubles too. Normally dependable, he went 1-7 from the line.

Even worse, in our last game, the Pacers allowed zipper-challenged Gary Neal (Who the hell is Gary Neal?) come off the bench and score 17 points on us. They also let DeJuan Blair register a 14-11 double double. It wasn’t a pretty thing to see.

Despite all this bad history, I still have kind of a good feeling about tonight. Why? Well, for starters, I’m an Area 55 member and that makes kind of me crazy to begin with. But as I sit here writing this, I’m feeling definitely crazier than usual. Maybe it’s because I’m still all mellowed-out from my Thanksgiving tryptophan. But it might be other drugs percolating in my system. In honor of the Spurs’ galloping holiday arrival to Indy, I’ve been chewing “locoweed” continuously since rising this morning. (Locoweed is datura stramonium, to you herbalists). The weed’s hallucinatory effects now have a strong grip on me and have caused me to feel that our Pacers are capable of damn near anything!

So, reality be damned! Tonight might just be the night we get this San Antonio monkey off our backs! I predict a win!

I should maybe add here that, for some reason, the screen I’m typing this on has all these multi-colored, moving psychedelic images of NBA Commish David Stern cavorting with Las Vegas showgirls on it. I think this, like my optimism about tonight, is a side effect of the datura stramonium.








Yaniv Shmukler Wants a San Antone Ticket! Anyone with an extra ticket tonight can unload it on Yaniv Shmukler. Yaniv emailed and states he is on the hunt. If you can oblige, he can be reached at yshmukle@umail.iu.edu Yaniv also tells me that it was he (and not Area 55 MVP Kielbeze, as previously reported) that came up with the idea of humming “The Marseillaise” after an Ian Mahinmi make. OK, Yaniv, I stand corrected! Now, go back to France!

Mike Huser Wants a Ride! Got an email from guitar-strumming A55 member Mike Huser issuing a plaintive request for a ride to tonight’s game. Huser supposedly lives somewhere in Fishers, I think. If you’re crazy enough to want to help him, you can reach him at Hoosier3060@gmail.com I don’t know if a ride home is a part of the deal or not. That’d really be pushing it.

PTO Tonight at Kilroy’s! A55 Member Justin Beck reportedly returns from the Australian wilds and will be viewing the game tonight in the happy bosom of BLF. Supposedly, PTO goes indoors to welcome him and also to avoid the plunging outdoor temperatures.

Accordingly, if you don’t see anyone shivering in the Pennsy/South Street lots at around 4:30 or 5:00 PM, its probably because the regular PTOers are all inside Kilroy’s and imbibing there.

Remember it’s Black Friday, people. The parking lots are apt to be full and downtown heavily trafficked. Plan accordingly.

The Piano Juggler Visits BLF! Jon LaFollette, Area 55 Newsletter’s halftime reviewer is, unfortunately, MIA as we go to press. He has left to me the arduous task of reviewing Wednesday night’s bit of halftime fun, the honky-tonk antics of Dan Menendez, The Famous Piano Juggler. Filling in for a master reviewer like LaFollette is difficult, but hell, someone has to do it! I’m hallucinating anyway, so what the hell, here’s a review:

In a welcome change from Zumba dancing, at Wednesday’s game the Pacers Suits treated BLF’s “thought we’d seen it all” halftime viewers to the piano-keyboard playing, juggling talents of the amazing Dan Menendez, a man who reputedly has devoted 30 years of his life to this dubious endeavor. On Wednesday, however, Menendez seemed almost disappointingly normal looking. I would have liked more spangled flash – a la Liberace.

Still, after first placing his keyboard (proudly emblazoned with his email address, pianojuggler.com) on the BLF hardwood floor, Menendez proceeded to amaze. He pulled out a bunch of eye-catching pink tennis balls and began using them to rhythmically plunk out a medley of favorite tunes – all effectuated by dropping his syncopated balls on his signature keyboard below. Slackjawed BLF music lovers (here I mean BLF ticketholders who hadn’t left to replenish their alcohol) were then treated to an eclectic musical compendium by the juggling Menendez.

Mendez started highbrow with a passable rendition of something or other that sounded classical (Beethoven maybe?). Seeing that this was wasted on the Hoosier masses, he quickly got more contemporary, first bouncing out a distinctively tinkly, rapid 5-ball version of The Music Box Dancer (which sent the crowd into spasms of delight and elicited much noisome clapping accompaniment). Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven was in there (although I still like LZ’s original better). Then there was other stuff that I can’t remember. However, it was his bouncy finale -- When You Wish upon a Star -- that most moved the onlookers (and me among them). Hell, it would have brought a tear to even Jiminy Cricket’s eyes.

Some jaded Area 55ers (Tony Cobb, Rex Evans, and LaFollette among them) seemed annoyed that Menendez ignored their shouted requests for Freebird and Piano Man. Also, there was no examination post-performance of Menendez’s keyboard to determine if it was pre-programed or not. But these criticisms were minority views. Personally, I was pleased with Menendez, mostly because he did NOT play Sweet Caroline.

When all is said and done, Don Menendez, The Piano Juggler merits an A. folks. He was
better (if this is possible!) than the Veteran’s Day Frisbee Dogs and he was certainly more wholesome and less violent than the Korean Tae Kwan Do Academy!


It’s Just Bad Luck! The Spurs’ smooth-pated guard Gary Neal maybe holds the NBA title for weirdest sports injury. Recently, while attempting to zip up one of his pieces of luggage for a road trip to L.A., he screwed up and lacerated his shooting finger. Gary was matter-of-fact about it:

It’s bad luck, right? I was zipping up my bag, and I ripped it across the zipper and it just pulled the skin off. It was bad luck. Sometimes things happen.”

True. **** does happen. But you try to avoid **** happening.

Clearly, Gary needs to invest in luggage with less challenging zippers. Also, given his zippering difficulties, perhaps he should also consider purchasing some pants with button-up flies.

It’s a Vendetta! NBA ref Joey Crawford has a reputation for a quick whistle. And he has no love for Tim Duncan.

On April 15, 2007, Joey ejected Tim from a game for “laughing” while Tim was sitting in his seat on the Spurs bench. It was Tim’s second technical in the game and, at the time, the Spurs were playing their archrivals, the Dallas Mavericks. The ejection meant outsville for Tim and, with their best player gone, the Spurs went on to lose the game.

According to Tim, after Joey gave him his first conventional technical (which was awarded for Tim’s griping about one of Joey’s calls), Joey asked Tim if he “wanted to fight.” After the game, Joey told a pool of reporters that Tim deserved the ejection because he had been complaining the entire contest.

Here’s the video of Joey’s righteous ejection of “Laughing Boy”:


The ejection provoked a complaint to the NBA League Office from the Spurs.

Two days later, NBA Commish, David Stern (always even-handed), sprang into action. First, he suspended Crawford for the remainder of the 2006-07 NBA refereeing season. He also nixed him for the 2007 Playoffs. This ended 21 consecutive NBA Finals refereeing appearances for Joey.

Second, Stern fined Tim $25,000 for “verbal abuse of an official.” The League also warned Tim that any future repeat would result in an automatic ejection. As a result, Tim is now, apparently, restrained, by NBA fiat, from any further chuckling while sitting on the Spurs bench.

As for his action against Joey, Stern’s comment at the time was that Joey’s actions "failed to meet the standards of professionalism and game management we expect of NBA referees."

Joey later met with League refereeing-meister, Stu Jackson, to “discuss his future” in the NBA. However, Joey is a stubborn guy and no resolution was reached. Joey was reportedly unrepentant in his conversations with Jackson:

``I told him I would throw Duncan out again if he did what he did,'' Crawford said later in an e-mail, ``So if my employer does not think that was acceptable, then I have a problem.''

On September 17, 2007, the NBA announced Joey’s reinstatement. The Commish explained the reinstatement this way:

“Based on my meeting with Joey Crawford, his commitment to an ongoing counseling program and a favorable professional evaluation that was performed at my direction, I am satisfied that Joey understands the standards of game management and professionalism the NBA expects from him and that he will be able to conduct himself in accordance with those standards."

Stern said the league would have more discussions with Crawford ``to be sure he understands his responsibilities.''

Tim, who had 16 points and 7 rebounds in the game before he was ejected, said Crawford has a ``personal vendetta'' against him. Maybe so.

Sadly, Joey will not be on hand tonight when the Pacers do their reprise against the Spurs. Tonight’s refs will be Dan Crawford (no relation to Joey, unfortunately), Scott Bolnick, and John Goble.

Be loud tonight, 55ers. And try to wear Gold. Bill Manlove of the G2Zoners says G2Z will be in Blue and he wants us 2-toned. Okie Dokey?


11-27-2012, 02:56 PM
This is where news I can take to the bank has been? I miss getting them in my email. Not cool Joe, not cool.

12-04-2012, 04:40 PM
Let's keep our Hombre El Pacero in our thoughts tonight as he is venturing to Chicago to sit behind the Bulls bench.
If he does not make it home there will be an auction held at his place next week for some sweet Pacers Swag!

12-04-2012, 05:17 PM
Let's keep our Hombre El Pacero in our thoughts tonight as he is venturing to Chicago to sit behind the Bulls bench.
If he does not make it home there will be an auction held at his place next week for some sweet Pacers Swag!

So, let me make sure I'm clear - are we hoping for him to be safe or are we hoping to score some swag?

12-04-2012, 07:23 PM
Uhmm I want him home safe of course.......Dibbs on the MSA Chair!

12-05-2012, 06:48 AM

Greetings 55ers!

As I park my butt here at my keyboard, a renewed flood of optimism overwhelms my normally cynical nature. My heart is happy; my spirits are lifted; my step is lighter. Maybe my December won’t be as bleak as previously anticipated.

No, holiday alcohol is not the reason for my buoyancy. It’s the Pacers!

Tonight, our boys return to the friendly bosom of Bankers Life Fieldhouse fresh from a four game Western road trip and a one-night stopover in The City of the Big Shoulders (That’s Chicago, for you who don’t read Carl Sandburg). These protracted foreign jaunts are always fraught with danger. But this time, the storm was weathered.

The Pacers return home from the road after going 3-1 against some highly respectable competition. The Lakers, Kings, and Chicago each met us on their home floors and we left each of them dismayed and disappointed. Only a very good Golden State team resisted our mettle -- and that game was an anomaly (Let’s face it, Paul George going scoreless doesn’t happen all that often). Consequently, the Pacers now stand 9-9, tied with the Bucks (8-8) and the Bulls (8-8) for leadership in the Central Division.

Tonight we face the 8-10 Portland Trailblazers; Friday, Denver comes to town; and Sunday we hit the road again to take on Oklahoma City. No rest for the weary.

About Tonight’s Foe Portland arrives to play the last game of a 7-game road swing. They’re playing pretty well too. Two days after a double overtime118-117 win at Cleveland, they came back from 18 down and upended Charlotte in overtime 118-112. Portland’s got a formidable crew, featuring the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and a rookie sensation we haven’t seen before named Damian Lillard. Aldridge, in particular, is always dangerous. He’s averaging 23+ points per game and 9+ rebounds. Our defense, among the NBA’s best, will be tested by Portland, particularly on the perimeter. Portland likes to chuck 3s.

Kudos Well-deserved pats on the back to Area 55 members Shelley Prickel and El Pacero for making the West Coast trek to cheer on the Pacers. Both caught some mentions in the Fox Midwest game telecasts. That’s devotion people.

Some Friendly Advice to Tyler Hansbrough Faithful readers of this Newsletter may remember that Tyler Hansbrough recently gave us to understand that our well-worn “Psycho T” chant for him was not one of his favorites. Tyler, you see, doesn’t want people thinking he’s psychotic. He indicated that he would prefer that his on-court efforts be rewarded with another chant -- “Guuuuuuuuuucci.” – that said nothing about his mental state.

Like “Psycho T”, the “Gucci” moniker was apparently another sarcastic term of endearment given Tyler by North Carolina students during his college days at Chapel Hill. It supposedly stemmed from his rather nondescript fashion habits. It is said that Tyler then had a reputation for being the worst-dressed of all the Tarheel B-Ballers then populating the UNC campus.
Wishing to accommodate Tyler, for the past few games Area 55 has attempted to do his requested “Gucci” chant. It has been performed, but without much notable success. Some members have grumbled that “Tyler doesn’t get to choose his nickname” and flat-out refused to do “Gucci.” Others, like me, have complied, but without much conviction. For me, anyway, chanting “Gucci” to reward Tyler’s regular bursts of frenzied on-court activity is just ---well, it’s just hard.

Happily, I have learned that even one of Tyler’s most loyal and diehard NC supporters has urged him to embrace – and not reject – his “Psycho T” brand. I give you the following “Open Letter to Tyler Hansbrough” posted by an anonymous UNC female graduate who goes by the Twitter handle of MissBumptious. Listen to Bumptious, Tyler! She has your best interests at heart!

“Tyler, Dumping “Psycho-T” Would Actually Mean You’re Crazy!
Don’t get me wrong. I know this is a done deal. Tyler Hansbrough has asked people to stop referring to him as Psycho-T and fans - even those fire-breathing lunatics in Area 55 - have agreed to respect that.

I don’t.

I can’t respect that, since it’s a silly decision that people who are paid to rep him should have talked him out of. And I say that as a longtime admirer of the boy, as many if not all of you are aware.

Some people have asked me why I hold this position so I’m putting it in writing. Plus, I’m drunk and also think I know everything about everything or, barring that, at least the worlds of marketing and PR., so here we go again. In self-defense, I will say that I’ve worked in marketing, communications and PR since roughly 1997. I do know a few things about a lot of things, for sure.

So here’s why “Psycho-T” is so perfect: it’s the ultimate differentiator. Take every player within 20 spots of Tyler on the ESPN 500 Best List and see what he’s got that they don’t. Yes, he’s white, but that’s irrelevant to this discussion.

The other thing is the ferocity. The fire-breathing crazyman who comes out there and blows the doors off every time. Winning or losing, he brings energy and passion and fire and, sorry, near nutjob-level intensity, and that’s what we love about him. That is his thing. That is what makes us scream when he walks onto the court. We love the effort, we love the dedication, and we love that he seems just a little bit out there.

There are hundreds of players in the NBA. I most love the one who might always surprise me.

Does this mean that I actually think Tyler is mentally ill? Hell, no! I don’t know the guy. The only person I’ve ever seen (jokingly) suggest that is his UNC roommate Bobby Frasor who, no doubt, has pictures that might make us wonder. But no, this isn’t about Tyler actually being crazy.

Y’know what it’s about? Effing t-shirts, Gomer! And mugs and posters and whatever-the-hell else marketers market and make money from! Does “Unusually Intense UNC Alum” look good on a t-shirt? Um, no. It’s all about Psycho-T - a quick, clean encapsulation of his differentiator that the little boys (and their money-spending parents) will love. It works, and it would work for him.”


How the Trail Blazers Got Their Name! The Portland team has actually been known as the "Trail Blazers" throughout its history. Two weeks after being awarded an expansion franchise in 1970, the team’s management held a contest to select the name. Allegedly more than 10,000 entries were submitted. The most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was already used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis and Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, and it was selected as the name. Personally I would have gone with a collective name, like the Magic or the Jazz.

My choice would have been the “Portland Cement.” But I live in Indy and probably my vote would have been discounted for geographic reasons.

It’s The Jail Blazers! Although management has pretty much cleaned everything up, at one time – not too long ago – Portland’s NBA B-ball squad was a well-known haven for druggies, felons, and other assorted types of bad-boys and miscreants. There was Ruben Patterson, who was signed by the Blazers after having previously pled no contest to a felony sexual assault charge that required him to register as a sex offender. Then there was popular Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis, who after having a towel flung in his face by teammate Rashid Wallace, decided to leave the team. Rashid Wallace, Amare Stoudamire, and Qyntel Woods, were all cited for marijuana possession. Woods also blazed a trail for Michael Vick. Among his other convictions, he also pled guilty to first-degree animal abuse due to staging dog fights in his house. Some involved his own loyal pit bull, Hollywood. Both Hollywood and Woods' other pit bull, Sugar, were confiscated at the time of his arrest and Woods was given 80 hours of community service. As part of his plea agreement, he also had to donate $10,000 to the Oregon Humane Society.

There were other misadventures. Rashid Wallace was suspended for 7 games for threatening a referee. Zach Randolph and Ruben Patterson got in a fight during practice, after Randolph sucker punched Ruben in the eye, an injury which kept Patterson from making a meaningful contribution during the playoffs. Police answering a burglar alarm at Amare Stoudamire's house noticed a distinct marijuana smell, searched the premises, and then found a pound of cannabis located in a crawlspace. Happily, the search was later declared illegal and all charges in the matter were dropped. Guard Bonzi Wells endeared himself to Portland locals by famously telling Sports Illustrated in a 2002 interview:

"They [fans] really don't matter to us. They can boo us every day, but they're still going to ask for our autographs if they see us on the street."

Fan discontent thereafter soared and autograph requests dwindled. Despite the team continuing to post a winning record, attendance at the Rose Garden (yeah that’s where Portland plays) started to decline. In the summer of 2003, with attendance dwindling, the team going nowhere on the court, and saddled with an exorbitant payroll, its GM resigned.

The following year, 2004, was marked by more trouble. The team’s record plummeted to 27–55 record. The bankruptcy of the Oregon Arena corporation, which resulted in the Rose Garden being owned by a consortium of investment firms, further alienated the Portland fan base, as did an incident in which forward Darius Miles (himself African-American) called the coach, Maurice Cheeks, the “N” word. This incident was compounded by what many viewed as inadequate discipline for Miles, following revelation of a secret agreement between the team and Miles that refunded to Miles the amount of his original fine. Cheeks was then fired that season and then replaced on an interim basis by director of player-personnel, the Pacer’s own Kevin Pritchard. That summer the team hired Nate McMillan (who cleaned things up and then was rewarded for his efforts by being fired after the Pacers memorably beat Portland last year).

The following 2005–06 season wasn’t much better. The Blazers posted a league-worst 21–61 record, attendance was low, and the year was not free of player incidents. Miles, Patterson, Randolph, and Sebastian Telfair were all involved in either on-court bickering or off-court legal incidents. In addition, the team had a poor relationship with the management of the Rose Garden, frequently complaining of a "broken economic model". It was widely speculated by the end of that year that the team’s owner, Paul Allen, would sell the team. Indeed, the team was offered for sale that summer, with several groups expressing interest. However, Allen decided to stick it out, spend some money, and make some draft-day trades. He subsequently took the team off the market. From then on, things got better.

Ah well, enough arcane NBA lore. It’s time to go to press.

Let’s be extra loud and rowdy tonight, 55ers. Our guys deserve a well-deserved welcome home and a win tonight would put us over that .500 hump. Let’s get it done!


duke dynamite
12-05-2012, 10:53 AM
I refuse to call our backup Power Forward taint or chode. Psycho T LIVES FOREVER!

Young Red
12-07-2012, 09:55 AM
So I just won tickets in Area 55 for tonight's game against Denver. Anything that I should know in advance besides the fact that I need to be loud the entire game?

12-07-2012, 11:45 AM

Greetings and salutations fellow Area 55 peeps! This is second year veteran and soul patch pro Jon LaFollette writing in place of our beloved Prez Joe, who after slaving over a piping hot keyboard for the better part of three years, deserves a much needed reprieve from the rigors of writing newsletters. I happily volunteered my services so Joe could have more time doing whatever it is fancy lawyer types, such as himself, do.


The Area 55 Half-Time Critique! OK, campers! With LaFollette and I switching our customary Newsletter roles, it is your beloved Prez that will supply you with LaFollette’s normal curt and spicy review of Wednesday night’s BLF halftime extravaganza. I know I have large shoes to fill, but here goes:

Halftime attendees at the Portland game were treated to an engaging display of interpretive dance brought to us by a group of mothers and girls whose professional name I sadly cannot supply. As usual, the BLF halftime announcer (an anonymous guy – I don’t think it was Ace McKay - doing his standard imitation of a trapped coal miner) mumbled their actual moniker and left me to speculate as to just whom it was I was viewing. It sounded to me like the announcer called them something like “The Flowers of Spring”. However it might also have been “The Carmel Dance Academy from Hell.” I cannot be sure.

Anyway the dance gala they supplied was a welcome change from the mass Air Force swearing-in ceremony that The Suits tried to pass off as entertainment at the New Orleans game. I’m as patriotic as the next guy, but I like my bread and circuses. That New Orleans Swearing-in thing left me longing for the more reliably entertaining and certainly less warlike cavortings of our beloved frisbee-catching dogs.

The Nameless Dance Academy was not warlike. Sporting pink, azure, and pale green spandex, a bevy of mothers (some of whom looked kind of hot to me) and what appeared to be an assortment of their nubile and prepubescent daughters -- took to the BLF hardwood and immediately and energetically began gamboling about.

The moms of the Academy went first, commendably twisting, gyrating, contorting, and grinding to the accompaniment of Foreigner’s “You’re as Cold as Ice.” I don’t know about other 55ers (who, perhaps seeing what was coming, quickly and wisely left the premises to get beer), but I, for one, was left mute and slackjawed at the wholesome amateurishness and arctic asexuality of the mothers’ dancing. Rapt in the spectacle, I soon felt “cold as ice” myself just watching it all. Perhaps that was the intent. The mom’s number was, indeed, a telling paean to sexual frigidy and after viewing it, I felt pangs of sympathy for the deprivation that their poor husbands were undoubtedly experiencing.

The “Cold as Ice” moms were followed by their warmer daughters, who, clad in stretchy pink and trying to emulate their maternal forbears, then did a lot of moving about while an invisible sound machine belted out The Capitols old and justifiably forgotten hit, “Cool Jerk”. It was kind of cute. I cannot deny that watching the nymphets twist and turn caused wellsprings of repressed memories and forgotten emotions to bubble up in my heart. Prepubescent dancing to lyrics like “They know I’m the king of the coooool jerks!” invariably has that effect on me.

There was still more! After the “Cool Jerk” number, more of the nymphets segued into a cheery holiday interpretation of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Personally, I liked the “Cool Jerk” thing better, but hey, I’m a soul type of guy and kind of a “cool jerk” in my own right.

After it all ended and The Nameless Dance Academy left the floor I was left to speculate if The Suits had booked The Academy as a crass money-saving measure. Scrooges that they are, I suspect this was so. A hint to The Suits: Psst, sometimes you get better entertainment if you pay for it.

My rating for The Nameless Dance Academy? Well, unfortunately just a C. But on the upside, I thought they were a lot better than the Air Force Swearing-in Ceremony.

Back to Basketball with Fighting Jon LaFollette! We're already six weeks into the season, but tonight's match up with the Denver Nuggets at the homey confines of Bankers Life is only the third back-to-back home stand for the Pacers this year, and just their eighth home game overall. In short, our boys in the blue and gold have spent more than half their season on the road (where they have posted a scrappy 5-7 record). Thus, it is extremely important that they make the most of their sporadic returns to the Circle City.

After dropping four of their first six games, the Pacers have recently rallied to win six of their last eight, including a dramatic last second win in Los Angeles and a pugnacious victory over the ever-resilient Bulls. The team is currently a half game behind Chicago in the Central Division. While the team's offense (Roy's in particular) has at times been stagnant and bereft of baskets, their league-leading defense has been stingy enough to keep the majority of games close and give the team a chance to win. Laying waste to Denver tonight would give the Pacers their first three-game win streak of the season, and push them to a mark of 11-9. Let’s get it done!

G2? More Like G-Pew! Stating the obvious - Paul George stunk it up over a three-game stretch last week. Against the Lakers, Kings and Warriors, PG shot an abysmal 23 percent from the field on 7-of-31 shooting, (laying an egg in Oakland) while almost completely shirking his abilities as a defender. To be blunt, Paul was a non factor - something he absolutely cannot be in the absence of Danny Granger. But rather than sulk, PG manned up and took to the practice court hard (as he does in those nifty "Gold Swagger" commercials) and lobbed 500 shots in a single practice (proven by a picture he posted on his Instagram account). Whether it was the extra reps, divine province, or some of Michael Jordan's secret stuff (which helped the Looney Tunes thwart the MonStars in Space Jam), PG's shots have markedly improved in the last two games. He has since posted 56 points on 21-of-40 shooting (52 percent). He'll have to keep it up against Denver's Andre Iguodala - a scrappy defender who creates problems for opposing teams with his strength and length (a dangerous duo of rhyming adjectives if I ever heard one).

Get SWATTED!!! According to Hoop Data's advanced stats, Roy is making just 42 percent of his shots within two feet of the rim, and only 38 percent within three to nine feet. This season has been Double Nickel's worst offensive outing of his career. But where he's been an enigma when it comes to scoring, defensively, he's the biggest component (literally) to the Pacers’ success. Averaging a career high in blocks per game (3.12 - second only to Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka), and protecting the rim better than he's ever done, Hibbert anchors what the Pacers are best at - getting stops and keeping games tight enough for their stunted and sporadic offense to pull out a win. Roy's objectives tonight will be twofold. Contain Nuggets starting center, and Greek American, Kosta Koufos, whom Roy should have no trouble pushing around, as well as their boneheaded sixth man JaVale McGee, who often finishes games for the Nuggets, and, in actuality poses a far more formidable match up than Koufos for Hibbert.

More on Moron McGee JaVale McGee (traded to Denver last year from the Washington Wizards) is somewhat similar to Roy as far as their respective style of play goes. Both are more prone to defend than they are to score (although Roy wins out in both categories I believe); both, rebound well given their size, and, despite being seven feet or taller, neither of them is really known for his physical prowess. What separates Roy from JaVale is intellect and basketball IQ. Where Roy graduated with a degree in government from Georgetown and has been named an All-Star, Javale possess the thinking capabilities of a rock. This is highly fitting since he now plays for a team associated with mining.

Whether it's attempting to dunk from the free throw line (something he tried twice in the same week no less), alley-ooping to himself and then saluting his own efforts while his team is down six, or mistakenly running to the wrong end of the court while his team has the ball, dare I say no other player in the last five years has been more ineptly entertaining than JaVale? He's had so many bloopers, he was given his own countdown on YouTube. Watch them and enjoy!


Every one of the above highlights (or low-lights) involved McGee in a Wizards uniform. Since moving to Denver, his most laughably bad decisions have virtually disappeared (credit Denver coach George Karl) and McGee's talents (especially his quickness) are beginning to receive attention around the league. He had a breakout series in last season’s playoffs against the Lakers where he averaged 9 points, 10 boards and 3 blocks in 7 games.

Rocky Mountain Hype Aside from the aforementioned McGee and Iguodala, the Nuggets sport a talented roster that includes point guard Ty Lawson (currently in his fourth year), second year sensation Kenneth Farried who has been dubbed the "mannimal" for his tenacious rebounding abilities (During his last visit here Area 55ers taunted Farried with "Whoopi Goldberg" chants - an homage to his Predator-esque dreads), and Danilo Gallinari (whom I jokingly christened The Italian Stallion). Gallinari was among those traded to Denver in last year’s blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York and Chauncey Billups ultimately winding up with the Clippers. An unsung, but equally notable player, is Denver’s backup point guard, Andre Miller, currently in his 13th year. While getting long in the tooth, Miller is still capable of posting solid numbers on any given night (He’s had a 17 point and a 19 point effort early this year).

NBA die-hards might recall many stat-geeks drooling over the Nuggets before the beginning of this season. Indeed, a host of complex math formulas and arcane statistical projections had the Denver making it to the Western Conference Finals - and perhaps the NBA Finals. Former Pacer Reggie Miller, during a TNT broadcast, balked at such notions and the whole idea of "guys in lab coats" predicting the outcome of NBA games.

Thus far, Reggie seemed to have it right. The Nuggets have been relatively underwhelming given all the pre-season hype that surrounded them. Tonight, they stroll into Naptown on the second game of a five game road trip sporting a 9-10 record (including a 108-104 loss Tuesday night in Atlanta). As an excuse for Denver’s lackluster start, the team’s proponents have pointed to a brutal schedule -- with only 6 of their first 19 games played at home. This is a legitimate point, but I'd be quicker to point out two other factors; shoddy defense, and inconsistent shooting.

George Karl has long been known as a run-and-gun coach who loves to push tempo and get up and down the court. He adheres to the philosophy that the best defense is a good offense. As a result, in allowing 104 points per 100 possessions, the Nuggets have the seventh worst defense in the league. Much like Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks of yesteryear, the Nuggets simply try to outgun their opponents. In putting up 103 points per 100 possessions, Denver’s point production is good enough to make them the tenth best offensive team in the NBA. But an offense is only as good as its players (duh), and the Nuggets are a team with streaky shooters aplenty. As a team, they shoot just 46% from the field (just 1% better than the league average). True, they have the potential to be potent on any given night. But where there's feast, there's famine.

For every night that Ty Lawson puts up 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting (as he did against Atlanta), there are other nights where he'll go 0-for-7, 3-for-12 or 4-for-13 and virtually disappear from the game. Ditto for Iguodala and Gallnari, who have also struggled to find their stride this season. But while Denver’s guards and wings are prone to struggle on any given night, the Nuggets’ big men that carry them. The bigs grab a league-leading 35 offensive rebounds per game. With that kind of offensive rebounding occurring, a wayward guard shooting an ill-advised three now and then isn't regarded as a major tragedy. I predict that tonight's game will be won by rebounding, with the Pacers' stiff D looking to slow a fast running offense.

Well, enough of this! Time to belch this out. Remember to wear some grey tonight for brain cancer awareness. And be feisty and nasty. We want our boys to keep the wins, particularly at home, coming!


12-07-2012, 01:15 PM
I always look forward to your reviews of the half-time acts, and this one was a classic. It's a rarity when I miss a game, and indeed I missed the last one, but your vivid account of the half-time show was the next best thing to living through it! I especially liked the nod of sympathy to the frustrated husbands!

12-12-2012, 01:16 AM

Greetings, 55ers!

Tonight our 10-11 Pacers return from a tough road loss to Kevin Durant & Co. to test their mettle against a considerably more inferior foe, the 4-17 Cleveland Cavaliers. While the game against red-hot and high-scoring Oklahoma City (who now have won 8 straight and lead the NBA in scoring) was a loss, no one watching it could come away terribly discouraged. In many ways, it was one of the best games our Granger-less guys have played all year.

Against OKC, all 5 of the Pacers starters were in double figures (David West leading the crew with 21, Paul George had 17, and George Hill had 15) and our normally dismal shooting was lots better – upwards of 46%. Indeed, we actually shot 60% in the first half and during the same period pretty much corralled the Durant/Westbrook tandem than lays most other NBA teams low.

Unfortunately, our bench continued to be problematic. It couldn’t corral Kevin Martin, who burned it for 21 points Offensively, Gerald Green managed a commendable 8 points, but nobody else coming off the pines garnered more than 4. Our ongoing bench woes have now led Frank to test Ben Hansbrough as our second-string point man, with D. J. Augustin relegated now to third seed Seeing how Psycho B does in his new role will be one of the serious points of interest tonight.

In case you’re interested, our loss to OKC now leaves us in 3rd place in the Central, 2 games behind Chicago (11-8) and 1 back of Milwaukee (10-9). A nice home win against the pitiful Cavs might be just the thing to get us back on focus.

It’s Holiday Party Time! Always timely with important news, my 5:30 P.M. email box featured this cheery Xmas Card from The Pacers Suits:

“Greetings Area 55’ers,

Happy holidays from the Area 55 staff. It’s been a great season so far and it’s going to get even better tomorrow after the Cleveland game. As first announced during the preseason meeting, Roy Hibbert is hosting a postgame holiday party exclusively for you.

During pre-game and the first half, be sure to find Zac to obtain your wristband which grants you entry into the holiday party that is located on the Practice Court. Immediately following the game, take the elevator down to the Event Level, proceed to the left and you will find the Practice Court. Show both your wristband and game ticket to Zac to gain entry to the party.

This will be a great opportunity to get to know one another. There will be treats to devour, basketball to be played (waiver required and casual shooting only), and [nude pictures of Hobert Montgomery to be snatched up – Ha! I joke here. Fill this space in yourselves – The Area 55 Staff’s email left it blank]

Only the people that go to the game are eligible for this event. If you can’t make the game, as always, give your ticket to a friend or family member and be sure to tell them about the event planned after the game.

2012-13 Area 55 Holiday Party Details:

• What: Area 55 Holiday Event
• When: Dec 12, 2012 following the game
• Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse Practice Court
• Why: Celebration
• Who: Area 55 members attending the Dec. 12 game

See you tomorrow,
Area 55 Staff”

Sasha the Stretchy Lady Comes to BLF! In a welcome reprieve from Frisbee-Snatching Dogs, wood-chopping Korean Tae Kwan Do Dojos, and Air Force Swearing-In Ceremonies, the unnamed Suit who passes for the BLF Halftime Entertainment Meister treated Denver-game attendees with a deeply appreciated treat. I refer, of course, to that rarest of rara avises, an actual paid entertainer. In this case It was Alexandra “Sasha” Pivaral, a hand-balancing, one-of-a-kind acrobatic contortionist from New York City.

Perched atop what reminded me of three flat-topped wooden bedposts, Sasha (who looked pretty hot to me!) wowed a gob-smacked crowd with a flashy display of double-jointed antics the likes of which had not been seen in Indy for at least two years. Here I segue back to days of yore, back when our arena bore the ancient name “Conseco” and recall another BLF halftime performance I once viewed involving Two Bodies-Painted-White Hungarian Guys whose act was sort of like Sasha's. It featured the Hungarians stretching and climbing over and upon one another’s bodies but little else. I grow wistful. I can only say that that act was a display of homoerotic contortion and pretzeltry that continues to generate nightmares for me even to this day!

But back to Sasha!

First she dazzled onlookers with a few easy but graceful handstands on the bedposts. She did these while stretching and posing to some of the most dirge-like violin music that has ever assaulted human ears. Sasha must have liked this music, I guess, because it kept droning on, over and over, until finally, at long last, it seemed to come to an end. But no, then it started up all over again!

Anyway, while maintaining one of those many clever handstands of hers, and her unseen violins crescendoing into a musical orgasm, Sasha suddenly seized a bedpost with one of her paws and, positioning herself upside-down, then she proceeded to fold her spine downward so that her tush and legs came right over her face! Hell, before it was over her feet were down there too - right around her temples! It looked so weird and unnatural that I nearly choked to death on a nacho watching it all happen! Then in a celebratory masterstroke, Sasha smiled coyly from behind her feet and gave a flirty wink to the crowd. Seeing it brought to mind some of those complex positions from the Kama Sutra that, despite years of begging, I have never been able to persuade my wife to attempt.

But Sasha had even more tricks up her spidery-webbed, spandexy leotard!

Reinforcing my belief that she was born under the sign of Sagittarius, the balance of supple Sasha’s show consisted mainly of foot archery! Her violin music still blaring, Sasha first balanced upside-down on one hand on one of her bedposts. Next, she treated the audience to a couple more of her epic body folds. Then she adroitly snatched up a petite bow from a nearby table using only her svelte painted toes to do the snatching. This alone was enough to awaken the latent foot-fetishist in many awed onlookers.

But there was more!

Holding her little bow with one foot, Sasha proceeded to notch an arrow in it using only the toes her other foot. Then, taking careful aim, she sent a rubber tipped Cupid’s dart humming outward toward a circular target positioned a good six or seven feet away.

While Sasha's body-bends and arrow-shooting in this fashion was novel and welcome, I must regretfully report that her marksmanship was nothing that would worry Wilhelm Tell. Sadly, there were no bull’s-eyes. Indeed, Sasha actually missed her circular target completely on her first shot and only just managed to hit it a couple of times in following tries.

Nevertheless, when all was said and done, Sasha’s was a noble and thrilling effort. She definitely deserved the heartfelt applause that the considerably less limber members of the BLF crowd gave her. Still, as she dismounted from her bedposts and took her leave, I could not help but think that she could have brought the BLF mob watching her to an even more roiling frenzy if she only could have found a way to blast T-shirts, instead of arrows, from that bow of hers. But perhaps that’s for another day.

I give Sasha a B. Bring her back again, BLF Entertainment Meisters! She’d have gotten a B+ if her aim had been truer and her violins less obnoxious.


What’s the Story on Anderson Varajao? Cavs darling Anderson Varejão got to Cleveland by way of Brazil (his home country). He was originally picked by the Magic in the second round of the 2004 NBA Draft (30th overall) and was then traded to Cleveland along with Drew Gooden and Steven Hunter for Tony Battie and two future second-round picks. On arrival, Varajao quickly became a regular contributor for the Cavs, exciting fans and earning the nickname "Wild Thing" because of his wild hair and energetic and relentless style of play.

Anderson has been widely criticized for flopping or overly-dramatizing any physical contact directed against him.. Former teammate LeBron James considered that criticism invalid and asserted "He's taking physical charges." Right, LeBron.

Noting the similarities in their hair styles, some pundits have speculated that Anderson Varajao and Joakim Noah might have sprung from the same curly loins and hence could be related. You be the judge!

It is also a little known fact, but true, that Anderson ample hair has its own Facebook page. See:


A chant about Anderson’s hair – set to the tune of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” -- has been employed in the past by Area 55. Some old and suggested new verses are listed below:

He’s got a bird’s nest on his head!
He’s got a bird’s nest on his head!
He’s got a bird’s nest on his head!
He’s got a bird’s nest on his head!

He’s got steel wool on his head!
He’s got steel wool on his head!
He’s got steel wool on his head!
He’s got steel wool on his head!.

He’s got nerve ends on his head!
He’s got nerve ends on his head!
He’s got nerve ends on his head!
He’s got nerve ends on his head!

Pick a stanza you like! Invent one of your own! But sing lustily tonight when Anderson toes the Sin Stripe, 55ers. I would so enjoy getting everyone in BLF to sing along and commemorate the Brazilian glory and wonder of Anderson Varajao’s spiraled locks.

Ah, the night is late, 55ers. I now tire and must bid you adieu.

I’ll leave you with this:

Let’s really try to really bring it tonight. And let’s not forget to somewhere along the way sing Roy a Happy Birthday Song! Yesterday he turned the ripe old age of 26!


12-12-2012, 06:04 PM
Joe, it might be prudent to start looking at dates if there is to be an Area55/G2 Zone road trip this season. I took the liberty of looking at the schedule. There are a few road games that take place on weekends or holidays where the driving distance is manageable. To me, the noon Memphis game on Jan. 21 (MLK day) and the 7 PM Detroit game on Saturday, Feb. 23 look like possibilities. I think we would be looking at 5 hour drives similar to the Bucks road trip last year. Of course, if Pacero reported being treated like a gentleman while at the last Chicago road game (or if he can give us the name of a good security team to accompany us), then I suppose the March 23 game in Chicago is also a possibility. For those of us with families and weird occupational schedules, the sooner we plan, the better!

12-14-2012, 08:01 AM

Salutations, 55ers!

Very happy greetings again to all in the Area 55 family! This is everyone's favorite second-year pro Jon LaFollette writing in place of our hoop-hat-wearing president, Mr. Joe. Mr. Joe is swamped with year-end work and yours truly, always willing to lend a helping hand (and being an otherwise unemployed journalism major– [I will write for food!]) is assuming the fill-in role. Hang in there, buddy!

After turning a would-be rout into a satisfying victory over the Cavaliers of Cleveland Wednesday night, the Pacers (11-11) gear up to host the 76ers of Philadelphia (12-10). This is the first of four times the teams will go at each other this season, and marks the 171st game in the series overall (Philly leads the series 92-62).

Going back to last year, the 76ers had quite the up and down season. After getting out to an impressive 20-9 mark and pushing for the Eastern Conference's best record, the team stumbled the rest of the year, winning a measly 15 of their last 37 games, and posting a final record of 35-31, squeaking into the postseason as the 8th and the final seed. However, they had a stroke of luck when they played an injury plagued Bulls team and beat them in the series 4-2, before taking Boston (their arch rivals) the full distance in a 7-game series. Coming up one game shy of the Eastern Conference Finals wasn't too bad for a team which essentially had no identity.

In the off-season, however, the Sixers revamped and retooled their flavorless roster. Gone, now, is the aging Elton Brand and his enormous contract, as well as Andre Iguodala, the former face of the franchise. The team made a highly publicized trade in the off season to acquire center Andrew Bynum from the Lakers who, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge, is "at worst, the second best center in the league."

The only thing is Bynum has yet to play a game this year and is now out indefinitely with knee issues. He reportedly re-aggravated the knee after a grueling round of bowling (was it a 7-10 split?). So, rather than helping his hometown team get to the next level, Bynum has used his injury-related free time to grow a really impressive Afro. Seriously. That doo ain't no jive turkey. Anyway, for the wheeling and dealing Sixers, it’s all a bit like Shaft getting on human growth hormones and trading his trench coat and rolodex (or binders) of ladies for post up skills and knees purchased from a glass china shop.

Bynum's absence will come as a welcome relief for our fearless leader, Roy, who has been prone to struggle against his recently transplanted contemporary. Instead of Bynum, Spencer Hawes will likely start for the Sixers at center tonight. And where Bynum's lustrous 'Fro pays homage to the likes Richard Pryor, Dr. J, and Kobe circa 1999, Hawes' strange mullet-mohawk-mustachioed mix is more contemporary, paying tribute to the likes of Honey-Boo-Boo, Turtle Man and Billy the Exterminator.

Aside from Bynum, Philly has also signed a few underrated, yet serviceable, guards in Jason Richardson (an 11-year pro who calls the Sixers his 5th team) and Nick Young (a 5- year pro who goes by the laughably awesome nickname of "Swaggy P," Swaggy P is worth a look on Twitter if you're curious enough). Neither are lights-out scorers, but both are plenty capable of filling up the box score and occasionally hitting shots when called upon.

But even with the new faces, Philly’s scrappy success is mostly due to a trio of young players whom the Sixers have drafted over the last few years: Thaddeus Young (PF), Evan Turner (SG/SF) and Jrue Holiday (PG).

Young, like the Pacers' own David West, is the workhorse of the Sixers. He's not their go-to offensive guy, but he can post a double double on any given night, be a handful on the glass, and occasionally create turnovers. Turner, in his third year, is averaging a career-best 15 points per game despite just shooting 43% from the field. He's young and streaky, but potent and dangerous - just ask Boston, who let him put up 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks last week. However, it's Jrue Holiday (recently signed to a 4-year $44 million extension) who has been the Sixers best player in the early part of this season. Posting career highs in points per game (18), assists (9) and field goal percentage (45), Holiday is undeniably the biggest reason for the Sixers’ ability to stay above .500 without Bynum, and is on the short list of players to win the NBA’s "Most Improved Player Award." Lucky for us tonight, Holiday's reportedly hurt and probably won't play.

Philly's season has played out much like the Pacers', doing the best they can while key players are out with prolonged injuries. And, just like the Blue and Gold, they've succeeded in spurts, while struggling in spurts as well. Right now, they’re in a bit of a tailspin. Despite posting a 12-10 record, they've lost 4 of their last 6 with their most recent wins coming over a terrible Detroit team and a last second win over Boston.

Meanwhile, the boys of Naptown are improving, having won 5 of their last 8 and seeming to have recently gained a semblance of momentum. Credit Paul George, who over the last 7 games has averaged 24 points and begun to show signs of becoming the high caliber player many think he can be. Also credit David "And One" West and his continued steady play, pugnaciousness and leadership.

Two Hansbroughs Are Better Than One! With a quarter of the season gone and D.J. Augstin still not producing, Coach Vogel promoted Tyler ("Please Call-Me-Gucci-And-Not-Psycho-T") Hansbrough's little brother, Ben, to backup point guard on Wednesday. The results were quite pleasant. His 6 points, lone assist and 2 steals in 17 minutes may seem meager, but his tempo and "eagerness," for lack of a better term, were a breath of fresh air compared to Augustin's ongoing stagnation. Just like his brother, what Ben lacked in productivity at times, he made up for with hustle, spirit and any host of other cliched adjectives. Let's see how Round Two of the Brothers Brough turns out tonight.

On a side note, the names Psycho-T and Psycho-B are awfully similar and, when chanted, sound almost indistinguishable. I know we could always revert to calling Tyler "Gucci," but it appears as if this appellation has yet to catch on (mostly because it's stupid!). So... I propose letting more creative minds come up with better nicknames for Mr. Ben (maybe Bensanity?).

The Halftime Show Review Extravaganza! First things first. As much as I strain my ears, squint my eyes and focus my attention, I can never, EVER, hear what P.A. announcer Michael Grady is saying when he introduces the half time talent. So it is with much disappointment, that I have to refer here to Wednesday's entertainer as The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well.

Anyway, I loved The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well. First, I’m always awed by a good juggling act. Second, and more importantly, I'm easily impressed. In fact, lately I’ve been spending a lot of my idle time gazing at videotaped pictures of Darwin the Ikea Monkey. Never heard of Darwin? Here ya go!


Anyway, I am even more bemused when I get to watch someone do something that I find incredibly challenging - be it a reverse slam dunk or keeping a bunch of tennis balls suspended in mid-air in twirly fashion. Yup, juggling – any kind of juggling – just fascinates me! But what separates the really expert jugglers from ordinary rank novices is execution. Some can execute and some can’t. Compare that half time show a few games back that featured those off-sync dancing housewives with The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well. Sadly, the dancing mom’s were blessed more with good intentions than talent, They couldn’t execute! The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well's performance was, by contrast, crisp, brisk and professional. Actually, its simple and easy going nature belied the challenge. The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well could execute, making the intricate act juggling seem almost routine.

Oh, and did I mention The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well only had one arm? Hey, I didn't call him handicapped in this review one time, did I?. And neither would he! GRADE: A-

The Founding Five The Philadelphia 76ers' name is obvious given the City of Brotherly Love's connections to the founding of this country. But what isn't quite as well known is the Founding Fathers' connection to the great game of basketball. In what has become forgotten history, the seemingly uptight marble men of early America were actually wizards on the hardwood. In fact, when they weren't busy deciding how to run the country, many of our wig-wearing founders played a mean game of 5-on-5 street ball. In an exclusive Area 55 discovery (the perks of being a hard-nosed-lead-digging-journalist) I've discovered a written transcript of the player introductions from one of those very games. Apparently all players were introduced by Frederick Muhlenberg, the nation's first Speaker of the House (irony anyone?).

"Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to Providence Hall! Get ready to meet your Philadelphia Freedom Fighters!

Head coach of the Freedom Fighters, is BEN "ELECTRIC B" FRANKLIN!!!!!!!!!

Your starting point guard, from King's College, standing at 5' 7" and wearing Number 0, get loud for ALEXANDER "MONKEY MAKER" HAMILTON!!!!!!!

At shooting guard, from Boston Latin School, at 5' 7" and wearing Number 76, give it up for HENRY " FOXY NOXY" KNOX!!!!!!

At small forward, from Harvard, at 5' 7" and wearing Number 2, get rowdy for JOHN "THE VP" ADAMS!!!!!!!

At power forward, from the University of William and Mary, towering in at 6' 2" and wearing Number 3, make some noise for THOMAS "CHOCOLATE MILK" JEFFERSON!!!!!!!!

And at center, from Mount Vernon, standing tall at 6' 2" and wearing Numero Uno, get on your feet for THE ONE! THE ONLY! TEAM CAPTAIN! G-DUB! THE GENERAL! GEORGE. WASHINGTOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!"

From what I've read, John Hancock made for quite the sixth man.

That’s enough for now, campers. Remember, the Sixers must be fended off tonight! With Lance out, we’ve gotta step in and be Frank’s extra man.


12-19-2012, 10:09 AM

Salutations, fellow 55ers!

Hello Area 55. This is second year vet Jon LaFollette here, composing my third newsletter of the season. President Joe is still rather busy with his ever-important-lawyerly-type-stuff and with me, familiar with all the inside poop on Utah, it was decided that once again that I, rather than Joe, would author the Newsletter.

OK. Concedely, we must start on a bit of a down note. So, go on. Take a moment to reflect on last night's loss to the Bucks of Milwaukee.

Take some deep breaths. Now exhale. Do it again. OK, here it comes: Acceptance. Inner peace. Move on. Repeat as many times as needed.

Still not over it? Well get on with life. Too bad, but its no time to mope over the unchangeable. Besides, the boys in blue and gold do have a game tonight at Bankers Life (their lone home stand for the week) against native son Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz.

Where the Pacers were burned for 53 points by the Bucks' Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, a pair of highly potent guards, the team tonight faces an entirely different kind of animal in Utah -- a very BIG animal. Where Milwaukee is quick footed and reliant on undersized wings, the Jazz sport one of the more formidable lineups of big men in the NBA. Al Jefferson, their biggest big, averages 17 points and 10 rebounds a game in his seventh season. While starting power forward Paul Millsap is small for his position (a paltry 6' 8"), he's strong, scrappy, and can stretch the floor with his ability to hit the long ball (he's averaging a career best 46 percent from 3-pt. land). And while he doesn't take too many shots from the behind the arc, he's still someone the Pacers must respect and guard tenaciously - a task which will fall to David West, who is taller and more muscular than Millsap, if a bit slower and less athletic.

The Jazz have another duo of bigs coming off the bench in forward Derrick Favors (third year) and Turkish center Enes Kanter (second year), both products of the team's trade with the (now) Brooklyn Nets involving former Jazz point guard, Deron Williams. While these two are still young and learning the ropes of professional basketball, both were highly touted lottery picks who, despite limited minutes, are already showing signs of their true potential. They will pose matchup problems in the paint for Tyler Hansbrough and Ian Mahinmi.

All of Utah's bigs mean they're a handful on the glass right? Well, not necessarily. For the Jazz, it's a case of the glass being half-empty and half-full. While they own the fifth best offensive rebounding rate in the league, they're second worst at defensive boards (a category the Pacers are second best in). And while the Jazz post an eighth best 104 points per 100 possessions, they allow their opponents to score just as many points, meaning they have one of the 10 worst defenses in the league. Obviously these things contradict each other, and are reflected in the teams' 14-12 record.

Despite their contradictions, the Jazz are the winners of five of their last seven games, including a 92-90 come-from-behind victory in Brooklyn last night. And while I've spent most of this Newsletter pontificating on the rather large nature of the team, their wings are noteworthy in their own regards. Starting PG Mo Williams, a well-traveled veteran and underrated for his efficiency, is averaging 13 points and 7 assists per game. Shooting guard Randye Foye, despite shooting just 40 percent, is also putting up a respectable 11 points per game.

Utah’s backup point guards include former Pacers Earl Watson (who is constantly hurt) and Jamaal Tinsley (no explanations needed). Tinsley has found a niche role as a distributor and averages 7 assists per game.

It goes without saying that Gordon Hayward is the team's most notable player when it comes to central Indiana. Famous for his days at Brownsburg High School (my alma mater - CLASS OF 2007 REPRESENT!!!!), where he helped the Bulldogs win a state championship in 2008, and Butler University, where he took THOSE Bulldogs to a Final Four and a national championship game. Hence, there will be many in attendance tonight sporting the blue and gold (or green) of Utah with the number 20 on their chest. Try to pay them no mind. They're not Jazz fans, just Gordo fans who are coming to cheer on a hometown boy done good. It may be obnoxious to see Indy residents wearing Jazz gear over Pacers merch, but better a Hayward fan than a Heat or Lakers bandwagoner I say.

From what I've read in a few rumor mill sites on the web, former Pacers GM Larry Bird thought long and hard about drafting Hayward in the 2010 NBA Draft. Some articles went so far as to claim that Bird told Hayward he was going to become a Pacer on draft night with the tenth pick should he have been available. However, the Jazz selected him with the ninth, leaving the Pacers to take Paul George. Many, including myself, think the Pacers picked the one with more upside, but Hayward, who currently fills a sixth man role at Utah, has turned into a serviceable player in his own right. At 6' 8", he can guard both the two and the three positions and is the team's best wing defender. He is consistently chosen to guard the opposing team's best player. Last year, he ranked in the top ten in several individual defensive categories - including steals per 36 minutes. However, this year Hayward’s offense has been down. Despite putting up 13 points per game, he's averaging a career low 40 percent from the field.


Tonight's game will be won from the inside out, beginning with Al Jefferson and Roy Hibbert. For Jefferson's 7-foot frame and ability to score, he's a lousy defender. Where Hibbert averages 3 blocks per game, Jefferson barely manages a single block (Rik Smits much?). Jefferson’s known for letting other bigs score almost at will on him for certain stretches of the game. Thus, perhaps this will be a matchup that could give Roy a much needed spark. There’s no better tonic for a center’s offensive woes that a counterpart who can’t play defense..

Paul George, who struggled in the second half in Milwaukee last night, will have to rekindle the energy that helped him post Granger-esque numbers (23 points, 7 boards, 4 assists) last week and earned him his Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award.

David West has to contain Milsap.
Lance Stephenson, who missed two key fastbreak layups last night in his first game back from an ankle injury, has to make better decisions in important moments.

The bench played their best game of the season last night, scoring 36 points on 10-of-20 shooting, including 16-of-20 from the charity stripe. They must keep up this energy against Utah, who have one of the deeper bench units in the league.

CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET JAZZ FAN "Wow, Jon. You sure do have a rather deep knowledge of the Utah Jazz,"

Why, yes. random inquisitive Area 55 member. That's because, after my Pacers, the Jazz are my second favorite basketball team.

"TRAITOR!!!" you'll shout.

"NAY!" I reply.

Only a handful of my Area 55 buddies know of my secret, and almost every one of them has the same response.

"Dude! You can only have ONE team!"

Nonsense. Who made up that rule? That's a rather stupid rule if you ask me. My fiercely independent nature refuses to be shackled by such ridiculous constrictions. As much as I love my Pacers, and will bleed blue and gold until my dying breath (and most likely will be buried with some kind of Pacers garb on), I rely on the Jazz to be my lone obsession away from the hoopla and craze of Pacers basketball that I share with my friends and fellow fans.

"But why the Jazz?"

Well, if you must know, I've had family in the Salt Lake area my entire life. No, my family is not part Mormon. They are transplanted Hoosiers who found employment in Utah several years before I was born. Thus, it was natural for me to adopt Utah as a second team as it were. That's one reason. Another reason is because I found myself cheering for the Jazz at the height of their Stockton-Malone days in the '90s. At that time the Bulls were an insurmountable monolith that the then-Pacers could never hope to topple. I desperately cheered for vengeance for my Number One team whenever the Jazz squared off against Chicago in the Finals – something they did during back-to-back seasons. Never one to be a fair-weather fan, I've stuck by the Jazz in years thereafter through thick and thin. But never, and I mean NEVER will I cheer for them over my Pacers. So don't worry about hearing wayward Utah chants in the confines of Area 55 tonight from my larynx. Tonight, the Jazz will be my enemy.

"Still... the Jazz?"

Shut up. At least their not the Knicks or Lakers.

PTO Fun LaFollette’s gone. It’s Lame Duck Area 55 Prez Joe from here on out. Sadly, we’ve neglected the Pacers Tailgating Organization in the last couple of Newsletter issues. This is largely due to the fact that its normally bubbly and cherubic VP and GM, Casey O’Brien, has not been in attendance. A saturnalia is just not a saturnalia without a nude Casey O’Brien there shivering in a cold parking area.

A convicted arsonist, O’Brien has been away dealing with some legal issues stemming from some of his many probation violations. The latest wrinkle in his criminal history arises from a court-ordered Community Service stint that required him to perform work as a Christmas bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. In some sort of mix-up, the funds garnered by O’Brien from the bell-ringing failed to find their way to the Army’s coffers and in a petty act of retribution they refused to sign his Community Service paperwork. Hopefully, O’Brien will still be able to spend Christmas with his wife and kids. We’re all pulling for ya, Casey!

Anyway, here’s amends for our neglect of PTO happenings. In another bit of Christmas cheer I’ve selected this video of El Pacero’s encounter with a homeless lady from the vault of “Great Moments in PTO History” to enliven your drab holiday lives. P.S., in case you’re wondering, Pacero did manage to get his Championship Women Wrestling Belt back from the homeless lady – but that’s another story!


A-Caroling We’ll Go! Just got this in from irrepressible holiday guy Rob Laycock:


What do you think about singing some Christmas Carols again this holiday season? It was fun two years ago. We could even film it at the game tonight. Thoughts?


I responded positively. However, we need to sing something. So, put pen to paper quickly, 55ers and come up with some Pacers – oriented Christmas Carols. If all else fails, we can reprise “Roy, Roy, Roy” (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells). If you do come up with something, shoot it to my pronto at jmurphy@gslawindy.com so we can distribute copies to all merry carolers wishing to be participatory.

Did Gordon Hayward Play the Banjo in “Deliverance”? OK, I gave closet- polygamist, Fighting John LaFollette, his opportunity to bare his soul about his perverse love affair with Utah. But now I’m briefly back briefly from my mundane legal day job to re-align the balance. I did not attend either Brownsburg High or Butler University. Consequently, I have no biased axes to grind and my Utah gloves are off!.

First, am I, Joe Murphy, the only NBA fan that has noted the strong facial resemblance between Gordon Hayward and that backwoods, inbred banjo-picker that cameoed so importantly in the movie “Deliverance”? You be the judge:

First, some mood music: http://tinyurl.com/697cv2y

Now, take a good look at Gordo: http://tinyurl.com/4jxx98s

Now here’s the “Deliverance” Gordo Look-Alike a-pickin’ and a-grinnin’?


I maintain there’s something seriously genetic going on here!

Oh, Those Mormon Homiest! Utah’s jazzy B-ballers play their games at the “Energy Solutions Arena,” usually before rabid fans known for their vociferous partisanship. This fact has not gone unnoticed in the nightmare world of “Whoops, I didn’t really mean to say that” NBA punditry where one little slip can end a lucrative broadcasting career.

In a 2008 radio broadcast, ESPN's NBA sideline yapper, Ric Bucher, suggested that the reason Utah was one of the toughest places to play was because their fans are so pent-up and frustrated because, you know, well, they're…Mormons. Bucher advanced his thesis thusly:

"It is the most intimidating place to play because of the configuration of the arena…and let’s be honest, they are Mormons, they are in Salt Lake, and there is nothing else there. You know, [Mormons] gotta smile and be happy all the time. This is the one opportunity for people to get vicious in a fair arena. And the fans seem to take full advantage of it.”

Jazz fans and clean-living polygamists alike were so pissed at Bucher’s remarks that they inundated ESPN with complaints and forced both Bucher and ESPN to apologize.
Bucher was thusly contrite:

“I knew immediately that I had made an inappropriate connection between Mormons and the harsh reception that opposing teams sometimes experience inside Energy Solutions Arena. I regret making that connection and apologize to anyone of the Mormon faith for having done so. And (I hope) that all citizens of Salt Lake City will find it in their hearts to welcome me as hospitably as they have in the past."

Some NBA players have also had occasion to comment on the enthusiasm of the Salt Lake City fan base:

Following a 1997 playoff road loss by the Bulls to the Salt Lake City-based Jazz, Dennis Rodman said,

“It’s difficult to get in sync because of all the (expletive deleted) Mormons out here. And you can quote me on that.”

Many sportswriters did just that. NBA hell ensued. Afterwards, Dennis said that his remarks were brought on by Jazz fans that were making obscene gestures at him. However, according to press reports, Rodman supposedly had also made lewd comments about Mormons on two prior occasions.

Like Bucher, Rodman too was quickly and sincerely apologetic:

“If I knew it was like a religious-type deal, I would have never said it. I’m sorry about that.”

Phil Jackson, Rodman’s protector and coach at the time, tried to explain and enhance Dennis’ act of contrition by noting,

“To Dennis, a Mormon may just be a nickname for people from Utah. He may not even know it’s a religious cult or sect or whatever.”

Dennis later received a $50,000.00 fine for his intemperate comment, the largest fine up to then ever assessed on a player for his remarks.

So it goes.

Al Jefferson! Watch Your Back! As we all know, NBA basketball players are human beings. They have lives off-court. Some, however, have livelier lives than others. Back in another December a couple of years ago, Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson made a frantic call to local police. Why? Al, it seems, had been viciously attacked by his girlfriend, Shirley Lewis.

According to the probable cause statement filed by police in the case, a verbal argument at Jefferson’s Cottonwood Heights mansion took place between Lewis, 38, and Jefferson, 26. The argument then escalated to violence when Lewis allegedly hit Jefferson and then bit him on his back.

Jefferson refused to discuss the incident at Utah’s media day for the 2011-12 season.

"It’s a personal matter and I’m done talking about it. I want to discuss basketball. I know you’ve got some good questions about basketball, right?"

Reporters gave Jefferson space. But Big Al did take a moment to reflect on a strong seven-year professional career that sometimes has been overshadowed by off-court drama

"It’s life, man. Life is full of adjustments, full of changes. It’s life."

So true!

Hey, Look! It’s Olive Gordon! As my counterpart, Fighting Jon has previously mentioned, former Butler Bulldog standout, Gordon Hayward, is now a millionaire serving as a reliable 6th man at forward off the Utah bench. However, success has not spoiled Gordo. Last year, in a jaunt to New York City, one of America’s culinary capitals, Gordon was found dining not in one of Little Italy’s finest dining spots. Instead, he opted for a $13 meal at a Times Square Olive Garden. The press was intrigued and asked him for a review.

Gordon’s assessment of his menu choice (The Olive Garden’s “Original Spaghetti with Meat Sauce”)?

“It was good!”

When asked where he went for lunch between the Jazz’s morning shoot-around and their game with the Knicks, Gordon’s comment was similarly emphatic and terse:


Well, that’s it, 55ers. Be loud, proud, and nasty tonight. But if you are so inclined, make Gordon feel at home. Toss him a can of verbal Spaghetti-Os.


12-19-2012, 03:09 PM
I guess I could understand cheering for the home town guy. If he just wasn't, you know, from <i>Brownsburg</i>...

Danville native

12-19-2012, 03:42 PM
As a Ben Davis grad and rival by proxy to Brownsburg, I concur.

The "Drunken Frat Boys" ride again!

12-23-2012, 08:37 PM
The Area 55/G2 Zone Christmas carol video is posted on the Pacers website, for those interested in viewing.

12-24-2012, 12:38 PM
Well, The G2/Area55/A VERY SNEAKY BillS Christmas Carol video is posted.... :D


12-24-2012, 01:15 PM
Well, The G2/Area55/A VERY SNEAKY BillS Christmas Carol video is posted.... :D



12-25-2012, 12:44 AM
Seth is so under the radar he can even be in a video and not be outed. ;)

12-28-2012, 02:11 PM

Salutations 55ers!

Today, O brothers and sisters in basketball, we return to normalcy. Christmas is over. We must put away our holiday loot, take down the tree, and focus anew our attention on our Pacers.

And look! The 16-12 Pacers find themselves, at long last, alone atop the Central, right where we want to be, perched there a half game in front of the Bulls and the Bucks, who are in a nondescript tie for second. Our anticipated post-Xmas BLF meet-up with our bovine buddies from the Windy City was peremptorily shelved at the last minute by the NBA, ostensibly due to wintry conditions. This was undoubtedly a good thing for the Bulls, who were reeling from two consecutive losses and would have been without the services of Luol Deng. At any rate, the Pacers got an unexpected night off and will now face the Suns rested, ready, and hopefully reinvigorated. The Pacers, by the way, are going for a season-first 4 wins in a row

To me, the Phoenix Suns cause visions of sugar plums to dance in my head. They indeed look like a belated holiday gift ripe and ready for the Pacers’ taking. Their record is 11-16 and they arrive riding a 3-game losing streak. Right now they are 12 games behind the L.A. Clippers in the Pacific, just edging out Sacramento for the uncoveted title of worst team in the West. In case you’re wondering, their road record stands at 2-11 and those wins were at Charlotte and Cleveland. In their last outing on Wednesday, the Carmelo-less Knicks edged them 99-97 at the buzzer, nullifying a fruitless 36-point solar eruption from the Suns’ Jared Dudley.

On paper, the Suns look like a bunch of nonentities. But while lacking any real stars to speak of, they still sport a lot of scoring balance. Their biggest guns are guards Goran Dragic (14.1 ppg and 6.2 assists) and Shannon Brown (12,9 ppg). Their front line consists of forwards Jared Dudley (11.8 ppg), Luis Scola (11.7 ppg) and Marcin Gortat (11.2 ppg). Their bench features Michael Beasley (10.5), Sebastian Telfair (6.0 ppg) and a familiar face – former Pacer standout Jermaine O’Neal (7.1 ppg). They have lots of vets and lots of foreign players. Dragic, Scola, and Gortat are all Green Card holders hailing from Slovenia, Argentina, and Poland, respectively. Generally speaking, the Suns can be described as physical, experienced, and tough. They’re not very glamorous, but they can’t be taken too lightly either.

Belated Half-Time Review of “The Russian Bar” As is my wont, while the rest of you peons are replenishing your beers at halftime, I remain glued to my seat, sober and unbiased, gazing intently below eyeing the festivities that PS&E invariably procures for our plebian amusement. For the Utah game on December 19th, we were treated to the high-flying antics of “The Russian Bar”. My review of that august spectacle follows:

Ever wonder where the hell our halftime entertainment comes from? Well, me too. And “The Russian Bar” piqued my insatiable curiosity and meticulous researching skills. These lead me to the Wolfpack Entertainment website, which is here: http://tinyurl.com/csvowy3

See, Wolfpack has a deal with the NBA and it also has the likes of “The Red Panda Acrobat” and “Quick Change” under contract. This happy coincidence is what gets us that oriental lady balancing plates on her seven foot unicycle and the babe that so magically changes her wardrobe at the blink of an eye. Wolfpack’s arrangement with the NBA also got us “The Russian Bar.” I’m not usually a betting man, but my guess is that some of Wolfpack’s other entertainers might be coming our way soon too. As I’ve always been partial to contortionists, I’m particularly looking forward to seeing what the likes of “Rubberboy” (The World’s Most Flexible Man according to the Guinness Book of Records!) will bring to the normally placid halftime confines of BLF.

So what did you miss in not seeing “The Russian Bar”? Or better, what the hell is “The Russian Bar”?

Well, it was not an assortment of flavored vodkas. Nor was it a group of Slavic lawyers. Nyet! Nyet!

Rather, it was a troupe of three acrobats properly called The Sandou Trio a/k/a “The Russian Bar.” Their act featured two burly guys (possibly former KGB agents, I’ll call them Ivan and Yuri) who were dressed up with head kerchiefs, a bit like pirates from the Caribbean, for no apparent reason. Ivan and Yuri were charged with the manly task of toting a long flexible bar out to center court. Then, a spritely ballerina type (who looked kind of hot to me), swiftly mounted the bar. The burly KGB guys -- each holding ends of the bar – then started bouncing it up and down, thereby using it to launch the Slavic ballerina sprite upwards into space, sort of like an attractive human Sputnik. The hot babe (I’ll call her Olga) was clad in a spangly bodysuit and did most of the work in the act.

See, “the Russian bar” on which Olga was perched served as sort of a launching pad. When the sprite gave the burly ones the nod, they would hoist the bar upwards and thereby propel Olga way up into the nether reaches of our arena. While airborne, Olga then did gymnastic front flips, back flips, and intricate twists and turns. Then, obedient to the laws of gravity, she fluttered downward invariably landing with her talented feet squarely on the Russian bar, which was kind of flexible, and bent gently under her diminutive weight. Not once did Olga land poorly or otherwise fall off the bar. This is a good thing, since there was no safety net and a misstep on her part could have been ugly.

Actually, further research on my part has revealed that Olga’s real name was Sandy and she was from San Antonio, Texas and not Moscow, Petrograd, or Kiev. This has disappointed me a bit. I was hoping for something more Zhivago-esque.

At any rate, you can watch them doing their thing on a tape from “America’s Got Talent” that I’m putting right here: http://tinyurl.com/d9e83aa

I give The Russian Bar a B+. Bring on Rubberboy!


Luis Scola, Houston Says Good Riddance! Argentine import Luis Scola has always been welcome to Area 55. Last year, you may recall, we greeted him at the free-throw line with one of our more memorable chants: “Wash Your Hair!”

Here’s Luis and the hair that inspired the chant: http://tinyurl.com/brpvnyd

Yes, Luis does sport a greasy mane reminiscent of the oily pampas grass of his South American homeland. He labored for 5 more or less unmemorable years in Houston, but was then waived and later acquired by Phoenix as part of the intricate maneuvering that ultimately garnered the Rockets the notoriously bearded James Harden. Luis’ lamentable locks earned him few fans in Houston. Following the trade, Rockets’ GM, Daryl Morely posted this Twitter response from a happy Houston fan:


Ironically, in James Harden, Houston acquired a player with possibly the most fabulously insane facial hair in the NBA. I can think of few players, for example, whose whiskers have served to inspire a fruit arrangement (http://tinyurl.com/d3xcyoe), a tasty dessert (http://tinyurl.com/ckcaxwd) or the entrance to a building (http://tinyurl.com/bljtxc7).

Here’s James in case you want a peek: http://tinyurl.com/cajdhbh

The Most Famous Proboscis in Poland! Last March, when Steve Nash was still in Phoenix, the Suns’ Polish center, Marcin Gortat, managed to break his nose by accidentally running into teammate Steve Nash’s head. It wasn’t pretty. Marcin went down hard and then bled all over the court.

Marcin took the injury in stride, tweeting thusly afterwards:

“I know my modeling job is over now!!!!!! so i can focus 100% on basketball!!!!! I had that nice deal with GUCCI and now ....:((((((“

Marcin elected to have his schnoz reset in a macho way too – without anesthetic. This was a mistake, as he later admitted:

"It was my fault," he said. "I should take an injection. It was painful. I don't want to use bad words. I had dirty pants almost."

Ah well. Time to go to press. Let’s tune up for Phoenix and help the Pacers put the Suns into a dark eclipse.


12-29-2012, 11:27 AM
Looking forward to the review of the cowboy monkeys. Personally it felt like a live infomercial...too much talk and not enough action, and at the end, I wanted to go out and buy a primate! But it's hard to bash an act where you have monkeys riding dogs!

12-29-2012, 11:31 AM
That review will be the province of Fighting Jon LaFollette. He was NOT happy with The Ghost Riders. Stay tuned!

12-30-2012, 09:52 PM
The Milwaukee Odyssey: At this point in the Newsletter I usually talk about PTO doings or slide into a few fun facts about the opposing team. However, my recent road trip to Milwaukee to see our boys handle the Bucks causes me to part from the standard format. A lot of people have been telling me they want to hear the particulars on what happened. Accordingly, here’s the poop. Read further at your peril!

The impetus that caused 13 devoted Pacers Tailgating Organization and Area 55 members to embark on an impromptu trip to the city of Laverne and Shirley began immediately after our win over the Bobcats. At that time, Kyle “Kielbeze” Brumback (flush with a home victory and doubtlessly inspired by beer) hatched a boozy plan with El Pacero to organize a quickie caravan to Milwaukee for the Pacers’ road game with the Bucks. I learned something was afoot just before the end of the Charlotte game. After Dahntay Jones had unloaded the last of his 19 points on the Bobcats, I looked down and saw Kielbeze directing his bear-like body upwards from the lower echelons of Row 6 of Section 101 and ambling toward where I was sitting in the rarefied air of Row 9.

I could tell that whatever he had in mind was going to be trouble. In Brumback’s case beer and thought always make for a dangerous combination.

Anyway, Kielbeze advised we 3 Row 9ers (i.e., yours truly, Brian “Pacers4Ever” Koller, and Colin “Paint Your Face” Lott) that a trip to Wisconsin was in the works. Then, without giving any of us much time to say anything about this one way or the other, he firmly advised us that we didn’t have much say in the matter anyway and that he had simply decided that we would be going. It went something like this:

“El Pacero will talk to Rob Laycock and nail us some tickets,” said Kielbeze. “And you, IndyHoya, will be one of the drivers!”

Yeah, it was on pretty short notice. And true, I can’t say I was extremely enthusiastic at first. After all, Kielbeze had more to drink at the PTO than I did. However, drunk or sober, Kielbeze is a persuasive guy. You can’t work as a collection agent for Sallie Mae without picking up some people skills.

Anyway, Kielbeze pooh-poohed all my perfectly reasonable excuses for not going – clients, work, a sense of responsibility, the wife etc. etc. After all, the Bear was farting off his own job in order to make the trip. Given that, he rightly pointed out that I’d be a total lamer if I didn’t do exactly the same thing. That almost persuaded me, but then he hit me with his most compelling argument – a succinct reminder of how Squad 6 had humiliated us in its visit to Conseco. That memory, of course, rankled. When I heard it, I decided that come hell or high water I would be driving my Toyota to Cheeseville.

In an ensuing post-game organizational conclave held in the Anthem parking lot, Kielbeze used his skills to dragoon two additional drivers – Justin Dumbrosky and Markus Beresford. And by 9:00 A.M. the next morning fully 13 would-be Argonauts had signed on for the expedition. Who were these intrepid soldiers-of-fortune? Well, as mentioned, there was moi, Joe Murphy, the lovable IndyHoya. There was Justin “The Polish Pacer” Dombrosky, and there was Indianapolis Markus. We were designated as the flotilla’s helmsmen chiefly because we owned functioning automobiles. It certainly wasn’t because of our bubbly and effervescent personalities. Our passengers – helping out with moral support and gas money – were Dave “Day-V” Dearing, the inimitable El Pacero, Colin Lott – a 19 year old psychotic, Big John the Phony Canadian Professional Wrestler, Bryon “BPump33” Pumphrey, our 18-year old NBA savant, Brian “Pacers4Ever” Koller , Zach “Red Foster” Brown, Rob “SuperFan” Greenway, Chris “PacersChants” Goff, and, of course, the main ursine instigator, Kielbeze. Not a bad crew given the short notice. I would have preferred a topless dancer or two, but space was limited. The trip was underway.

Accordingly, Saturday morning at noon, we rendezvoused at a northwest side location that shall continue to remain nameless. On my arrival with Koller in tow, I immediately noticed that there was this new, strange-looking dude among our number that I hadn’t really seen before. I figured he was somebody’s friend. But after I gunned my engine and set out, BPump told me the guy was none other than El Pacero – only sans mask.

See, the prospects of four and a half hours of mask sweat caused Pacero to doff his cover. I won’t describe the visage I saw in too much detail. If you want an image of what I saw, segue to that horrible scene from The Phantom of the Opera when the hero pulls his cover off!!! Aaargh!!! The disfiguring scars! The acid burns! The horrible contorted features!!!). Well, maybe I’m exaggerating a little here for literary effect.

Anyway, owing to his sharing us with his unmasking, all of us fellow-travelers were sworn to the highest degree of secrecy. I will therefore say little more here about what we all saw. Being fellow 55ers and buddies of Pacero, we all understood the need to preserve his well-earned aura of mystery. Accordingly, I will say nothing here to endanger his secret identity. However, the next time you order a pizza from Donato’s, scrutinize the features of your delivery guy carefully and tip him well. No, I’m not saying that El Pacero’s alter ego delivers pizzas for a living. I’m only saying that there’s a good chance that he does (*wink* *nudge* *hint*).

I will also say little about my actual trip from Point X to Milwaukee other than this. I was at the wheel of my noble 1998 Toyota Rav4 the entire time and Brian “Pacers4Ever” Koller served as my navigator. Traveling under these circumstances greatly intensified the excitement already inherent in the adventure. I have to say that Koller did his level best to keep me on the right roads during the trip. However, assigning important map work to a person suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder like Koller proved, in hindsight, to be something of a mistake. Yup, despite a detailed Yahoo Map I had printed off beforehand, and my ruthlessly steady hand at the wheel, with Koller navigating we managed to be lost approximately 70% of the time on the way to Milwaukee. To be fair, besides his ADD, Koller had only had around 2 hours of sleep before we embarked. Also, for some reason, he had swilled down a couple of dozen bottles of “Arnold Palmer Iced Tea” (golfer Koller’s favorite brand) before setting out. Koller’s tea drinking did unfortunately foreseeable things to his young bladder. As a result, our northward progress was sluggish. It seemed like whenever we were about to make some good time, Koller would start hinting about having to whiz on my Toyota’s s front seat upholstery. I don’t know how many unplanned stops we had to make. But I think we visited every McDonald’s john extant between Lafayette and Fowler.

Originally I was supposed to lead the assembled cars on our long odyssey, However, owing to Koller’s finicky bladder our expedition devolved quickly into a Ray Charles leading Stevie Wonder sort of thing. After the first 10 or 15 minutes of the trip, what with Koller’s navigating and urinating, we soon lost track of one another. When it was all said and done, every vehicle was pretty much forced to fend for itself.

My trusty Rav4 did manage to make it to Milwaukee without any serious mishaps (no thanks to Koller). However, when we made our approach we all (that is, me, BPump, Colin, and Koller) somehow managed to miss Exit 73A, the designated downtown Milwaukee entry point. As a result, we got to needlessly see where the Milwaukee Brewers play their baseball, view the exit for the town’s Zoo, and scan the get-off point for the famous Potawatomi Casino (which, judging from all the signs advertising it, is the principal basis of Milwaukee’s booming economy).

At long last, after finding ourselves in a strange place called Waukeesha (another town doubtlessly either founded or owned by Potawatomis), we all concluded that we were hopelessly lost and that we would have to do the extremely unmasculine thing of asking someone for directions. Accordingly, on Colin Lott’s particular insistence, we turned into a seedy-looking Waukeesha gas station to take stock and seek guidance.

I am ashamed to say that I wound up having to ask an effeminate-looking guy (possibly a gay Potawatomi) that was using a squeegee to wipe muddy water stains from his car windows (a popular local pastime in Milwaukee) for directional help. Our informant pointed a limp wrist toward a nearby highway, provided additional useful information and, as a result, we managed to double back to the mysterious 73A exit that we so successfully blew by in the first place.

Anyway, we then wound up taking a random downtown exit (it might have said Kilbourne Street, by that time I was hallucinating and can’t now be sure), passed the Marquette University campus (which took us all of about 30 seconds), found Fourth Street, and then took a decisive left. Then we had a “Eureka” moment.

There it was! Looming up out of the snow squalls and afternoon greyness that so typifies Milwaukee in February (and most other months as well) — a big, black, ugly mother of a building that bore the fabled name:

“Bradley Center.”

Hallelujah! We had scaled the mountain! We had made it to Milwaukee!

Our timing was good. We reached Brew Town just about 3 hours before tip-off time. Dombrosky and Markus had beaten me there, of course. They had already parked their vehicles in a fetid $20 lot surrounded by piles of blackened reminders of Milwaukee’s last snowstorm. After making sure of the fact that all of us had actually arrived intact and in one piece, we sucked on beer Kielbeze had thoughtfully brought along with him from Indianapolis while waiting for Pacero and Greenway to don their standard Area 55 garb. We then hiked a block or two over to our next major checkpoint – “The Old German Beer Hall” a/k/a “The Hofbrauhaus.”

The Old German Beer Hall is located on “North Old World Third Street” (or something like that). Just an aside here, but it occurs to me now, as I write this, that practically everything is old and German in Milwaukee except possibly the Potawatomi Tribe’s spanking new Casino). Whatever, it’s just a couple of blocks from the Bradley Center. I had previously visited Milwaukee on an earlier gray February to view a Georgetown-Marquette game and had stumbled into the Beer Hall by accident. That was one of the few good things that had happened to me on that trip. Anyway, I talked it up as a potential watering hole. No one else had any alternatives in mind, so we beat a path to it in fairly good order.

If you want to retrace our intrepid steps someday, here ya go:


The Old German Beer Hall proved to be a good choice. Once there, we decided to forego any further sightseeing or local Milwaukee tourist attractions. The beer (I had a frothy pitcher of “Amber”) was pretty tasty. After determining that the money we had brought with us was not counterfeit and that some of us actually did possess good credit, the bosomy young serving maids treated us pretty well. A representative portrait of the Beer Hall’s serving wenches is faithfully depicted below:


Big Jon was probably the one of us most awed by the Beer Hall’s waitresses. To paraphrase his comments at the time, there is just something endearing and welcoming about seeing a waitress, thusly attired, bouncing and jiggling her way towards you, while simultaneously hoisting 4 or 5 mammoth steins of genuine German beer. It’s about the closest thing to Valhalla one can experience without actually dying first in battle.

Anyway, after seating ourselves on the benches at the Beer Hall, most of us immediately loaded up on beer, mammoth pretzels, and wurst. We were all, of course, rigged out in our standard Area 55 Pacers gear and as we drank and caroused the locals in the place (who appeared to be of either German or Potawatomi ethnicity) were all eyeing us sort of warily.

We did our best to cozy up to the locals — explaining the noble purpose of our mission and cheerily chanting “Roy, Roy, Roy” at appropriate times as the Hall’s German dance music was playing.

This is where things turned a bit weird. Towards the back of the Beer Hall, close to where we were doing our drinking, some of the more manly of the locals were involved in a strange sort of game that entailed driving nails into a sawed-off tree trunk with a hammer.

It seemed a sort of silly pastime to me, however, mindful that we were, indeed, goodwill ambassadors from far off Indy, we kept most of our commentary to ourselves so as not to be any more offensive than we already were. Indeed, when a couple of the locals challenged our manhood and invited us to a nail-hitting competition, a few of our number rose from our benches to face the opposition.

As mentioned, this odd Milwaukee sport entailed picking up a heavy hammer (that, for some reason, was chained to the sawed-off tree trunk – possibly to prevent theft. Who the hell knows?.), and then using it to try to drive a nail into the top of the tree trunk with as few hammer-strokes as possible. Anyway, three of our baker’s dozen, uncowed and determined, faced the challenge. Their names shall be preserved in the annals of Area 55: Dombrosky, Big Jon, and Indianapolis Markus.

Dombrosky was first, and his attempt to heft the hammer and hit the nail got things off to a controversial start. He lifted the mallet and smashed it down pretty hard but his stroke didn’t entirely hit his objective – a nail that had been lightly started in the tree trunk. Rather, Dombrosky kind of grazed the nail, causing it to fly off the trunk crazily and ping violently against the glass cover of a framed picture of one of the notable German dignitaries (maybe it was Otto von Bismark or Kaiser Wilhelm, none of us were totally sure) that adorned a nearby wall. Anyway, Dombrosky’s stroke, and all the resulting smashed glass, added a sort of Hunnic festivity to the already wild mood of the competition.

The establishment’s owners, learning of the damage to their memorabilia took the unanticipated carnage reasonably well. I don’t think they even demanded that we pay for it. At any rate, Dombrosky, perhaps remembering the 1939 Nazi invasion of Poland, offered no apologies.

Big Jon the Wrestler was the next PTOer to heft the heavy hammer. And he hit his nail pretty squarely, driving it about three-quarters of the way into the tree trunk at one stroke. The smarmy locals that had invited him to participate were suitably awed. Indeed, none of their strokes matched his.

But the real hero of the day proved to be Indianapolis Markus, who somehow, some way, on his very first blow drove the nail down to its very head deeply into the cellulose bowels of the tree trunk.

The locals who had challenged us to the competition in the first place appeared greatly chagrined. Following Markus’ Meisterstroke, we heard no more invites to test our manhood in Milwaukee nail smiting. Indeed, all remarks about us being invading “Hoosiers” petered into a hushed silence. Markus had beaten the locals at their own game! Anyway, after Markus smashed his nail all the way in in a single blow, our detractors sort of slunk away into some of the more obscure areas of the Beer Hall. We didn’t hear any more crap from them for the rest of the evening.

The rest of us spent the remaining two hours swilling beer and ordering pretzels for no real reason other than to see our bosomy serving wenches come jiggling out to our table carrying them. After a while, a musician attired in lederhosen appeared and began playing a lot of Teutonic drinking songs. We chimed in with lusty choruses of “Hib-Hib-Hooroy” and “Sick-a-sycka, Sick-a- sycka, Roy, Roy, Roy!” (all of which sounded a lot better there at the Beer Hall while we were drinking and singing than it does now here where I put these lyrics to pen).

Kielbeze, always a good time sort of guy, even got our musician to pull out his huge Swiss Ricola Horn. Hence we were all treated to a couple of bass toots from that thing in return for our giving the tooter money for tips. However, all fun must end.

When game time approached, it was a lucky thing that Zach “Red Foster” Brown was there to ride herd on us. Otherwise, we would never have computed the proper amount of money that we needed to throw on the table to settle our bill. Trusting souls that we were, we basically kept throwing money down on the table until Red held up his hands and said: “Enough!” Then we then bade our dirndled serving frauleins a fond “Auf Wiedersehen” and staggered out into Old Third Street (or wherever the hell it was that we were). Only the tea-totallers among us – Koller and Lott — maintained their sobriety. The rest of us were feeling no pain.

For his part, Lott had spent most of the two hours or so that we spent in the Old Beer Hall in the establishment’s rest room painting up his face. When finished, it was, indeed, a fearsome thing to behold.

From the Beer Hall we then meandered our way through the Old Streets towards the arena, chanting “Pay-Pay-Pay Pacers” and slapping palms with the many friendly Milwaukeans we encountered along the way.

Most of the locals we met either just grinned at us or responded with amiable calls of “Pacers Suck!”

At this point in our narrative another small aside is appropriate. If any of you attempt to retrace the heroic path we blazed, and seek to visit the Bradley Center yourselves, be forewarned. Bring a strong flashlight and an ample stock of batteries. It’s darker than ****** in there.

When we groped our way into the Center, someone immediately thrust a box into my hands containing a goofy looking bobble-head designed in the likeness of Milwaukee’s former Hall of Famer and demigod, Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Somehow or other Koller got his mitts on two or three of these suckers. When I asked him his intentions, he muttered something about knowing where he could unload them in the near future for $35 apiece. On hearing that, I grasped my own Jabbar a tad more firmly.

We then advanced, Argonauts together, into the darkish, cavernous interior of the Bradley Center. Fortified with beer, none of us trembled. “Bring it on!” I thought. Whatever awaited – Götterdammerung, the taunts of hostile Milwaukeans, or an encounter with their antlered mascot, “Bango the Deer” – all of us felt ready.

The entryway to the Bradley Center had a carpet (I think it was black. Damned near everything in the Bradley Center is black) and stepping on it gave us momentary pause. Being used to bright and cheery Conseco, entering Bradley was quite a contrast. The entryway looked a lot more like an antiquated Holiday Inn lobby than a basketball arena. It was Day-V, I think it was who mused: “Where are the bellhops, the sign-in Desk, and the directions to the businessmen’s sauna?”

As we penetrated even further into the Bradley Center’s murkiness, our eyes were drawn to a smidgeon of dim light thrown outwards from some of the Center’s kiosks. Straining our eyes, numbers with arrows indicating directions to seating gradually came into focus. We eyeballed our tickets, looked again into the ebony murk, and realized that our seats were not together. Rather, we were an expedition divided, with our seating located in various and sundry sections of the arena. On closer examination we learned that some of us were seated in various parts of an area called “205.” The rest of us were placed on the opposite side of the Center in a region known as “216.”

Owing to the fact that the expedition to Wisconsin was on such short notice, the 205 and 216 tix Rob Laycock had scrounged up for us were about the best he could do. It meant, however, that we were being scattered and divided. We decided to see if there was some way we could manage to sit together – the numbers on our tickets notwithstanding.

We opted first to peruse the assigned seating in 216. The plan was to reconnoiter, and then take stock. Maybe a friendly usher could be persuaded to let us all sit somewhere together in the arena if we promised to be well-behaved. We learned quickly, however, that friendly ushers in the Bradley Center are about as rare and hard to find as a rose growing in a Wisconsin February.

When we got to 216 and stuck our noses in its entryway the National Anthem was being played. As we stood to attention, I for one, felt reassured hearing the notes of the Star Spangled Banner. I guess I didn’t know what to expect. Milwaukee’s a pretty German town. If I had heard “Deutschland, Deutschland Über Alles” being played, it wouldn’t have surprised me one bit.

After the Anthem, we all squeezed into some empty seats in 216. Locals gawked, not really knowing what to make of us. Mothers hugged their infants closer to their bosoms. Fathers and sons, initially stunned by our invasion, began to taunt and jeer. We loved it. I began to understand the rush that Big Jon must feel as a professional wrestling villain. There’s definitely something oddly pleasurable and stimulating about being despised by everyone around you.

Pacero and Greenway, of course, were both in their typical Area 55 finery. We all had Hibbert shirts and Pacers gear on. The locals were suitably impressed. Seeing the enemy like that up close can be a little staggering for anyone on first view. It was then, while the locals gaped and clucked at us, that we encountered the first of our troubles with the Bradley Center’s elite corps of ushers.

Given the fact that there were no locals sitting within the rows of seating in 216 that we occupied, and with the game about to get underway, we figured no one would mind our bunching up together in unticketed seating. If a ticketed seat owner actually showed up, obviously we’d have given them their seat and moved elsewhere. We figured that this arrangement would be okay with the BC ushers. We figured wrong.

Almost immediately after all of us sat down in 216, two uniformed ushers came up to us. One of them, a guy with a goatee, pointed at Greenway, Chants, and Pacero and started yelling to a compatriot that they weren’t sitting in properly ticketed seats. The compatriot, a similarly uniformed black guy, then told us that the three so indicated would have to move. He kept repeating that we would all have to sit in the seats that were tied to our tickets. It was a mantra we’d come to hear a lot more as the night wore on.

After trying to look dumb (which wasn’t hard for any of us) and pretending that there must have been some kind of seating mistake, the three offenders eventually got up to go. Kielbeze and I (who weren’t dressed as gaudily as Pacero and Greenway) didn’t have the right tickets for our 216 seating either, but, for some reason, the ushers didn’t seem to have any problems with our staying there. We were grinning a bit at that much of a coup when, suddenly, Chris Denari came bouncing up to us out of the Bradley Center’s shadows.

Denari started merrily shaking our hands and holding out the camera on his cell phone towards us so as to take our photos.

We obligingly crowded together for pictures and chanted a few loud “Hib Hib Hooroys!” for Denari’s viewing pleasure. Denari seemed genuinely pleased to see us. (It occurs to me now that he was probably happy just to see anything given the all-pervasive blackness that is the Bradley Center).

After Denari’s welcome, some of the locals sitting in adjoining seats must have figured that we were celebrities or that something special was going on. I say this because two or three of them started jumping out of their seats, ambling over to us, pulling out their cell phones, and asking us to repeat our cheering so that they capture digitalized versions of our act too. Pacero and Greenway were the principal attractions for the locals, but they seemed to regard all of us as a sort of a welcome novelty put there for their general amusement. “Poor fools,” I thought. “We are Pacers fans, and we have come to bury you!”

Anyway, we chanted, huddled together, and mugged for the locals until they seemed to have had enough of us. Then, as the photo-loving locals abated, our usher – the same black guy that had told Goff, Greenway, and Pacero that they would have to move – actually pulled out his own cell phone and began asking us to huddle together for a personal photo too. Thinking that maybe he had warmed up to us and our natural Indiana charm, we compliantly posed, let loose with a few more partisan Pacer chants, and let Mr. Usher snap photo after photo of us.

When Mr. Usher finally finished capturing us all in pixels and bytes, he then put his cell phone back into his pocket and, as if nothing previously had happened, again started demanding that those of us not holding the proper tickets for 216 get our butts out.

By this time, our former protector, Denari, had left and Mr. Usher, all smiles when Denari had been around, was now becoming nastier and nastier with us, continuing to insist that those of us that didn’t have 216 tickets leave.

El Pacero cogently pointed out to Mr. Usher the incongruity between the friendliness he had shown us just minutes before when Denari was talking to us and his present hostility. But incongruity didn’t bother Mr. Usher at all.

I tried talking to him too, pointing out that when Squad 6 had visited Conseco, they had been treated kindly. Indeed, in their visit to Indiana, Squad 6 had been allotted a bloc of over 40+ tickets – with all Squad 6 members being permitted to sit together. I told Mr. Usher that we were only asking to be shown similar courtesy. Unfortunately I didn’t get anywhere with him either. Reciprocity wasn’t in Mr. Usher’s playbook.

Accordingly, rather than provoke any further trouble, those of us without 216 tickets decided to hike over to the other side of the arena and move into our correct seats somewhere in 205.

Chants, Greenway, and I traveled together to 205. Unfortunately this safari was only the start of a number of nomadic sequences that lasted for most of the first and second quarters of the game.

After roving (or rather groping – the Bradley Center is as dark as a witch’s heart) our way through the Bradley Center and ultimately getting to its other side –where 205 was located, the three of us then took our assigned seating under the watchful eye of a new unsmiling BC usher.

After staking out our territory, we politely told the locals sitting in the seats adjoining ours that it was an old Area 55 custom to stand up and cheer throughout the game and that we did not wish to disturb them any more than necessary. We therefore told those immediately behind us that, if they wished, we would happily switch our seats in front of them so that their view of the game would not be inordinately disturbed by our standing. A guy and his date, whose view we would otherwise have blocked, amiably took us up on this offer and we exchanged our seats with theirs.

Some of the locals ensconced in seating proximate to ours seemed to be generally amused by our chanting. Others, however, didn’t seem to like it at all. One guy across an aisle from me seemed to be an avid collector of filthy hand gestures. I say this because he seemed eager to show me his entire repetoire. I have seen nothing similar other than perhaps once, when, on a visit to Rome, I chanced witnessing two Italian cab drivers gesticulating angrily after their hacks had collided with one another on a street near the Coliseum.

After settling into our seats in 205 for around 5 minutes or so, who should appear but Bango the Deer, the Bucks’ pathetic excuse for a mascot!

Yup, Bango seemed to be wandering aimlessly around in the section above ours. Goff, Greenway and I greeted him with a few “Smear the Deer” and “Roadkill” chants. Bango seemed surprised and a bit taken aback at our presence. Our chanting actually had even a few of the locals chuckling. After finally figuring out that we were hostiles, Bango then tried to slide down a railing to get a closer look at us. I respectfully cautioned Bango to be careful about sliding down railed banisters, reminding him of his unfortunate All Star Game accident where he had clumsily managed to fall through a basketball rim, strain his groin muscles and tear an ACL in his knee in the process. Bango seemed irritated by my well-intentioned reminder. He stared at me (the deer-in-the headlights metaphor comes to mind) while I was talking to him as if trying to figure out what he could do to me in revenge. Goff and I “ROADKILLED” him some more and then he left.

Around this time, Kielbeze ambled over to our seats and instructed us to come with him. We figured he had finally found us some collective seating and we gladly left 205 after first taking leave of all the wonderful Milwaukee friends we had made there.

Out in the dark passageway leading from 205 to the circulation area of the arena, Kielbeze was standing, chatting with a guy in Bucks gear that told us he was a Squad 6 member. When we asked them, he and his similarly-attired girl friend also claimed to be buddies of Chuckles Love, our Bucks Pacers Digest acquaintance. a man whom we had come to know after Squad 6’s visit to Conseco. When we explained to the Squad 6 guy that we had been unable to find a way to sit together, the guy apologized for the lack of hospitality and told us to come with him, promising that he would use his pull as a Squad 6 member to find us some otherwise vacant seating in the Squad 6 Area. We thanked him for his courtesy and obligingly followed him over to Squad 6’s area. Most of us clung to one another’s sleeves as we followed. By using this buddy system, none of us got lost in the Bradley Center blackness. Navigating in the Bradley Center is a lot like being in a darkened movie theater without those little lights they have on the aisle seats.

Anyway, on arrival in Squad 6, our pathfinder promptly stuck us in seats located in various parts of the Squad 6 Area. We weren’t together, as he had promised. Nevertheless, we made the best of things and tried to get situated. It was right at this point, thinking that sitting in Squad 6 wasn’t much better than sitting in 216 or 205, that I realized I had left my valuable Kareem Abdul Jabbar bobble-head under my last seat back in 205.

“Damn!” I thought. “I could have had Koller sell the sucker and split the take, thus netting me a cool $17.” Unfortunately, this realization was only the first of several misfortunes that befell us in the Squad 6 seating area.

On parking in the empty seating indicated by our benefactor, Greenway, Chants, and I by then were basically so tired from walking around the arena that we decided to hold off on our chanting for a spell and just try to watch the game. By this time, it was late in the first quarter and the score was still pretty close.

Unfortunately, we didn’t even have time to do a “Let’s Go Pacers” before another uniformed BC usher was up on us demanding to know if we had proper tickets. Taking him for a stupid lackey, I got all lawyerly with him (being a lawyer, it was easy). I told Mr. Lackey that we had been escorted to our seating with the blessing, and at the invitation, of Squad 6. I said it firmly. I could tell he was a moron because he then seemed to repeat what I said a couple of times. “They told you it was OK?” “Yes sir, they did. It’s perfectly OK for us to sit here.” “You’re sure it’s OK? ”Yes sir, it’s absolutely OK.” Chastened, he left us, muttering only “OK, I guess it’ll be all right then.” I again smiled firmly and courteously and our friend retreated off into more of the Bradley blackness. He eventually totally disappeared into the noir. All seemed well.

But no.

Approximately three minutes after my chat with Lackey #1, a new uniformed Bradley Center lackey, Lackey #2 — a tall gangly sort reminiscent of an elongated Barney Fife, only with a more officious manner – came up to us, demanding to see our tickets.

I tried the same, “Squad 6 said it was OK” argument on Lackey #2, but this time it was to no avail. So, one by one, like a herd of exiled cattle, the 13 of us were ousted from the proximity of Squad 6 and again ordered to return to our properly ticketed seating. A few if the Squad 6ers hooted at us, but we left chanting our stuff.

Squad 6, by the way, for all the people in it, wasn’t very impressive. True, they were all attired in red and white shirts and looked nice visually. But they sure weren’t very loud. I think the way their team was playing may have deflated them. Most of the members seemed to be just sitting around watching the Bucks fail. It reminded me a little of our Lakers home game back in the now happily remote, O’Brien era at Conseco. We were later told that some of the older Squad 6ers had actually resigned, owing to “political” conflicts with some of Squad 6′s newer members. Whatever the case, their product now did not look all that good.

After our banishment from Squad 6, one of us got the bright idea of giving up our expensive lower-level seating and trying our luck in the cheaper upper reaches of the Center. This upper area, known as “400”, is a strange locale, and accessible only to mountain goats with infra-red vision. There were lots of vacant seats up there in NoseBleedLand and moving there en masse seemed a realistic possibility. We elected to go for it. Sure we’d be far away from things. But what the hell, at least we’d be together.

Propelled by the thought that we gypsies might now actually find a home in 400 (where the only occupants seemed to be similarly ostracized ne’er-do-wells) we started our upward climb of bank after bank of ill-lit stairs. As I climbed I speculated on what sort of beings I would find seated up there. I figured that they were all probably felons, occupying the dark upper reaches of the BC as a well-deserved punishment for some kind of heinous and unnamed crime. No one, I thought, not even the uniformed BC usher/lackeys, would care if we parked our rumps in 400, where our only company would be llamas, mountain goats, and failed Alpinists. Section 400 was clearly not designed for pleasant basketball viewing. It was more like a Dostoevskian penal colony, a kind of sporting purgatory. Surely the BC coats would allow us to sit up there!
But again, I was wrong.

After groping our way through even more squid-ink blackness and two or three more flights of unlit stairs, we eventually emerged at a dimly lit entryway manned by another Bradley Center ushering goon. This one too told us that we couldn’t sit, even in 400, if we weren’t ticketed to be there.

Resignedly, we again retraced our steps, heading back from whence we came …stumbling and trudging, morosely, down, down, and down again, until once more we found ourselves in the lower reaches of the BC.

Here I noticed that there was perhaps more oxygen to breathe, but only a tad bit more light.

To me, it was beginning to seem so weird and Fellini-esque — the goofy ushers, the coal black passageways, the strange Bucks fans with their assorted “you sucks” and “kiss my asses.” My BC experience was like being a character in Sartre’s play, “No Exit” — where the characters wander about forever, chatting aimlessly about nothing, and essentially, doing, seeing, and accomplishing nothing. It was a basketball version of Waiting for Godot.

By the time we got back down to the Level 200 (home of good old Sections 205 and 216), the game’s second quarter was well underway. The three of us – Greenway, Goff, and myself, elected to give up on sitting together with the other 10 of our number. Yes, the Bradley Center had defeated us. Its evil ushers had won. Resigned to our fates, we slogged back to our real seats in 205.

When I reverted to my former seat in 205, I groped around under it, trying to find my lost Jabbar bobble-head. Of course, by now it was gone.


It was an interesting period piece, that lost bobble-head. As depicted, Jabbar had sideburns that our old coach, Jim O’Brien, would certainly have envied. I felt keen pangs of loss.

After taking my seat in 205, again friendless and now bobble-headless, I took the opportunity to wave a cheery hello to my old friend, the guy I had met there before with the repertoire of filthy Italian hand-gestures. In response, he stood up and amiably grasped his groin. It must have had some sort of local meaning, but I didn’t bother to ask for an explanation. Instead, I simply parked my rump again in my assigned seating, determined to at last savor more of that wholesome, family-oriented, NBA basketball experience that NBA Commish David Stern touts so frequently.

But suddenly my viewing bliss was interrupted by a new appearance from Bango the Deer!

In this second chance encounter, Goff, Greenway, and I pointed out to Bango that our home mascot, Boomer the Pacer Panther, for all his miscues, had never managed to fall downwards through a basketball rim and injure his groin. Bango ignored this observation and started spraying us with a can of “silly string” – a weapon that spewed gooey strands of some kind of silly-putty like stuff all over us. Bango’s antics greatly amused the benighted Teutons surrounding us. Cheap thrills for the masses, I suppose.

I have to admit that Bango got Goff, Greenway and me pretty good with his gooey strands. However his general aim was surprisingly bad and he managed to gunk up not only us, but also the hair and sweater of a foxy-looking blond that was sitting immediately in front of us.

Finally, his can empty, Bango left, probably to visit a salt lick or something. When he was gone, Goff and I spent the next 5 minutes or so removing the gooey strands from our clothing. I politely pointed out to the blond (who really was pretty hot) where the remnants were that were still stuck in her hair. She was not amused at the damage done to her coiffure. Then, it was half-time.

By pre-arrangement, Goff, Greenway and I then started trudging back to the other side of the arena to rendezvous with the guys that were situated in 216. Once more we plunged into the dank labyrinthine blackness of the passageways of the Bradley Center. As we trekked the outer hallways, from inside the arena’s floor we heard the sound of locals cheering, still celebrating the triumph of the Packers from Superbowl Sunday. There was so much Teutonic cheering and snorting to be heard that it caused me to wonder how Koller, a diehard Bears fan, must have been taking this. For my own part, I began developing an incipient dislike for Green Bay that had not been there before.

Feeling once again like Ferdinand Magellan and his lonely crew, Chants, Greenway, and I began our circumnavigation of the Bradley Center from 205 to 216. This entailed yet another trek around to the other side of the arena. As we walked, Chants started doing what he does best – chanting. Plainly Goff had never read Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” As he chanted, I discovered more and more people, like my friend in 205, that were familiar with filthy Italian hand gestures.

Chants and I were about half-way to 216 when we ran into a strange female usherette that stopped us and asked if we were satisfied with our seats now. I was about to unload on her but noticed that she was actually being serious. In talking further to her, we learned that the guys we were looking for in 216 had been routed by her to the Bradley Center’s Ticketing Czar. Apparently, after doing the proper obeisances and kissing the hem of his ermine robe, the Czar had allowed them, in an act of heartfelt generosity, to move to the 400 Upper Level. Yes, it seemed that we actually had been permitted to sit together after all and at long last – albeit with the bats, goats and Sherpas --in the lonely and isolated upper reaches of the Bradley Center.

Getting to the 400 Level again meant another spate of blind groping and stair climbing. However, Goff, Greenway, and I did finally get to a portion of the upper deck where, to our surprise, we discovered that around 8 or 9 of our retinue had actually been seated. We joined the soiree.

It was a strange, desolate area where we were finally perched. We were located immediately behind the Bucks’ 2nd Half basket. Still, if you strained your eyes, you could see the Pacer bench silhouetted in the faint overhead lights from the court. It was here – at long last together — that we definitively parked our fannies and watched the entire second half of the game.

Our usherette in this area, for some reason, was actually friendly. Plainly she had not received the general Bradley message to treat us like dirt. In chatting with her, she told us that so few people normally sat in her section that she always felt glad when someone actually came up there to see her. She told us, “I like it. It makes the time go faster when I feel like I have something to do. Nobody ever comes up here. Sit wherever you want.”

As mentioned, we pitched our tents and proceeded to finally watch the game. Squad 6 was in view, but really didn’t resonate. We couldn’t hear them at all.

And in the 4th Quarter, when the Bucks went 6 minutes without scoring and the Pacers built their decisive14 point lead, Squad 6 was particularly quiescent. It was then that we really intensified our chanting. We must have resonated because people below started turning their heads to curse us.

The locals in the BC, by this time, were so depressed with the course of the game that there was a lot of thankful silence in the arena. Hence we were probably more audible than would otherwise have been the case. To our surprise, as we looked down while doing our chanting, we could see that some of the Pacers down below were actually hearing us. It was an amazing thing. Brandon Rush and Paul George were nudging one another and pointing up at us. Then our hero, Roy, looked up at us and waved.

It’s a strange thing to say, but Roy’s wave really made our whole ordeal worth it to us.

With 3 minutes or so to go, the Milwaukeeites started giving up. They began filing out of the Bradley Center dejectedly, like stockbrokers who have just seen the DOW drop around 200 points.

I started yelling: “Hey! Where are you going? Hey, there’s still time! Hey! Your team’s still in this! You’re only down 14! Don’t leave now!”

Then it was over. We started plummeting downward, down again along more long twisting flights of dark stairs – I felt again like a coal miner coming up from the ground and heading for home at the end of a long day. I began to feel a strange sort of brotherhood with all those Chilean guys that had been trapped so long in their mine. The Bradley Center experience is a lot like that.

As we were leaving our seats in 400, a small balding guy and his date (who looked a lot like him) told us:

“Why don’t you guys grow up?”

I was tempted to show him a few of the filthy Italian hand-gestures I had assimilated from my friend down in 205 but, remembering our representative capacity, I resisted the temptation. Instead, I simply said, “Hey, come visit us in Indy! We’re going to the Playoffs!”

Our trip back to Indy was a long, generally uneventful 4 ½ hour drive. But it was fun. We were all half dead. But our boys had won. Area 55’s honor had been avenged from the Squad 6 visit. We had done about all 13 Pacers fans could do.

On the way home, Roy tweeted us:

“Big ups to Area55 members for coming to a road game. It’s messed up they moved y’all.”

Go Pacers! Go Area 55!
Joe Murphy (IndyHoya)

12-31-2012, 02:05 AM
Inspired by IndyHoya's description of his impromtu road trip, I would again like to appeal to both the Area 55 and G2 Zone leadership so that we may haul our collective superfan butts to an away game in even greater numbers! Greater participation, of course, requires planning well in advance, and would preferably involve a weekend or holiday game.

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are a few road games that take place on weekends or holidays where the driving distance is manageable. The noon Memphis game on Jan. 21 (MLK day) and the 7 PM Detroit game on Saturday, Feb. 23 appear to be the best candidates (5 hour drives). However, our own Director of Security for the Pacers suggested that of the 2 games I proposed, the Detroit game is probably the one to go to, as we may actually be able to get good seats there.

Let's start talking this up so that we can get a decent number of road-trippers!

12-31-2012, 11:49 AM

Salutations, 55ers!

This afternoon at 3:00 P.M. the Pacers will try to shrug off the stigma of their loss two days ago at Atlanta and go for a year-ending win against the interloping Memphis Grizzlies. In our last match up with our ursine foes, which came during the preseason, we edged the Grizz at home 83-80. It was a tight game, with Rudy Gay missing a 3 at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.

That game was a grind-it-out affair. And that’s not too surprising because, when you look at them, the Grizzlies are almost our statistical clones. They have a lot of size underneath in Marc Gasol and Zack Randolph, a lanky and smoothly high scoring forward in Rudy Gay, and two quality guards in Tony Allen and Mike Conley, Jr. Randolph and Conley have Indiana roots and, undoubtedly, will be trying to wow some of their ticket gifted homeboys that will be coming to BLF to see them play. Beating Memphis won’t be easy.

For one thing, the Pacers are a little banged up. Lance Stephenson (left groin sprain and a possible concussion) and George Hill (right thigh contusion) will probably play but won’t be 100%. Roy Hibbert continues to labor with a right hand/wrist malady that makes shooting with it extremely difficult. Sam Young is recovering from the flu. Danny Granger is still out with his knee injury (although, happily, he is now reportedly taking jumpers in practice).

At 19-8, the Grizzlies are currently 2nd in the Southwest. They play great D, leading the NBA in the fewest points allowed per game (90.1), just a tad in front of the Pacers (90.5). Like us, they also struggle to score at times, averaging 95.1 ppg to our 92.0. They steal it a lot, averaging over 9 per game. They like to bang too, averaging 43.7 points in the paint to our 39.0. They rebound it well too – 29.6 defensive boards per game to our 33.3. They come to Indy on the heels of an 81-77 home win against Denver. Worse, they’ve beaten us the last 5 times we’ve played them in the regular season.

My prediction? The Grizzlies will fall.

The Pacers had a tough loss in Atlanta. Their defense wasn’t up to its typical par and the Hawks burned us with good ball movement and with lights out shooting from mid-range, stinging us repeatedly with pick and rolls. The Pacers looked a little rusty. Maybe that Chicago postponement took some of our edge off. Hard to say.

Anyway, the Star’s Pacers sports newsie, Mike Wells, responded to our Atlanta loss by dialing in some blather about the Pacers being a mediocre squad that can’t beat class competition. Wells also repeated one of his favorite memes when we lose – basically, that it’s all Roy’s Hibbert’s fault and that Roy doesn’t merit his big salary. Wells’ postgame article, however, omitted mention of some of the other things that went wrong for us against Atlanta- an inopportune technical foul from George Hill, a blown 3 on 1 fast break opportunity that ended with Tyler Hansbrough knocking Lance Stephenson flat and sending him to the locker room, and a coaching decision to bench Roy that allowed the Hawks’ speedy guard, Jeff Teague, to pump in 10 points, mostly in the form of layups, in the last 4 crucial minutes of the game and end any hope the Pacers had for a comeback. If Wells was really worth all that money the Star pays him, maybe he might have reported a little on that too.

Road losses are admittedly tough. And Atlanta has always more or less had our number. But there is cause for hope. I think we’ll win against Memphis because the Pacers are usually better at home than on foreign shores. They also have a way of rising to the occasion after losses like the one in Atlanta. I kind of like our chances this New Year’s Eve, Wells’ negativity and all the contrary statistical imperatives notwithstanding.

And as for you, Roy, watch some film, play your game, and stand tall against Gasol and Randolph. And feel appreciated. Conley’s a Teague copy and we saw last night what a rapid guard can do to us when you aren’t in there. And keep your head up. Those points will start coming for you.

Get Well Jason Mills! I regret to report that Area 55 rookie mainstay, Jason Mills, was hospitalized after the Phoenix game – a victim of a hit-and-run SUV driver. Jason’s reportedly gonna be OK, but he’s pretty banged up.

The story on this is here: http://tinyurl.com/bedhald

Per his Area 55 cohort and friend, Jamie Freeman, Jason has a fractured hand, knee and skull, He’s in good spirits, though, considering. He tweeted this last night:

“Roy came to see me at the hospital. Love that dude and all my friends. Thanks to everyone for the love.” http://instagr.am/p/T4NCXIELfs/

This pics a little better: http://instagram.com/p/T5CRx-o23Y/

For the record, Jason’s at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis. You can follow his feeble tweets under his Twitter handle “Gingerdomis”

Get well quick, buddy! And all the best from Area 55!

PTO I wanted to pass on the following invite to Area 55 and all the PTO regulars from our buddy Peck, at Pacers Digest:

“There is the P.T.O. Pacers Tailgating Organization which I know has a good pre game showing. I would like to invite everyone to join us later in the night for the P.T.T.S. Pacers Trash Talking Society. We meet immediately after every game outside section one right near the green trash can (hence the name Trash Talking). We’ve been doing this for a few years and we have our regulars but I wanted to let everyone know that you are welcome to come join in or just stop by and say hi.

AREA 55 Ticket Exchange Our deal with Roy, in him giving us tix, is to show up for games, stand while play is underway, be in Pacers gear, and chant ourselves hoarse. The aim is to gin up the noise level in BLF and create a hometown atmosphere that makes it really tough on our opponents to play here. That means that we, as recipients of Roy’s largesse, need to really try to make it to the games. Remember, our presence at games is important. We know the drill. When we don’t show up, newbies occupy our seats and the Area 55 noise level suffers.

However, sometimes things happen and, for some reason or other, an Area 55 member can’t make it to a game. What do we do then? The answer is that you give your ticket to another 55er who will put it to use. This isn’t the optimal solution, but hopefully that receiving member will bring someone equally enthusiastic to replace you for the evening.

Loyal Area 55er, Yaniv Shmukler (who knows all kinds of dirty words in Russian) recently suggested our opening up a Facebook page so that members looking to score an extra ticket for a family member or a friend can connect with another of our members who is unable to attend. The aim is to facilitate an orderly exchange.

Understand, however, that this is NOT a place for buying and selling tix!

Thus, if you, as an Area 55 member, can’t go to a particular game for some reason, the idea is to have you tell other Area 55ers that this is the case so that you can give (not sell) another member your ticket. The member wanting a ticket for a friend or relative can thus use yours. That receiving person should see to it that the person getting your ticket comes to the game, dressed in Pacers gear, prepared to stand up and chant and otherwise participate in everything we normally do. That person is subject to our rules and code of conduct, just like everyone else in 101. It’s on you to see that this happens.

Accordingly, I have opened a primitive Facebook page titled “AREA 55 Ticket Exchange” where 55ers can post away concerning ticketing needs and availability. Don’t email me anymore asking if I know of any available tickets. Just go to the following Facebook page and make your needs and situations known there:


But a word of warning! If I hear of anyone abusing this; learn that Area 55 tix are being bought or sold on the site; or find out that the tix are going to lamers that are just going to sit on their hands and not participate in our thing, the site comes down.

This brings up another matter. We have lots of buy-ins in 101. Some of these people are great. They didn’t get selected by Roy, but they paid hard bucks because they still wanted to be a part of the zaniness of Area 55. But unfortunately a few of them are totally non-participatory -- sitting the entire game, doing no chanting, and generally taking the attitude that their ticket purchase allows them to behave just as they like and without regard to Area 55’s rules and purpose. All Area 55 members should try to get these reticent types, particularly those in the upper reaches of 101, involved in our noise. If they are sitting, tell them politely to stand up. If they are silent, urge them to chant. If necessary, nicely explain to them what we are all about. Remember 50% of 101 are buy-ins. If too many sit on their hands and keep mum, Area 55 looks awfully bad.

The Annual Area 55 / G2 Zone Road Trek My good bud, former Area 55er and present G2 Zoner, Joey Dynlacht (well, he’s married to a G2 Zoner, at any rate) sent me this:

“Joe, it might be prudent to start looking at dates if there is to be an Area55/G2 Zone road trip this season. I took the liberty of looking at the schedule. There are a few road games that take place on weekends or holidays where the driving distance is manageable. To me, the noon Memphis game on Jan. 21 (MLK day) and the 7 PM Detroit game on Saturday, Feb. 23 look like possibilities. I think we would be looking at 5 hour drives similar to the Bucks road trip last year. Of course, if Pacero reported being treated like a gentleman while at the last Chicago road game (or if he can give us the name of a good security team to accompany us), then I suppose the March 23 game in Chicago is also a possibility. For those of us with families and weird occupational schedules, the sooner we plan, the better!”

Okay, I agree! Let’s plan! Memphis sounds more attractive to me than the Motor City. Chicago sounds interesting too. So let’s hear from you. Send me your druthers. If there’s no consensus, I will pick a destination by executive order. Then I’ll check with Rob Laycock and see if we can scare up a block of tickets.

By the way, the annual road trip is always fun. I chronicled the epic journey we made to Milwaukee in Season I below. It’s kind of a long narrative, but hell, what else do you have to do?


Fighting John LaFollette’s Take on the Cowboy Monkeys from Hell! "You got this one, LaFollette," President Joe said in reference to Friday's halftime show at Bankers Life. "I hear it's monkeys riding dogs."

I went for it! In fact, I was entranced! How bizarre! How titillating! How humorous!. How imaginative!. Such an unthinkable and fascinating trio of words!

Monkeys. Riding. Dogs.

But in the end, how disappointing!

What promised to be one of the more memorable and fascinating halftime shows of this long season proved to be nothing more than the very definition of an earth-shattering let down.

When Tim Lepard, a 44-year-old ex-rodeo entertainer who goes by the nickname "Wild Thang," introduced his duo of canine-riding primates -- dubbed "The Ghost Riders" -- to a soundtrack featuring a fanfare of triumphant trumpets, no less, those of us who remained seated in the arena were initially wowed. There they were! Tiny capuchin monkeys wearing Pacers gear and sporting little bitty cowboy hats actually mounted on saddled border collies! We held our breath in keen anticipation, waiting for the tricks, the stunts and the big payoff that we all knew was sure to come.

Instead, what we got was a long, overly drawn out, and thoroughly lame-o motivational speech from Lepard (which was largely inaudible, or rather, made indecipherable due in large part to his slow and irritatingly affected cowboy drawl). And when all was said and done, neither his dogs, nor their monkey jockeys, really did very much either. Basically, the monkeys just sat there on their saddles and aimlessly sported around on their collies for a while, mostly looking petrified, frozen and victimized. As a fellow primate, I felt for them.

Then came what I guess was the grand finale -- one of Lepard’s canines lifted a furry leg and pissed on the Pacers’ half-court logo (Perhaps he was a Suns fan?). At any rate, by the time “The Ghost Riders” finally made their way to the exits (and the crack BLF maintenance team had finished mopping up their mid-court residue), many of us that had endured it all sat together, looking at one another in perplexed silence sharing a "WTF?" moment. Others (including myself) were more vocal, letting loose with the disapproving boos and hisses that the whole truly awful performance actually merited.

Seriously? That was it? Was this entertainment? No flips? No skips? No Frisbee catching? Not even a "sit" or a "speak"? Mostly, it was a couple of scared monkeys atop some insipid dogs galloping around the arena with their cowboy/conman owner mumbling to us inaudibly, in a manner reminiscent of Boomhower from "King of the Hill”:

"Dag gum man, I tell you what man, that there ol' halftime show man, it straight up sucked worse than Tony Romo man, I tell you what."

The excruciating eight half time minutes of “The Ghost Riders” were so devoid of anything captivating, flashy, or even remotely interesting, that this confirmed non-smoker almost thought about picking up the cigarette habit, if for no other reason than to have an excuse to miss out on one of the most mind-bogglingly empty-headed half time events ever to grace Bankers Life Fieldhouse.


A Very Good Read on Zach Randolph Marion’s own Zach Randolph is a controversial guy. Some love him; some hate him. But here is a very good article I found on what makes him tick. We forget sometimes that NBA ball players are human beings and not simply fodder for the all-knowing pundits gracing us with their learned opinions on ESPN Sports Center. Take a look! It's really a good read.


Some General Stuff to Know About Memphis! This is important stuff that any real fan needs to know about Memphis:

1. How Best to Get Out! Memphis is the home of the first Greyhound and Continental Trailways bus lines! So, if push comes to shove, you can always take a bus out of Memphis!

2. Where to Grocery Shop! The Piggly Wiggly, the world's first self-service grocery store, opened in Memphis in 1916! Pork has been a Memphis staple ever since.

3. Memphis - Bar-B-Q Capital of the World! Basketball is not king in Memphis. The favorite sport there is competitive barbecuing. And the culmination of competitive barbecuing takes place at the “Memphis in May” Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest held, logically enough, in May each year in Memphis. To get a real flavor for this event it is suggested you slug down a shot of Open Pit and then take a gander at the following video:


Or, if you want to just get down to the eye-candy, here’s a peek at MIM’s “Miss Piggy Contest.”


How Did the Grizzlies Get Their Name? The current Memphis Grizzlies had their origin in 1995 when the NBA expanded into Canada, where they were known as the “Vancouver Grizzlies”. In 2001 they abandoned Vancouver and moved to Memphis. In moving, they followed the standard NBA rule of thumb and kept their Grizzlies nickname, this despite the fact that grizzly bears have never been known to roam east of the Mississippi. FedEx, which is headquartered in Memphis, wanted them renamed the “Memphis Express.” The NBA nixed that idea, ruling that no NBA team could be named after a corporation. An additional tidbit! When the team first came to Vancouver, the owner wanted to call them the Vancouver Mounties. That nick was dropped when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police interposed strenuous objections. This is regrettable. I would have loved playing "the Memphis Mounties".

Meet Grizz, the Grizz Girls, and, the Grizz Grannies!

A. Here’s Memphis Mascot Grizz doing his now NBA banned “Dreaded Ring of Fire” thing! (Hot!)


B. And here are the Grizz Girls! (Hotter!)


C. And best of all, the Grizz Grannies! (Warning! Hottest of All!)


Still want to do a road trip to Memphis? Hell! I forgot all about its real drawing card, Elvis! Maybe we could do a side trip to Graceland!


tora tora
12-31-2012, 12:39 PM

01-02-2013, 12:45 AM

Salutations, 55ers!

OK, now it’s 2013! And surprise, surprise! Our Pacers ended 2012 on a high note, deftly dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies at home 88-83. That win put us back on top of the Central, and up one full game on Chicago and Milwaukee.

All told, it was a nice team effort. Basically everyone picked up the slack for a missing George Hill (who had to sit out with a thigh contusion). It was a breakout game for D. J. Augustin, who got big minutes and responded. He popped in a season high 17 points in his fill-in role. Paul George too was stellar, holding Memphis’ leading scorer, Rudy Gay, to 3-17 shooting while pumping in 21 points and garnering 5 assists, 2 steals and a block. D-Train was tough when he had to be – as usual, and at crunch time. Roy played a pretty good game too – netting 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 blocks.

Tonight, we get another home view from 101 as the hapless Washington Wizards come to town.

On paper, the 4-25 Wizards should be easy pickings. They have the worst record in the NBA and are coming to Indy on the heels of a loss last night at home to Dallas. They are 1-10 on the road.
The Wizards are also riddled with injuries. Their best player, John Wall has been out all season with a bad knee. Last night, Trevor Booker (strained right knee), Trevor Ariza (strained left calf), A. J. Price (broken hand) and leading scorer, Jordan Crawford (sore left ankle) were all DNPs. Nene has returned to center, but he’s playing limited minute due to plantar fasciitis. The injuries led the Wizards to recall ex-Butler standout Shelvin Mack and Garrett Temple from the D-League to fill in. Mack isn’t 100% either, playing limited minutes due to a groin strain incurred recently in a game the Wizards lost to Chicago. True to form, they lost again at home last night to Dallas.

Yup, on paper we should absolutely smear the Wizards. And that’s what worries me. Two of the Wizards’ wins this year came over the Heat and the Thunder. Also, they’re playing better with Nene back in the lineup. They’ve been in a lot of games but haven’t been able to finish well. We have to take a team as desperate as them seriously.

Annual Road Trip OK, road warriors, what’s it going to be? Detroit on Saturday February 23rd at 7:00 P.M. looks like a target date for a road trip. A large block of tix for MLK Day in Memphis is not likely to be do-able. Therefore, let me know how many of you are interested in going to Detroit and whether you’re willing to buy your ticket. Rob Laycock tells me he’ll check on the potential availability of a block of them in Motown once I give him a heads up on our potential numbers and monetary wherewithal. Email me with your inclinations ASAP or talk to me about it at tonight’s game. We need to start getting things lined up right away.

Hypnotic Half Time Act Leaves BLF Crowd in Stupor! Perhaps it was numbing carryover from the dog-riding monkeys. Or maybe folks at the Memphis game were drunk or just tired. Whatever the case, fans there were pretty much put to sleep by the half time stage mesmerism of Tom Silver, “The World’s Greatest Hypnotist!”

Hypnotist Tom from Los Angeles (as he calls himself on his website), wearing a funny sort of sparkly hypno-tux (Possibly this was an homage to Liberace or maybe he was just going to a New Year’s Eve party afterwards. It could have been either or both), started the ball rolling early, trolling the crowd for “volunteers” that were “willing to be hypnotized”. Thus, he had a full 24 minutes to do his Svengali thing on the feeble-minded before his skills would be put to the acid test at half time. Eager to be mentally euthanized, lots of Hoosier hands amiably went up. Hypno Tom then chose around 25 people.

Lots of Area 55ers’ hands shot up too. I know faithful 55er, Hobert Montgomery IV, (seen volunteering below) was particularly disappointed that he was not selected.


But Tom knew better than to pick the likes of anyone from Area 55. He opted instead to get all his victims from the notoriously suggestible lower levels of BLF. This is when I began to smell a rat.

See, it is a well-known fact that weaker minds abound in BLF’s more expensive lower seating. The ticketholders there are half-hypnotized already and mostly snore through their Pacers games. Thus, in selecting from their narcoleptic number, Hypno Tom cleverly gained a decisive hypno-advantage right from the get-go. Indeed, about the only thing known to roil the typical lower-level ticketholder is the prospect of a thrilling Fourth Quarter T-shirt Toss. Hell, everyone – including Hypno Tom -- knows that!

Anyway, at half time, Tom reappeared, all spangly and energetic, with around seven or eight of his more docile and somnolent selectees. He quickly had them all sit down in chairs strategically placed at mid-court. We were never told what happened to the remainder of the 25 or so that Tom had picked earlier. Possibly they resisted his mesmeric wiles. Then again, they may now be playing cellos in the ISO or, even better, rapping out some backup for Jay-Z.

Once he had his benumbed acolytes seated, Tom promptly ordered them to “Go to sleep!” And damned if that isn’t just exactly what they did! Heads were lolling and snores were heard even at club seating levels. I would have drifted off too, but the Newsletter’s normal reviewer, Fighting Jon LaFollette, wandered off somewhere with his pert red-headed squeeze and stuck me with doing this review. Hence, I had to keep my eyes open and my head clear and alert to monitor for any untoward shenanigans.

Once he had the locals sleeping, Hypno Tom then started shoving them in their backs, possibly to wake them up, saying stuff like “Stand up! You’re a concert violinist!” And sure enough, the ones he shoved all stood up and started sawing away on imaginary fiddles like they were all Yitzak Perlman. It was kind of like a silent hoedown. Then Tom made them all sit down, and then get up again and play guitars! Then sit down and then get up and play pianos! It was like watching a silent, musical chairs version of “The Music Man” only with the sinister all-controlling Hypno Tom playing the role of a sort of evil, mind-controlling Professor Harold Hill.

Tom stayed with a musical theme throughout his act. But abandoning instrumental musicianship, he next turned his subjects into performers, with the hypnotized then assuming, alternately, the roles of hip-hop artists, opera singers, and even hot-bodied erotic rock singers. Being Irish, I particularly liked his chosen finale -- when he turned everybody into obnoxious Riverdancing step dancers. True, none were as good as Michael Flatley, but the effort was certainly there.

Whether the participants were or were not really “Hip-Mo-Tized” during the spectacle was a subject of great debate in Area 55 afterwards. I dunno. But I’m pretty sure that not all of them were. One of the “hypnotized” totally blew it – standing up from his chair to hip hop before Hypno Tom shoved him in the back and actually told him to do so .

I once read somewhere that most stage hypnotists get the job done by using cooperative, compliant audience types that so want to be part of the act that they are willing act like, and sometimes even believe, that they are hypnotized. Once selected, they’ll do whatever the hypnotist wants simply because they don’t want to ruin a show that they’re an important part of. Another favorite stage hypno-control technique is for the hypnotist to give the subjects $10.00 apiece and urge them to go along with everything for venal monetary reasons. I think the latter was Hypno Tom’s method. It’s the surest way!

Well, Hypno Tom from L.A.’s act was something different. It was a bit better than its predecessor -- the devil-dog hell-riding monkeys from the Phoenix game -- but not by much. The whole thing could have been a lot better. A little sex would have helped. For example, if Hypno Tom had grabbed some of the Pacemates, hypnotized them, and turned them into his eager love slaves I would have been more intrigued. I’m just throwing ideas out here, mind you. Tom’s act needed something - more pizzazz. A little prurient sex, and less imaginary music, certainly might have helped.

By the way, if you weren’t selected by Tom and you still might want him to hyp-mo-tize you, you can call him at 1-805-384-1040 or visit him at his website at www.tomsilver.com As Tom says: ***REASONABLE RATES ***


Just How Bad Is Washington? Answer: Pretty Bad! If the Pacers weren’t playing them tonight, I’d probably be rooting for the Washington Wizards. Playing them on most nights is a bit like drowning a puppy. There isn’t much glory in beating them. At 4-25, the Wizards presently have the worst record in the NBA. Beating them calls to mind horrendous images: It’s like the bully kicking sand in the face of a weakling at the beach, and then walking off with his girl! It’s like the neighborhood ruffian stealing junior’s lunch money. It conjures up scenes of burly high school lettermen pouring water into the class nerd’s felt-tipped pens.

How bad are the Wizards? Well, pretty bad. Awfully bad.

Charles Barkley, with “Sweet Georgia Brown” whistling in the background on TNT, refers to them as the Harlem Globetrotters’ old foil – “The Washington Generals.”

“You want to call them, Bullets, Wizards. I call ’em the Washington Generals,” Barkley said. “Hey, that’s my man Meadowlark Lemon out there!”

On Craigslist, a Wizards season-ticket holder recently gave away his tickets for free.

“I am selling my two Wizards tickets tonight at $20 each,” the ad read. “If the Wizards do not beat the Spurs, I will refund your money.”

An ensuing subsequent 26-point shellacking by San Antonio wound up costing the guy $40. But, hey, at least he didn’t have to go watch them in person.

Last year, just before the lock-out, a Washington Post poll found that less than half of D.C-area sports fans — only 44% — had a favorable view of the team. And just 29% of NBA fans in the region named the Wizards as their favorite team in the survey. A surprising 14%t of the region’s NBA fans listed the Lakers as their No. 1 team, while 9%t named the Celtics and 7% picked the Miami Heat. That was last year, when the Wizards were better. God knows what such a poll would reveal today.

The downward spiral has affected the team. For former Pacer and present Wizard’s guard A. J. Price, all the losses have altered his TV viewing habits:

“You can’t really watch TV,” Price said before the Wizards faced the Knicks at Madison Square Garden recently. “You can’t really watch ‘Sports Center’ or NBA TV, the stuff you normally watch, because you don’t want to see what they say about you. That’s been the hardest part.”

What happened to the Wizards?

For three straight years, they drafted high in the lottery, nabbing a trio of coveted young players: In 2010 they obtained a sure-fire star in John Wall, who’d dazzled college basketball in his one season at Kentucky as a freshman. Next, they picked a terrific athlete in Jan Vesley, a 6’11” center blessed with great energy and solid defensive presence. Finally, in Bradley Beal they acquired a scorer who made the game look easy.

Of course, there was no guarantee that these lottery tickets would pay off. For the most part, they didn’t.

Wall showed little progress in his second season, and then came the knee damage that has sidelined him for this season. It’s the kind of injury that might waylay forever a star whose forte is his athleticism. But what’s worse is that Wall’s running mates have turned into a bizarro version of their earlier lottery-pick promise.

Jan Vesely (the Wizards’ #6 pick in 2011) is presently averaging 2.2 ppg. He’s also arguably the worst free-throw shooter in the league. At times “he’s just running around out there,” Wizards Coach Randy Wittman said of him earlier this year.

Drafted for his scoring ability, Bradley Beal (the Wizards’ #3 pick this season) is shooting 36% from the field and 28% from three. Wittman recently benched him following a loss last week to the Cavaliers.

Kevin Seraphin (the Wizards’ #17 pick in 2010), a pleasant surprise in the spring, has painfully regressed; his PER of 10.5 is well down from the 15.8 he posted last season.

Chris Singleton (the Wizards’ #18 pick in 2011) now appears to have fallen out of the rotation.

But the problems don’t end with the Wizards’ young players. The problem is the team’s lack of ability. The problem is their late-game execution. The problem is their injuries. The problem is that there are too many problems. Take your pick.

It’s sad to pen yet another post about the Wizards’ ongoing struggles. But until the team figures out a way to demonstrate progress, their story will only be about their inability to win. Unfortunately it’s about all you can say about a team that’s lost 25 of its 29 games this year and is on the way to yet one more horrifying season.

Fan ardor in Washington too has understandably dimmed. See below:



Ah God, help the Wizards. But not tonight.


01-02-2013, 02:44 AM
Thank goodness for IndyHoya's recent review. It allowed me to put the commercial breaks between episodes of SyFy' New Year's Twilight Zone Marathon to good use. Now...let me shed some light upon the mystery of "The Hypmotizer." I'll state for the record that I was one of those "weaker-minded lower seaters" for the Memphis game. When Hypno-Tom solicited volunteers, neither I nor my daughter's hand went up. Instead, I actively campaigned to have Hypno-Tom select the nice-looking lady sitting next to me. My gesturing worked, and she was selected. Much to my chagrin, however, she returned not 10 minutes later. When I asked what happened, she said that if she had agreed to participate in the show, then she would have had to miss the entire first half, which was something she and many other "selections" did not want to do. Thus, with many folks having returned to their seats, we suspected that the selection process was part of the illusion, so to speak! I mean, how many people, especially the guys, would forfeit half a game, especially at the prices that lower level seats are going for? My daughter and I decided that the group that actually allowed themselves to be hypnotized were either plants traveling with the Hypno-Tom act or local "talent" hired by Hypno-Tom (whom which would receive more than $10 for their performance). The latter seems more likely, as my daughter spotted one of the "hypnotees" leaving BLF after the game with her friend/boyfriend/husband. So, there ya go!

01-02-2013, 10:09 AM
See! Shame your lady-friend didn't go forward with the hypno thing and expose Hypno Tom for the fake Rasputin that he really was!

duke dynamite
01-02-2013, 11:23 AM
Thank goodness for IndyHoya's recent review. It allowed me to put the commercial breaks between episodes of SyFy' New Year's Twilight Zone Marathon to good use. Now...let me shed some light upon the mystery of "The Hypmotizer." I'll state for the record that I was one of those "weaker-minded lower seaters" for the Memphis game. When Hypno-Tom solicited volunteers, neither I nor my daughter's hand went up. Instead, I actively campaigned to have Hypno-Tom select the nice-looking lady sitting next to me. My gesturing worked, and she was selected. Much to my chagrin, however, she returned not 10 minutes later. When I asked what happened, she said that if she had agreed to participate in the show, then she would have had to miss the entire first half, which was something she and many other "selections" did not want to do. Thus, with many folks having returned to their seats, we suspected that the selection process was part of the illusion, so to speak! I mean, how many people, especially the guys, would forfeit half a game, especially at the prices that lower level seats are going for? My daughter and I decided that the group that actually allowed themselves to be hypnotized were either plants traveling with the Hypno-Tom act or local "talent" hired by Hypno-Tom (whom which would receive more than $10 for their performance). The latter seems more likely, as my daughter spotted one of the "hypnotees" leaving BLF after the game with her friend/boyfriend/husband. So, there ya go!

Didn't you notice two of the "contestants" wearing shirts from the Fan Jam? They probably gave those to them to wear to look like "real fans". However, their shirts were really big and baggy.

01-02-2013, 12:05 PM
Didn't you notice two of the "contestants" wearing shirts from the Fan Jam? They probably gave those to them to wear to look like "real fans". However, their shirts were really big and baggy.

Aha! More phoniness detected by Dukie's keen eyes! Hypno Tom could be the worst case of halftime fraud to hit BLF since Dan Menendez, The Piano Juggler, came to town! I'm writing an angry letter to Commissioner David Stern about this later today! I want an investigation!

01-04-2013, 09:44 PM
Good review on the first Milwaukee trip. I'm glad that last years trek up there went much more smoothly. It was probably the most memorable part of last season for me. This potential trip to Detroit, however, sounds like it could be even better with G2Zone also being involved.

01-05-2013, 01:36 PM

Salutations, 55ers!

Sometimes it is best to say nothing about some games. Our brief sojourn in New England is one of those times. I have repressed its memory. There….Hey, who do we play next?

Answer: The Milwaukee Bucks, who have beaten us twice in rather humiliating fashion. Personally, I am tired of humiliation. I want revenge. Hopefully, we’ll see some tonight. I’m optimistic. The Pacers are pretty mercurial. They tend to bounce up and pop teams after someone squashes them flat.

Tonight, our antlered friends from Cheese Country leave their usual salt lick to visit the warm confines of The Bank. Last night, they were dispatched neatly by the Rockets 115-101 and have now lost 3 in a row. Their big guns, Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, had a so-so night, scoring 12 and 16 points, respectively. The Bucks' big problem was 25 turnovers and poor perimeter defense. The Rockets' Carlos Delfino went 6-7 from 3-point land and James (“Fuzzy”) Harden pumped in 29 points on them. My guess is the Bucks' coach, Plymouth, Indiana's own Scott Skiles, was less than happy. At any rate, we shouldn't be viewing the Bucks on one of their up notes.

The key to beating Milwaukee is containing Ellis and Jennings. As they go, so go the Bucks. In the last two games we didn’t do that and lost big time. However, I think we can do this at home, particularly if we pressure our antlered friends into the same sort of turnover night that they had against Houston. The Bucks really have no answer to David (“D-Train”) West, whose recent shooting funk, I think, will end tonight. Also when we played the Bucks before Tyler Hansbrough was a different sort of psychotic than he’s been lately. Roy’s game too has been modestly improving and he’s way overdue for a breakout night. Add Area 55 and the G2 Zone into the mix and I think we come away with a win. I’ve been pretty good on my predictions lately too. Better than Mike Wells, anyway. Let’s see what happens!

Detroit Road Trip There’s been a lot of early interest in the Detroit Road Trip, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd at 7:00 P.M. At last count, I’ve got something like 43 names down just from Area 55. I’ve heard that G2 Zone has a similarly lengthy list. Pacers Marketing Jefe, Rob Laycock, will be looking into the possibility of scoring us a block of tickets at, hopefully, reduced rates. Hell, maybe we can score a bus too. Watch this Newsletter for further info.

The Western Boone Star Force Dance Team Comes to BLF! At the Wizards game, fans were treated to the martial choreography of the Western Boone High School “Star Force” Dance Team. Sadly, I was not all that wowed by their performance. I was hoping to see the bend-o antics of Rubberboy (“The World’s Most Flexible Man”), so I confess to viewing “Star Force” with a somewhat jaundiced eye right from the get-go.

But there are other reasons for my giving "Star Force" just a ho-hum review. Frankly, I’m always just a tad underwhelmed when PS&E opts for unpaid halftime amusement from the happy feet of local area dance or exercise troupes. I’ve always suspected that such interludes are not really intended to be seen but, rather, are periodically inserted into BLF halftime fare simply to gin up sales of beer, hot dogs and popcorn at the elite Blue Flame Grill. These extravaganzas don’t really cater to the jaded tastes of Area 55ers like me, that have been forced to watch their ilk at Pacers halftime shows over and over again now for three solid years.

Nope, I admit to having a preference for the slicker weirdness which comes from paid regulars - the professional NBA halftime charlatans like Tom Silver (“The World’s Greatest Hypnotist”) or Dan Menendez (“The Piano Juggler”) for example. When you have to stay in your seat to watch amateurs like “Star Force”, you never really expect much and always have to concede the tyros style points just because they’re homie wannabe entertainers that don’t know any better. With David Stern's paid family-fun pros, I feel less inhibited. I can let loose with a stinging review or a boo and a hiss at the conclusion of a performance with no pangs of conscience whatsoever.

All that said, I still have to scratch my head a little to describe here exactly what “Star Force” was all about.

As far as I could tell “Star Force” consisted of around 20 or 25 high school students -- mostly girls, but there were a few guys in there too -- from Thorntown, Indiana (where Western Boone H.S. is located and where “Star Force” is apparently headquartered). The troupe’s members were all dressed oddly – wearing Army surplus camouflage fatigues and black combat boots. Some were in full camouflage. However, a few of the women in the group (who looked kind of hot to me!) had spangled black clingy tops on, which sort of detracted from their decidedly camouflaged pants. I like the sexiness of clingy black tops however, so the troupe picked up a style point or two for that.

The use of all the camouflage gear actually puzzled me. Perhaps Star Force was trying to meld into the shrubbery and not be seen. But if that was the idea, it was an epic fail since jungle flora into which they could merge was distinctly lacking at BLF center court in wintry Indianapolis on January 2nd. Despite their camouflage, I could see them all quite well.

Their dance act was OK. It was pretty energetic and set to some bouncy rhythmic musical stuff that I (being hip-hop challenged) didn’t recognize. The dancers all seemed to be in sync, so I can’t fault them on their choreography either – which seemed to borrow a lot from Hong Kong cinema. It featured plenty of karate-style punches, some Taoist arm folds and oodles of synchronized kicking. I don’t know if there was an intended theme to it all or not. To me, it looked like a promo for “Jackie Chan Leaves the Shaolin Pagoda and Joins the Green Berets” but I readily admit that other viewers may have had a different take. Anyway, “Star Force” punched and kicked away frenetically for a good 6 or 7 minutes and then exited to good-natured applause from the largely indifferent crowd. Maybe the fans were simply recovering from a New Year’s Eve hangover and were in no condition to be picky about their 2013 halftime fun. Maybe they were still hyp-mo-tized from the Memphis game's show. It's hard to say.

Personally, in keeping with all the commando fun, I would have liked to have seen a couple of chicken wire and paper-maché tanks or armored cars mixed in with the dancing. Or perhaps, if Star Force’s deal was to emulate a Navy Seal strike – which is one possibility – maybe we could have had a couple of dancers sporting A-Team mohawks and chains a la Mr. T or perhaps a couple of turbaned terrorists or camels thrown in for light comic relief. The act needed something more than what we were shown. For instance, I would have liked to have pit them against the Korean Tae Kwan Do Academy that appeared a few weeks ago. Then we could have had more realistic kick carnage. Also, sporting types like me could have placed bets on the body count after all the stylized blood and gore was over.

As goofy as the Star Force performance was, I am thankful for one thing -- there was no Armed Forces swearing-in ceremony at its climactic end. While an army veteran myself, I still confess to having pacifist tendencies. Yeah, I know it's stimulating and patriotic and all, but personally I’m a little tired of our ongoing halftime glorification of war. More to the point, I’m still reeling from the awfulness of the mass Air Force swearing-in ceremony that passed for halftime fun back when we played New Orleans.

All in all, I still give “Star Force” a solid B. It coulda been better, but they were, after all, just unpaid high school kids and the effort was there.

Time to go to press!


01-08-2013, 12:10 PM

Greetings, fellow 55ers!

Well, tonight’s the night, fellow fun-seekers. Time for a rematch with the team that put us out of the Playoffs last year. Yup, our foe this fine eve will be the hated Miami Heat. If there was ever cause for Area 55 to be extra loud and vocal, this is it! I like our chances. Why’s that?

Well, first of all, we’ve got them at home. And that means something to us. George Hill put it this way:

"Coach (Frank Vogel) is holding us accountable to protect our home court. Like he says, this is supposed to be sacred ground, something we have to cherish when other people come into this arena. It takes all of us, and that's what we're buying into."

Our Pacers are 12-3 at home. We’ve won our last 7 at BLF.

Secondly, if the past is prologue, it’s worth noting that Miami has traditionally been no great shakes in Indy. Historically, their regular season record against us is 9-35.

Third, the Heat have cooled when the road calls them away from sunny South Beach. So far this season they’ve only been 7-6 when they have to sleep in out of town hotels. They aren’t exactly on a roll either. They’ve lost 3 of their last 5 games. Their most recent win is hardly worth counting, since it came at home earlier this week against the hapless Washington Wizards.

Fourth, we know the Heat. The Pacers aren’t in awe of them. We damn near had them dead last year when we went up 2-1 and unfortunately lost a pivotal Game 3 to them in the Playoffs.

Fifth, we don’t like them. Remember these little episodes from the Playoffs?





Lance Stephenson and Tyler Hansbrough probably remember some of these little tete-a-tetes too.

Area 55 Pre-Game Viewing! I got this from the Suits, happy members. Let’s show up en masse at 4:45 P.M. and fire the boys up for the carnage to come! And wear your yellow shirts!

“There will be an Area 55 Pre-Game viewing on Tuesday against the Miami Heat. Similar to last time, you will watch Roy and the team warm up pre-game. Only those with an Area 55 ticket will be eligible to attend.

Please meet at the IU Pavilion entrance at 4:45pm. Zac will escort you courtside at 5:00pm.

Thank you,

Area 55 Staff”


A Happy End to an Unhappy Lawsuit! Readers of this informative Newsletter will recall that the last time the Heat was in town, LeBron’s Mom, Gloria James, was embroiled in civil and criminal proceedings after she allegedly pasted a hotel parking valet in the face in an unfortunate inebriation episode at Miami’s swank Fountainebleau Hotel. The criminal consequences of the ensuing battery and disorderly intoxication charges were happily resolved with a prosecutorial deal that had Gloria performing 20 hours of community service and donating $1,000 to a Haitian relief fund in exchange for dropping the charges. Unfortunately, the valet brought a civil action against Gloria too and that, also unfortunately, was not so easily dismissed.

However, 2013 rings in a new year and in the spirit of promoting new starts (and 4 days before the matter was slated to go to trial) LeBron dutifully ponied up an undisclosed amount of coin to put the valet’s civil action against his Mom to bed. According to Gloria’s lawyer, it was a win-win for everybody!

"It's a positive step for everyone," Gloria’s lawyer, Robert A. Stok said, noting that the terms of the deal are confidential. "Any time you can settle a lawsuit it's a good thing."

We agree. Out of court settlements are wonderful things. Especially if going to trial means there’s a great chance that you just might lose even more bucks.

BTW, here’s valet-slapping Gloria in glorious video action:


Dwayne Wade Unveils Unique Crossover Move on Ramon Sessions! When Paul George tries to put the lock on Dwayne Wade tonight, we urge him to beware of a new move that Dwayne has unveiled in order to freeze and get around unwary defenders. No, it’s not a “crab dribble” – that’s LeBron’s move, although crabs do sometimes inhabit the body area which is the focus of Dwayne’s new offensive wrinkle. Watch Dwayne in action here and defenders be wary:


When Dwayne was suspended for a game without pay by the NBA, he tweeted to his loyal Twitter followers thusly:

"I'm far from being a dirty player + my intent was never 2 kick Ramon Sessions. I just reacted to the contact that I got from him.... More than anything, I think of my boys watchin me be4 retaliating 2ward any player. Im moving 4ward + ready 2 get back on the court in MIL."

Right, Dwayne. You just have to move on when your moves look ambiguously like a kick to the groin. And when the NBA gets all chippy on you and misguidedly takes unwarranted disciplinary action you and your kids just need to move on too. Tweeted like the true champ you are!

Chris Bosh – How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways! Detroit coach Lawrence Frank described LeBron James recently as being a “freak” - alluding, in context, to his ability to guard anyone 1 through 5 on the court. True, I guess. But the Heat have other freaks of nature on their team. Consider, shall we, Heat center Chris Bosh

Look at Chris’ neck, for example, the strange head, the bulging eyes, and the inordinate wingspan. What strange sequence of DNA events caused all this? Science, as yet, has few answers.

See for yourself! First, here’s Chris:

http://tinyurl.com/aj7khqg (Chris Bosh)

Yes, he’s definitely part human, but there are definitely other things going on with him too. For example, some think there are insect parts in there:

http://tinyurl.com/b9l885l (Praying Mantis)


There are also avian aspects.

http://tinyurl.com/agggjdp (Ostrich)


Some also see in him elements of the Jurassic


Others find him just downright unearthly

http://tinyurl.com/ady8mbz (Avatar!)

Chris Bosh, indeed, is more than just another pretty NBA face. Remember that tonight, 55ers, when he shoots his free throws. BTW, Roy enjoys the “Avatar” chant when Chris toes the sin-stripe.

Let's keep Roy happy!


01-10-2013, 12:15 PM
Anybody made a TNT sign yet. you know the ones where you spell stuff out with TNT?

01-10-2013, 03:35 PM

Salutations 55ers!

Yeah, I know this is late. But hey, I work for a living too!

Everybody still feeling good about the Miami win? Me too. But there’s no rest for the weary. Forget about Miami. Now it’s the Knicks. And even without Carmelo Anthony, they present all kinds of trouble for us. We are going to have to be extremely, extremely vocal tonight. Our guys can’t afford any emotional letdown.

Why am I worried?

Well, the Knicks, at 23-11, sit atop the Atlantic Division. They have the second best record in the East, just a smidgeon behind Miami (23-10). Their leading scorer, of course, is Carmelo Anthony (29 points per game). We’ve caught a big break tonight because, as mentioned, he will not be playing tonight.

See, Carmelo got in a tiff in his last game with the Boston Celtics’ mouthy center, Kevin Garnett. Kevin reportedly irritated Carmelo by opining to Carmelo that his wife, Lala Vasquez, had private parts that tasted just like a honey-nut flavored breakfast cereal. Anyway, Carmelo took issue with Kevin’s assessment and sprang to her defense, jawing with Garnett about the insult the rest of the game. Carmelo was so mad that he attempted to confront Garnett again post-game as the teams were leaving the court and later at Boston’s bus when the Celtics were loading up to leave town. Anyway, the NBA heard about the post-game stuff and took offense.

These kinds of incidents always seem to have a tragic end. In Carmelo’s case, he was suspended for tonight’s game and fined around $175,000 – the NBA going rate, I guess, for “overreacting”.
Whether Lala Vasquez does, indeed, taste like the flavored cereal Kevin mentioned remains a subject of hot debate. I will not try to resolve this question here.
Carmelo aside, the Knicks are still trouble for us. More than anything, they’re big, experienced, and generally pretty good. Tyson Chandler, at 7’1” is a rebounding machine (10.5 per game) and has a good outside shot (12.8 ppg). Over the past three games he’s been shooting 72% from the field. He always causes Roy trouble. In our last matchup in November, Roy held him to just 7 points and 9 rebound, while scoring 6 points and garnering 8 boards himself. Roy, however, had 6 turnovers on that night. He’s got to contain Chandler this evening.

The Knicks have a lot of scoring from other positions too. However, again fortunately for us, they aren’t very healthy tonight at these positions either. Their outside firepower comes mostly from guards J. R. Smith and Raymond Felton. They’re both good for around 15 points a night. Felton, however, reportedly won’t play tonight due to an injured finger. Smith is supposedly hurt too, with some sort of facial injury and whether he will play tonight will be a coaching decision. Ancient but usually effective Rasheed Wallace won’t play either. He has an injured knee.

Still, 6’10” Steve Novak is deadly from 3-point land. And let’s not forget about all the other vets the Knicks have – Amare Stoudamire is now back and working himself back into playing shape. Jason Kidd is no slouch from 3-pointland either. And look, they’ve also got Ronny Brewer and Marcus Camby under contract.

There’s other stuff too. The Knicks lost their last game against the Celtics. Statistically, they are 8-2 after they lose games. Also there’s the past to consider. When we faced them in New York on November 18th, they beat us 88-76 in a game that was not nearly as close as the score indicates.

That all said, we’re not the same team that lost to the Knicks earlier this year either. At 21-13 we’re tops in the Central again and stand 1 full game ahead of the Bulls (who dropped one at home last night to our friends, the Bucks). We’re also awfully tough in BLF. We have an 8-0 home streak going and if we win tonight, 9-0 would make that home streak the longest the Pacers have had in over 10 years.
Paul George has been playing better than he ever has been in his life. Lance Stephenson, lately, has been nothing short of phenomenal. David West, while not shooting as well as usual, is way overdue for a big game. Also the Big Dawg’s been much better lately too, especially on the boards. If we can couple good board work with a solid offensive performance from him tonight, I think we can win this thing. Let’s all have Roy’s back.

Reggie’s Back! And We’re on National TV! Yup! Old #31 returns tonight to do the play by play of our game with the Knicks. Let’s do the “Reggie” chant with the voices from G2 Zone tonight and show the nation what basketball means in Indiana.

Quick Change! How the Hell Do They Do It? During halftime of the Miami game we were once again regaled by the speedy sartorial magic of “Quick Change”. This couple is a favorite at all NBA games and they were just as bafflingly good as usual on Tuesday night.

But the big question with Quick Change is how the hell the babe in the act transforms so quickly. It’s baffling. It would take my wife, for example, hours to pull off just one such transformation. The lady in Quick Change does about 7 or 8 quickie makeovers in the space of a 10 minute act. So how does she do it?

On Tuesday, the Roncalli boys in Area 55 opted for the easy answer: “She’s a witch!”

Nice try.

I googled and think I have figured out (sort of) how it’s all really done:

First, the clothes that the babe in the Quick Change act wears are specially designed for fast removal

Second, the dresses aren’t really removed. Rather, they’re actually sort of dropped (i.e., they flap down) to reveal another garment that is worn underneath and/or inside the lowered part.

The clothes that are “changed” are actually patented. They’re specially designed and are very, very lightweight stage costumes, mostly made of silk. They’re so flimsy that you can have around 10 layers of them on and still appear normal.

Also, as designed, the clothes aren’t buttoned or zipped ... that would make doing the changes take way too long. Instead, they have loop and eye fixings and these are held together with single thread that runs through all the paired up loops. The thread simply needs fast removal and then the clothes fall off, drop down ... whatever.

The fastest 'hands free' removal is to have a 'ring' on the top of the thread and this is hooked over something on the 'cover' i.e. the screen, sheet, shredded paper or whatever it is that the performers use to cloak the changing process. When the wearer walks away or this thread is otherwise removed, the clothes drop off and gravity does the rest.

Also, imagine a dress with a top half that is a different color on the inside with a matching top underneath. If the top is separated at the shoulders, it can now flap downwards and become the babe’s skirt... showing the inside color and the new top.

Combine all of these elements into several different change designs, sleeves / no sleeves, high neck / low neck .... and that's it. Presto! Quick Change!.

Obviously though, it's not easy. If that were true, everyone would be doing it.

Want to see the patent on “Quick Change” clothes? http://tinyurl.com/zbvf4

Want to buy your own Quick Change garb? http://tinyurl.com/adj2h3j

And here’s a video from a guy who claims to have figured it all out: http://tinyurl.com/a6pml9m

Time to go to press!


01-11-2013, 06:39 PM
In trying to find information about Detroit's illusive fan section "The Power Plant"
I found this. Old article I know but funny none the less.


If this isn’t a microcosm of what ails the Pistons franchise, I don’t know what is. The team is trying to find 50 hardcore, dedicated fans to ramp up excitement and support at home games this season. The fans, who would be sitting in what the team would call the Power Plant, would get free tickets in the lower bowl for all 41 home games. The only catch was that they had to commit to attending all 41 games, no exceptions. 300 fans signed up for the auditions … but only 11 people showed up.
Now the team is scrambling to hold more auditions, including an impromptu session at Friday’s preseason finale at The Palace. The Pistons are a team that led or were in the top 5 in

01-11-2013, 08:18 PM
I think its dead Jim.

01-30-2013, 12:37 PM

Salutations 55ers!

After a long hiatus, the Pacers return to the warm confines of BLF to test their mettle tonight against the (17-28) Detroit Pistons. Their return couldn’t have come sooner, as their recent extended sojourn on the road has been unkind. After a nice road win against Memphis, the Pacers lost successive games to Portland, Utah and Denver. During the road swing, their defense slackened and turnovers mounted, both of which were the reasons for the 3 losses. Hopefully, they’ll get their groove back tonight.
Our foe, Detroit, should not be overlooked. The Pistons are presently 4th in the Central Division and have been playing pretty good ball over the past month or so. They had a hiccup last night, however, when Milwaukee pasted them at home 117-90.

As a team, the Pistons play good defense but struggle to score. Most of their point production comes from their big man Greg Monroe, who leads Detroit at15.7 ppg. Monroe, like Big Roy, is a former Hoya. He’s tall, agile, and possesses power forward ball skills. Their matchup should be of interest. Another interesting matchup for us involves Piston point guard Brandon Knight. Knight produces at 14.1 ppg and, like most NBA pointies is quick and a very good defender. Seeing how George Hill copes with him will also make for interesting viewing. The remainder of the Pistons’ starting consists of aged veteran Tayshaun Prince (11.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Jason Maxiell (7.6 ppg, 6 rpg) and and Dukie rookie Kyle Singler (8.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg).

The February Trip to Motown Since lot have been asking, the Suits (and specifically Suit Rob Laycock) are still working on scoring a block of tickets for us for planned February 22nd the Detroit odyssey. Right now there’s a tentative group of around 40 Area 55ers that have signed on and around 35 people from the G2 Zone. Once we know he have the tickets, we’ll better be able to compute your out of pocket costs. We have hopes for a bus as well. Stay tuned!
Andre Drummund – Teen Angel! In last night’s loss to Milwaukee, Pistons rookie big man Andre Drummond became the second teenager to score 18 points and 18 rebounds in an NBA game since the 1986-87 season. In accomplishing this feat, he joined Dwight Howard who managed it when he was just a mere sprout playing for the Orlando Magic. It remains to be seen whether Andre will also emulate Dwight in becoming a total fool in the future. Time will tell.

Tattoo Time! One of G2 Zone’s guys, Hayden Weaver, has promised to get a Pacers tattoo if Paul George throws in 40 tonight against the Pistons. PG has acknowledged the promise and will be gunning accordingly. Hopefully the tattie will be as good as this Charlie Villanueva image that a Detroit fan has had applied to his left arm: http://tinyurl.com/b46t8mr

Kevin Garnett Trash Talking Revisited. Apropos of the above Fan Tat, in the aftermath of all the hoopla concerning the Kevin Garnett / Carmelo Anthony trash talking incident of a week or so ago (KG allegedly said Carmelo’s wife tasted like a well-known breakfast cereal), and owing to the fact that the Pistons (and Pistons player Charlie Villanueva) will be in town tonight, perhaps it is fitting that our esteemed Newsletter revisit another reported Garnett trash-talking incident from November 2010 that involved Garnett and Charlie Villaneueva.

Following a game between the Celtics and the Pistons, Charlie took to his Twitter account and tweeted thusly:

"KG called me a cancer patient, I'm pissed because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."

Here’s the background.

Garnett, even back then, was known for his trash-talking on the court. And Charlie Villanueva suffers from alopecia universalis, a medical condition that results in hair loss. Owing to it, Charlie does not have hair on his head and hasn’t had any for most of his life.

The Pistons confirmed that Villanueva posted the tweets but had no further comment.

Garnett, when queried about it, called the incident "a major miscommunication." And released a statement of his own:

"My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact 'You are cancerous to your team and our league’ I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball."

After the game Garnett also said: "I'm a passionate player. If you don't like the way I am ... I play this way the last 15, 16 years. I leave it on the court."

Villanueva posted multiple tweets saying that Garnett's alleged comments hit home.

"I wouldn't even trip about that, but a cancer patient, I know way 2 many people who passed away from it, and I have a special place 4 those," one of his tweets read.
Another said: "KG talks alot of crap, he's prob never been in a fight, I would love to get in a ring with him, I will expose him."

Although there was no unbiased independent verification of what was actually said between the two players, Garnett and Villanueva did, in fact, get into it during the game. Villanueva was fouled by Garnett en route to the basket with 2:39 to go in the fourth quarter, after which the two exchanged heated words. Celtics coach Doc Rivers then immediately subbed Garnett, but the two were still jawing as KG headed to the bench. At that point, a double technical was called on both players by the officials.

"It was something that went beyond trash-talking, in yesterday's game," said Robert Villanueva, Charlie's older brother and manager. "Charlie's been teased all his life regarding his skin condition. He's the spokesperson for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation and he has made anti-bullying in public schools across America his foundation's primary initiative and purpose. It's one thing to hear negative, insulting comments from sports fans rooting against you, but to hear it from your peers it's just complete stupidity."

Robert Villanueva did take exception with his brother's reaction to Garnett’s taunts, but he also understood.

"I think Charlie could have handled it a little differently, but he's passionate about his cause and beliefs, and I don't blame him for lashing his frustration with his Twitter community," he said. "Keep in mind, we just completed a cancer awareness month and the NBA league is a full partner in fighting this cause. I just don't get it."

Nuggets coach George Karl, himself a cancer survivor, reacted to word that Garnett had called Villanueva a cancer patient this way:

"Sometimes, responsibility comes from knowing when to argue when not to -- when to cross the line and when not to cross the line," he said, according to CBSSports.com. "So philosophically, if Kevin and I were close friends, I'd probably call him up and say, 'I don't think that's right [what you said].' But I also believe that competition makes us do things when we don't have our total mental morality in line. We act like children at times, even coaches."

KG’s Coach, Doc Rivers was frustrated by the incident and stood up for Garnett.

"I actually heard what Kevin said, I was standing right there, and what he released [in a statement through the Celtics organization] is what he said. I'm going to leave it at that. I don't like the whole tweeting thing, I'll state that as well. I think guys talk on the court, that doesn't mean they should or shouldn't. But the fact that we're talking about this, to me, is just silly. It really is."We should be talking about [how] we had a hell of a game the other day and let's talk about basketball. It's amazing to me that this stuff is news now, that's not sports."

Doc, you will recall, was similarly defensive of KG’s conduct in KG’s more recent “Honey Nut Cheerios” incident.
When pressed on Garnett's rumored remarks, he said:

"That did not happen. "Well, No. 1, I know what's been reported did not happen," Rivers said adamantly during his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. "I know that as a fact."
Rivers instead chalked up the incident to Anthony trying to deflect attention back to Garnett.

“Guys, you know how this works. A guy does something crazy like Carmelo did, and the way to get out of trouble is to say, 'Well, he said this.' It happens all the time, and what bugs me about this whole thing is this is not a Kevin Garnett issue. And it was made into one, and it shouldn't have been made into one."

Rivers did admit that players can cross the line when it comes to trash talking, particularly if the language is racial in nature or is directed at another player's family, but he said Garnett knows where that line is and doesn't cross it.

"It's pretty crude, I can tell you. Out there at times, you hear some crazy stuff. But when it gets racial or personal to family, then that crosses the line. But I'm going to say it again: In this case, that didn't happen. (Garnett) does (know where the line is). He does. I will say that. I've never heard him cross the line. And usually when he talks about guys, it's usually about their game or their team or what he thinks if the guy's a winner or loser."

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge weighed in on the Garnett-Anthony issue during his own appearance on the same Boston sports show, saying he was more concerned with the safety of his players than the actual trash talking on the floor.

"Well, you know, I'm not really concerned about what players are saying on the court. I mean, I've been involved in so many big games and so much talking going on. I, first of all, can't imagine that anybody lets anybody ... I don't care what it is on the court, in the heat of battle, bother you. That's the first thing. So, I'm not worried about that from our team standpoint or our players. Second of all, my concerns are more just security and issues revolving around postgame and the safety of my players. I'm not so much worried about all the shenanigans that are going on."

Asked further about why Garnett has received such heavy criticism for his reported remarks about Anthony's wife, Ainge offered:

"I don't know. I'm just telling you my perspective, and my perspective is I would be embarrassed if somebody said something that threw me off my game."

Ainge said he wasn't sure if the one-game suspension Anthony was dealt by the NBA was warranted, but he did acknowledge that punishments need to be put in place to help prevent incidents such as these in the future.

"Well, you know, I think that this is a first-time incident of this type of situation, and they're making it a first-time warning to the whole league," Ainge said. "You don't confront players in the locker room or by the bus after games, and if you do, you get suspended. The next time anybody does it, it'll be a much bigger suspension, I'm sure."

Sigh. I guess the lesson here for all concerned is that everybody needs to watch what you say and when and how you say it.

Let’s go easy on Charlie’s lack of hair tonight 55ers. At a minimum, we say nothing about cancer or cancer patients. There’s “good trash talk” and “bad trash talk. Let's keep our version funny but classy.


02-01-2013, 01:34 AM
Surprised nobody has suggested this chant for Bosh when he shoots his free throws: Hall-of-Shamer

02-01-2013, 11:01 AM

Salutations 55ers!

Tonight the Pacers (27-19) get a home rematch with the Eastern Conference leading (29-13) Miami Heat. Last time, you’ll recall, the Pacers put a lock on the vaunted Heat offensive juggernaut, holding them to a season low and winning 87-77.

In that matchup, Paul George was fabulous, registering 29 points and 11 rebounds while basically corralling His Majesty, LeBron James. LeBron, you’ll recall, managed only 22 points, 10 boards and tallied a season high 7 turnovers largely as a result of PG’s defensive pressure.

LeBron, undoubtedly, will remember that game back early January and will be looking for revenge. At least so says Mike Wells

Remember that game?

On Paul George:

“Matched up against the league’s MVP, 22-year-old Paul George stepped up on the big stage and looked comfortable in the moment. With Danny Granger still out, the spotlight would be on George to not only guard LeBron James, but to be Indiana’s focal point offensively. Finishing with 29 points and 11 rebounds in 44 minutes and limiting James to 22, George wouldn’t go so far as saying that it was his most meaningful performance on the big stage but NBA fans couldn’t help but take notice.”

On Lance Stephenson:

“Like George, Stephenson had that look in his face and was part of an early battle going against Dwayne Wade. Stephenson scored seven of the Pacers’ first eight points because of his early aggressiveness. He was hustling after loose balls, getting into the paint and running the fast break. Wade scored 23 in the first half on 8 of 12 shooting, but made just one more shot the reest of the game.”

On our Bench:

“When Indiana turned to their second unit, they carried their weight and more, extending the Pacers lead to as many as 10. Gerald Green came off the bench to score all seven of his points in the second quarter. D.J. Augustin scored four points, registered eight assists and went without a turnover in 25 minutes..”

On our Rebounding:

“The Pacers dominated the glass, outrebounding the Heat 55-36, including 22 offensive rebounds which led to 23 second-chance points.”

Also of Note:

“Miami’s Big Three of James, Wade, and Bosch were the Heat’s only players in double figures with a combined total of 66 points. The rest of the Heat team managed only 11 points. Ray Allen went 0-5, only the second time to be held scoreless in his long NBA career.”

Yes, there is so much to despise about the Heat. The sense of entitlement that comes with all their games, the smarmy truckling from their hoard of bandwagon fans, the faithlessness and lack of loyalty that accompanied LeBron’s nationally-televised “Decision”, the fawning they get from the media, the calls they get from intimidated referees.

Then there are the personalities of the Heat players themselves to consider. Remember all the cheap shots and jawing the Pacers suffered through in the Playoffs? Sure, you remember. It came largely from the likes of Heat lesser lights like Howard, Haslem, and Pittman. But it also came from their all-world flopper and whiner, Dwayne Wade.

There is really so, so much reason to hate Miami.

Wanna see more of what I mean? Well, here’s Stephen A. Smith at his adoring, toadying best on LeBron in the Heat’s last win at Brooklyn:


And here's how Dwayne Wade celebrated his birthday a few days ago?


Tonight Paul George will face LeBron again and it is likely that unheralded Lance Stephenson will be called upon again to check the $230,000 Birthday Boy, Dwayne Wade. All America will see the game and Jon Barry, who hates us, will be on hand to help with the play-by-play.

Let’s help the Pacers tonight, 55ers. Let’s show up in our seat ON TIME for a change. Let’s not be drunk or off focus. Let’s be loud and nasty. Let’s not let up in our chanting.

We were awfully loud back in January when the Heat came to town determined to put it on us. Then, contrary to all expectations of the pundits, it didn’t happen. Rather, we prevailed, beating the Heat soundly and efficiently in a game that reeked of Playoff intensity. Area 55 contributed to the home noise that night and played a small, but not insignificant part in that win.

Let’s be equally strong for our guys tonight, 55ers. There are games that call for our best efforts and this is one of them.


02-04-2013, 05:10 PM

Salutations 55ers!

Apologies for the tardiness, but I’ve been on the phone with Nigeria working on a deal (no, it did not involve and African prince, oil revenues, or the need for my bank account number) and the Newsletter had to sadly take a back seat. But it’s the goddam Bulls, so I felt I had to say something even if its belated.

Tonight, needless to say, we have a whopper of a game. Yup, the big bad Chicago Bulls are back to BLF after getting a reprieve due to the December 28th snowstorm. What we’ll see of them remains conjectural as of this moment.

First, it’s pretty clear their main stud, Derrick Rose, will not play. He’s still on the recovery road from the Achilles tendon rupture that he incurred in Game 1 of the Playoffs last year. Supposedly he’s involved in contact practices but still isn’t there yet. But the Bulls injury report doesn’t stop there. Most of the Bulls’ regulars are supposed to be seriously hurting.

Joakim Noah is reportedly injured (plantar fasciitis); Carlos Boozer is reportedly injured (hamstring) and Kirk Hinrich is reportedly injured (elbow). All are supposedly “day-to-day.” When and if all or any of them play tonight will be a game decision to be made by Dr. Evil lookalike and Bulls’ coach Tom Thibodeau Thibodeau may be sandbagging us with all the injury reports. We’ll see. In our last meet up in Chicago, we prevailed 80-76 in perhaps our best road effort of the year. If we win, we’ll be tied again with Chicago for 1st in the Central.

As 55ers. we have to be ready to bring it tonight whether its a depleted Bulls roster we see or a full one. Our taurine foes from the stockyards will be playing loose and pressure free. No one expects them to win with all these injuries. Atlanta didn’t take them seriously. We seriously need to.

Indeed, the Bulls got along just fine in their last game without the above three starters, pasting Atlanta on the road by double digit numbers. We can’t be complacent. If the wounded trio does not play, we’ll still have the likes of Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Marques Teague, Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson to deal with. They were more than enough to bury Atlanta.

I anticipate a challenge. Area 55 will need to be in top form. Let’s bring it.

Dodgeball!!! I got this missive over the weekend from the Suits. You need to respond to get in!

“Greetings Dodgeball Enthusiasts,
You are invited to a dodgeball match with both Area 55 and G2 Zone members on Feb 7 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. You will need to be at the Fieldhouse no later than 5:30pm and it will be over by 8:30pm.
This will be a friendly match where both fan sections will compete with and against each other. You can choose to show your wicked dodgeball skills and play, or stay out of the battlefield and spectate. This is high exertion activity. You must be physically able to play and it is strongly recommended that if you have injuries or other ailments, please do not participate.
This event is exclusively for the winners chosen by Roy Hibbert, Paul George and George Hill at the beginning of the season. Please note guests are NOT permitted at this event.
Please RSVP by clicking this link & filling out the form
Area 55 Staff”

For those of you who want to know what dodgeball entails, here’s the skinny on it from Wikipedia:



02-05-2013, 12:20 AM

You make me wanna SHOUT!! whoooooo

02-05-2013, 04:08 PM

Salutations, 55ers!

Tonight the Pacers get a chance to make it 15 in a row at home. However, we’ll be truly tested.

First, for us, it will be the second of a series of back-to-back-to-back games. We’re the only team in the league this year that is required to do this. (Thank you NBA and Commish David Stern!). Our foe, Atlanta, will be playing with a full day’s rest. We won’t.

Second, Atlanta is the Eastern Division monkey on our backs. Previously this season the Pacers blew two big chances to beat the Hawks, albeit on the road. The first came on November 7th when we lost 89-86. In that game we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by blowing a huge lead and letting Atlanta go on a Kyle Korver-led 18-0 run in the last 5 minutes. In our second encounter on December 29th we lost 109-100 and really were never in the game. All told, Atlanta has now beaten us 11 straight on their home floor. We’re 0-4 against them in our last 4 games.

There’s reason to be hopeful though. We’re playing really well right now and we’re awfully good at BLF. We haven’t lost at home since December 7th when Denver dropped us. Indeed, if we beat the 26-20 Hawks tonight for our 15th straight home win, it’ll be the first time we’ve done that since we went on a 25-game home run during the 1999-2000 season.

Our defense has been solid. The Pacers are giving up a miserly 85.0 points per game and holding opponents to 40.5 percent shooting during our current streak. Also, our offense lately has definitely been improving. Although we’re still among the league's lowest scoring teams at 92.4 points per game, the Pacers have been averaging 104.4 over our last 5 games. During those same last 5 games, we’ve outrebounded opponents by 9.6 boards.

By contrast, the Hawks stink on the road. They’ve dropped 7 of their last 8 away games and are coming off an extremely embarrassing 93-76 home loss to the same depleted Chicago team that we leveled last night.

Keys tonight will be keeping our turnovers down and our rebounding up. The Hawks outrebounded us in both of our previous games. Defensively, we’ll need to keep Hawks center Al Horford in check. He’s averaging a team-best 18.0 points with 7.5 rebounds against Indiana this season.

Why Does Our Attendance Stink? I just got a tweet from former Area 55er Big Jon Wall advising that the Pacers attendance figures this year are awful. The stats are here:


We’re 26th in the 30 team NBA in attendance. Why is this so? We’re playing great ball, presently tied for 1st in the Central and 3rd overall in the East. We’re winning at home, have several present or former All-Stars on our roster in Danny Granger, Paul George, David West, and Roy Hibbert, and the team has been squeaky clean since the 2004 “Malice in the Palace” episode that first tarred our local image. So why is our home attendance only better than Milwaukee, Detroit, Charlotte, and Sacramento?

Just for funsies I googled the question and here’s a summary of what I found by way of answers. I present them to you in no particular order:

1. Indianapolis Area People Have Lots of Other Options. Notre Dame surged into the National Title Game this year after years of irrelevance. IU Basketball is back with a vengeance. Butler is taking up a fair amount of attention. It's not just that people are still bitter with the Pacers (even though it's a totally different team now), it's that there is so much else that is going well for Indiana sports teams that the Pacers just get kind of ignored until playoff time.

2. All the Games Are on Fox Sports. All of the Pacers games are on FSN Indiana. Ergo, people don't feel the need to go to the stadium when they can stay home and watch the Pacers for nothing.

3. Indiana Is Filled with Fair Weather Fans. Indiana, despite very much being a basketball (and generally all sports) state, is filled with fair weather fans. The Pacers fell off qualitatively after the 2004 Detroit melee. During the ensuing time frame and the awful Jim O’Brien era, everyone started to watch the Colts. Same thing happened a few years back when IU was tanking. Everyone in the state then suddenly became lifelong Butler fans.

4. The Pacers Have No Marquee Players. Sure, people love the Pacers, but some will only shell out for good tix when a big name team comes to Indy. People here don’t care to watch the Pacers play a 76-68 game against the Timberwolves

5. The Pacers Aren’t Exciting. The Pacers have no single outstanding star player like Kobe, LeBron, or Carmelo. Sure, they are an excellent team with great chemistry and this allows them to be one of the best defensive teams in the league, but that isn’t enough to make them an exciting team to watch. Most people like to watch the teams with high powered offenses led by star players. Offensively, the Pacers don’t have much power. .

6. It’s Geography, Stupid! Outside of the Indianapolis area, the highest population density is in the northern and northwest part of the state. And everyone in North and Northwest Indiana is a Chicago Bulls fan.

7. It’s Our History of Failure. Nobody here really expects us to win a championship. We’ve never done that. We have a long history of failure. True, we’ve been pretty good sometimes, but never good enough. Hey, we’re only first in our division because Rose is out and the East is bad. Yes, the Pacers sometimes look like they will consistently make the playoffs, but that only sticks them in NBA hell -- being just good enough to miss out on great lottery picks, but never quite good enough to make it to the Finals with the personnel we have.

8. Indianapolis Doesn’t Appreciate What It’s Got! If the Pacers moved to Chicago as a second team, or to New York as a third, they would sell out every night.

Personally, I hold with #8. Also, attendance lately seems to have been picking up.

Got any ideas of your own on the reasons for our low attendance figures? Let me know!

Let’s be loud and proud tonight, 55ers. Let’s help our boys dispatch Atlanta, a nuisance that has troubled us for far too long.


02-28-2013, 01:25 PM

Salutations, Fellow 55ers!

Tonight we get to view the Los Angeles Clippers tandem of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as they bring their vaunted lob/dunk act to our Temple of Doom. Sadly, our good friend and patron, Roy Hibbert, will not be in uniform to stymie their aerial show, as he has been sidelined by another opaque decision from the NBA front office following Tuesday night’s 4th Quarter dust-up with the Golden State Warriors. Here I'm referring to Roy's one-game suspension.

The Indianapolis Star’s beat writer, Mike Wells, thinks Roy’s absence will probably cost us the game and has picked the Clippers to win by 7 points. We’ll see, Mike.

With Roy out, my guess is that his backup, Ian Mahinmi, will likely start in his place and Jeff Pendergraph will be seeing the off-the-bench minutes normally allotted to Iannie.
Mike Wells’ prognostications notwithstanding, I still like our chances tonight. In such times the Pacers generally rise to the occasion and surprise everyone. I am banking on something like happening tonight.

Of course, given the circumstances, Area 55 needs to make its presence felt even more than usual. I say this first, because the Pacers will now have to play a very good NBA team without the presence of its main defensive anchor (that’s Roy to you uninitiated). Second, we need to be loud to show Roy we support him and that we have his back.

Roy’s one game suspension rankles me. The fracas was not initiated by him. It started when the Warriors’ David Lee elected to give him a two-handed shove in the chest. Whether that sort of thing happens on NBA hardwood or in a school playground, a normal male responds with a counter-shove or fisticuffs. Roy’s response, a firm counter-shove to Mr. Lee, was an appropriately measured response, IMHO. If things had been left there, maybe the referees would have puzzled over videotape for five minutes and then gone on to assess the standard NBA response – a technical foul to each player. However, after a mutual chest bump ensured, things got chaotic.

Golden State’s guard, Stef Curry,for undisclosed reasons, elected at this point in time to wrap his arms around Roy’s waist. Precisely why he did this is unclear. Roy and Lee had been separated at this point and their confrontation was really over. Why Curry decided to intervene then made little sense.

It is usually a mistake for a player to ever grab a counterpart on an opposing team. Doing that in the heat of an NBA fracas is an act that is very apt to be misinterpreted. Sure, it might be a well-intentioned peacekeeping move. But it might also be perceived as an escalating act of hostility. If you want to be a peacemaker, it’s always best to constrain your own teammates and not members of the opposition.

Just what Curry was thinking by his grabbing Roy is hard to say. Maybe his motives were initially pure. Maybe they weren’t. Roy, however, isn’t a mind-reader and he responded by summarily flinging Curry off himself like the gnat-like nuisance he really was. No punch was thrown at Curry; rather, Roy just shrugged him off, basically discarding Curry like an unwanted article of clothing.

At this, Curry then plainly took offense. He bounced off the floor where he found himself and then ran at Roy again. This time Curry’s actions were unambiguous. He was angry and no honest person watching him come at Roy the second time would ever believe that his intent was dovish.

Roy responded to Curry’s second attempt to grab him by swiftly doing a reprise of his initial shrug. The result was Curry being discarded for a second time. Thereafter players from both teams weighed in with more pushing and shoving until David West entered the fray and restored order.

The ensuing NBA punishment had Roy and David Lee each being awarded one-game suspensions and Lance Stephenson, Klay Thompson, and Curry being fined $35,000 apiece. Why Curry wasn’t suspended too is beyond me. But we’ll never know what the NBA’s take on the episode was. Lee is reportedly appealing his punishment. If he is, Roy probably should too.

Wear Black Tonight! To show solidarity with Roy; express our disdain for his suspension; and lament his absence, Area 55 members are asked to wear something visibly black under our regular gear.

Impetus for this recommended adjustment comes from Member Shelley Prickel. I might add that the move has the full endorsement of my wife, who tells me that from a color-coordination standpoint black basically goes with everything. She also tells me wearing that black would make for a welcome perceived slimming effect on those viewing some of Area 55's more portly members.

Check Out the Miller Time Podcast! Loyal Area 55 members Jon LaFollette and Dave Searle have put together an entertaining Podcast that hopefully will have future repeats. Check it out here:


It’s an entertaining take on the latest doings of the Pacers as seen through the eyes of two of Area 55’s most highly-informed and blatantly opinionated members.

That’s it folks! Gotta go earn a living!


02-28-2013, 02:45 PM
You calling me fat????

02-28-2013, 03:34 PM
You calling me fat????

If the manssiere fits...

02-28-2013, 04:02 PM
I'll have you know my mom says I'm big boned.

02-28-2013, 04:50 PM
I'll have you know my mom says I'm big boned.

Your mama's right! But DON'T show us your teats!

03-13-2013, 03:52 PM
I'm coming up tonight and would like to meet some of you guys... But can't remember which lot is PTO or where it is that you guys meet up at after the game... I remember it was by a trash bin... But can't remember what section...

03-13-2013, 04:10 PM
I'm coming up tonight and would like to meet some of you guys... But can't remember which lot is PTO or where it is that you guys meet up at after the game... I remember it was by a trash bin... But can't remember what section...

When it happens, the PD "Trash Talk" has moved down into the main lobby over by the window to the practice court.

03-13-2013, 04:14 PM
I'm coming up tonight and would like to meet some of you guys... But can't remember which lot is PTO or where it is that you guys meet up at after the game... I remember it was by a trash bin... But can't remember what section...

PTO lot is in the SouthEast Corner of Pennsylvania and South Street, across Pennsylvania from Arbys.

I'm going to hyperlink that map one of these days.

03-13-2013, 04:39 PM
PTO lot is in the SouthEast Corner of Pennsylvania and South Street, across Pennsylvania from Arbys.

I'm going to hyperlink that map one of these days.

Sorry... I am bad w downtown streets... I always park across from Slippery Noodle... Is that it?

03-13-2013, 05:09 PM
When it happens, the PD "Trash Talk" has moved down into the main lobby over by the window to the practice court.

We'll swing by to see if anyone's there!

03-13-2013, 05:17 PM
Sorry... I am bad w downtown streets... I always park across from Slippery Noodle... Is that it?

close. the PTO lot is directly south of the Fieldhouse (with the railroad tracks between the two of course). you cant see Subway from the PTO lot.

03-14-2013, 04:02 PM
Is it sad or wrong that in a night that I sat 4th row in a good Pacers win that the highlight of my evening was getting to meet Naptown, Trader, Hicks, BillS, and Roaming Gnome? It was kind of like getting to meet the Beatles of PD...

Had I met Peck (btw Gnome tried to steal your identity), Sandman, and RobfromPacers my night would have been complete!

Nice to meet you all!

03-14-2013, 04:15 PM
Speaking of Map, because I was busy working on more Dale Davis one word images, I got around to throwing together an updated map:


03-14-2013, 04:37 PM
That's a Really Old picture.

03-14-2013, 08:22 PM
You do with what Google gives you. :D

duke dynamite
03-21-2013, 09:05 AM
Google has slightly updated maps. Also, I made it easier on the eyes. Sandman probably used paint.


03-21-2013, 09:20 AM
Probably used Paint?, I ONLY use Paint!:laugh:

03-21-2013, 09:23 AM
VA St garage is $12 regular, $6 rooftop, isn't it?

duke dynamite
03-21-2013, 09:24 AM
VA St garage is $12 regular, $6 rooftop, isn't it?
I botched that, didn't I?

Fixed it.

03-24-2013, 02:15 AM
Express parking garage on penn is $5 bucks and is close by bankers and is just off circle. That's where I go...

04-09-2013, 12:19 PM
Man this thread doesnt get the traffic it used to. Anyways, are any Area55ers skipping the Cavs game tonight? If so I could use 2 tickets/ Thanks in advance either way.

04-17-2013, 04:08 PM
8:00pm tip tonight! Let's get some extra PTO in!

05-10-2013, 12:21 AM
What's the timing on the Saturday PTO? Knicks playoff game I mean (since this thread is sticky and doesn't "bump")

05-10-2013, 10:51 AM
Right now it looks like we will be out there at around 4 ish.
Honestly it all depends on when the lot opens.
I know we usually have people who show up and have to wait for the lot to open up.
Were going to be out early, cooking out, and playing some games!

05-11-2013, 01:15 PM
AREA 55 NEWS YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Salutations, 55ers!

Yes, after a long hiatus, the Area 55 Newsletter resumes with its homegame Playoff Edition. There is so much to get to and so little time.

Remember Game 1? The New York press had this to say about their home team’s disappointing loss:

“Roy Hibbert showed off his preternatural, almost eerie knack for standing totally still and allowing drivers and their shots to bounce off his sternum. The Knicks did a fine job getting to the rim, but the Pacers built a wall around said rim. The Knicks couldn't climb it and couldn't get it to topple on them in a way that convinced the refs it was the wall's fault.


"The Knicks strived all season to capture the 2nd seed over Indiana...And they gave back homecourt to the Pacers in one lousy afternoon" .

I savor that review; I thank God for Roy Hibbert and his mastery of the principle of verticality; and so enjoy beating the Knicks.

But we can’t live in the past. Tonight, at 8:00 P.M. our Indiana Pacers have to defend the home court advantage that they wrenched from the Knicks in Game 1. Maybe ESPN hasn’t picked up on it yet (as they’ve been ignoring our guys all year) but, as we all know, the Pacers are especially good at home. Our mission tonight is to show the world that this continues to be so.

Over the past 3 years, Area 55 has played a small part in making ours an “Arena from Hell” – an elephant burial ground where roundballers from other climes basically come to die. In our next two encounters with with New York, Bankers Life Fieldhouse has to stay that way – a venue where our foe's shots go askew, their rebounds evaporate, and their foul shots carom harmlessly off of maddeningly deadened rims. It’s a place were the enemy can’t hear or think because the noise, the general level of intensity, and our team’s stingy defensive territoriality all combine to render an opponent’s normality criminally abnormal.

BLF has to go on being our turf tonight. Our task, as Area 55, is to help our guys defend that turf. We can’t let an emminently despicable opponent like the Knicks come in and burglarize our home. Tonight, EVERYBODY in Area 55, has to be in top form. NO LET UPS! It’ll be a gold-out, of course, and the game will be sold out. There ought to be plenty of noise even without us. But we need to set the tone. We have to fulfill the role that Roy Hibbert chose us for – to catalyze the crowd, make the mood even louder and crazier. We have to make the environment in BLF tonight totally hostile. We need to run the Knicks back to New York City spent, humbled,and exhausted, with their Dutch pantaloons down and their Big Apple genitalia hanging out for ESPN to see. Tonight is Game 3. We absolutely have to win this. We, as Area 55, have to do our job. LET’S DO IT!


What the Hell Is a Knickerbocker Anyway? Well, it all depends on context. According to the Urban Dictionary, a “Knickerbocker” can be any of around seven different things – none of which are particularly good.


The most conventional definition has a “Knickerbocker” just being somebody from New York City. It comes from the late 1600s when New York City was then a Dutch colony called “New Amsterdam” and the inhabitants wore “knickers” for pants. Since these were so commonly seen on the streets there, the name was then applied to the residents. Thus “Knickerbockers” became the source of the New York Knickerbockers' original team name. This is all reflected in the Knickerbockers ridiculously stupid original team logo, which can be viewed here:


The “Knickerbockers” name for the New York pro basketball team was later abbreviated to simply “Knicks”. The reasons for this abbreviation are murky. However, the most likely reason is that the word “Knickerbocker,” for strange reasons, came to have all kinds of unwholesome connotations above and beyond the original Dutch word for "pants." Here, the Urban Dictionary is helpful again, as it explicates some of the more pejorative and even obscene meanings that, over the years, have come to be associated with the word “Knickerbocker”.

Warning mothers! Don’t let Junior read this.

Urban Dictionary "Knickerbocker" Definition No. 4: “A total cheapskate, especially when it comes to making sure to use every possible coupon and special offer”

Usage Example: “You can afford the cover charge! Don’t be such a knickerbocker!”

Urban Dictionary "Knickerbocker" Definition No. 6: “Banging” a useful word

Usage Example: “Go knickerbocker your grandma!”

Urban Dictionary "Knickerbocker" Definition No. 5: “When a woman takes a man's testicles, places them in her cleavage, and then proceeds to slap her tits together creating a knickerbocker.”

Usage Example: Man: Wait, what are you doing?!!!!

Woman: Something I learned in art school! It's called the knickerbocker!

(Strange knocking noises follow)

Little Known (But Amazingly True!) Facts About the New York Knicks:

1. Carmelo Anthony’s middle name is “Kyam” True. I haven’t been able to figure out why. Maybe it’s a variant on the famous Persian poet Omar Khayyam (“A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and La La Vasquez!). Maybe it comes from one of those “Give Your Baby an Exotic Name” books. Maybe it just happened. And yeah, Melo’s wife’s name really is La La Vasquez and some (well, Kevin Garnett anyway) say she tastes like a honey-sweet breakfast cereal.

Melo and La La married on Christmas Day 2004. Among the guests in attendance were LeBron James, Kim and Khloe Kardasian, and Lamar Odom (ah, the happier days!). Has his marriage and all the hobknobbing with celebs caused Melo to perhaps forget his humble roots? You be the judge.

As a side venture, Carmelo Anthony is now involved in "Haute Time" - a luxury watch ($10,000 and up if you want one) business. It’s slogan is: “Whether you’re at the start of your journey or you’re already a collector, Haute Time will get your heart racing,”

2. J.R. Smith’s birth name is “Earl Joseph Smith III.” Yes, they often call him Speedo but his real names is Mr. Earl. Mr. Earl is rumored to have a thing going with Rihanna. That’s our Speedo!


3. Amar’e Stoudamire’s nickname is “Stat”. He gave it to himself in high school. It’s supposedly an acronym for “Standing Tall and Talented”. And how about this! Right now, he and his personal chef are working on a cookbook together that they plan to publish called “Cooking with Amar’e!” I just pre-ordered my copy on Amazon a few minutes ago!

Last year, Amar'e cut his hand by punching a glass fire extinguisher case after a frustrating 2nd game playoff loss to the Heat. (No, no book co-authored with his physician afterwards called “Punching Inanimate Objects with Amar’e!” followed). After the incident, which jeopardized New York’s Playoff hopes greatly, the local sportswriters nicknamed him “Stitch,” as many of such were required to close the ensuing gash in his hand.

4. Knick's reserve guard, Jason Kidd, married in 1997. Sadly, on January 9, 2007, he was forced to filed for divorce. As grounds, he cited "extreme cruelty" perpetrated on him by his wife. This cruelty was manifested in “intense jealousy, paranoia, and the threat of false domestic abuse claims to the police.” His wife counterclaimed claiming, among other things, that Jason had “damaged her hearing by smashing her head into the console of a car.” Alas, so ended a once beautiful relationship.

5. Tyson Chandler is the subject of a 20-page, self-published e-zine called “Tyson Chandler” which features 20 separate pages of pictures of ….yup! Tyson Chandler!

BTW Tyson has a lot in common with rural Hoosiers! Until age 10 he lived on his Grandad's farm in California where, among other things, he "slopped pigs." His Grandpa's name was "Cleotis"

More on the wondrous New York Knicks in our next issue. All I can say now is that if there really are such things as karma, justice, and cosmic retribution for hubris, the Knicks are way overdo for a comeuppance. Now is as good a time as any for our Pacers to administer one.


05-13-2013, 11:57 PM
J.R. Smith’s birth name is “Earl Joseph Smith III.” Yes, they often call him Speedo but his real names is Mr. Earl.

I appreciate the reference to the Cadillac's hit song. Gosh, we are old!

05-14-2013, 10:08 AM
I appreciate the reference to the Cadillac's hit song. Gosh, we are old!

Interesting. I didn't realize that the line from Paul Simon's "Was a Sunny Day" was a direct reference to the Cadillacs.

I learned something today! I get to stop now! :woohoo:

05-14-2013, 11:51 AM

Salutations, 55ers!

Tonight, as you all know, it’s The Big Kahuna! Our guys are 2-1 over the favored Knicks. To date, our suave foes from The Big Apple have yet to find a way to penetrate The Wall of Hibbert and get a win this season in our Temple of Doom. The pantaloons-wearers are 0-3 in Indianapolis. If we can just put them away tonight, as Kravitz says, The Knicks are toast. They could never in a million years beat us three games straight if we go up on them 3-1.

Things are in a bit of disarray for the Knicks too. J. R. “Mr. Earl” Smith was still ailing as of yesterday from a mysterious antibiotic resistant ailment that he picked up while partying with a passel of chippies while doing the NYC club scene before Game 1. Kenyon Martin reportedly has the same malady and neither of them has been practicing as a result. Knicks coach Mike Woodson has had both of them quarantined in their hotel rooms hoping for a miraculous recovery.

That isn’t all of it. Iman “Squarehair” Shumpert is supposed to play tonight, but ESPN’s pre-game injury report says he has a “sore and bruised left knee”. Whether he plays or not depends, supposedly, on an orthopedist’s pre-game decision. Marcus Camby’s out with the heartbreak of psoriasis – whoops! Check that! Plantar fasciitis. Amar’e Stoudamire is back, but Woodson says he won’t play more than 9 to 12 minutes (his remaining time will be devoted to working with his personal chef on his soon to be published culinary tome, “Cooking with Amar’e!”).

Knicks All-NBA Defender, Tyson Chandler, supposedly, is still suffering from a “lingering neck injury” (NBA injuries always tend to “linger”). Maybe it's lingering or maybe it’s malingering. What’s clear is Tyson’s not been playing very well. Normally a rebounding nymphomaniac, to date, Tyson has only pulled down 12 boards during the entire series with Indiana. This is not good. Consider here that Lance Stephenson, all by his lonesome, had 13 of these precious jewels just in Game 1. Worse for Tyson, our Big Dawg has bitten him in the *** consistently in every game we’ve played. Tyson, consequently, has been grousing that the Knicks haven’t “followed their game plan” and haven’t properly doubled the Big Dawg underneath. Tyson also went so far as claiming, without mentioning names, that the Knicks scoring problems are attributable to a collective failure to “share the ball” – something NYC sports pundits say is a not-so-veiled slap at Tyson’s teammate, Carmelo Anthony (who doesn’t have the word “assist” in his workaday linguistic vocabulary and normally is above reproach, in NYC just the same). Melo, reportedly, seemed mildly irritated at Tyson’s remarks and indicated that they would “talk about it” in a team conclave that was to have transpired yesterday.

Anyway, none of the above bodes well for the Knicks.

That said, as we all know, the Knicks also regard tonight’s game as a “must-win”. I therefore expect Carmelo Kyam will be flinging up more than his usual number of threes, will be trying to penetrate the lane to get Roy in foul trouble, and will also be trying to help Chandler on the boards. As a unit, the Knicks will also likely be trying to trap us, turn us over, and even zone us so as to prevent Roy and D-Train from doing their normal havoc in the paint.

Our role, again, 55ers, is to be as loud as we possibly can be. This game is muy BIG. The winner of it likely will win this session of the Playoffs and go on to face Miami. LET’S DO OUR JOB!!!! NO LET UPS!!!! SCREAM OURSELVES HOARSE!!!!

Tonight, my friends, is pivotal. It’s really for all the marbles.

Important Pre-Game Stuff!!! OK, in this morning’s email package (which some of you don’t read, so I’ll repeat it here), our Suits guru and monitor, Zac Fronterhouse, advises about pre-game events a-brewing which relate to two of my favorite things: Pizza and Beer!

Notandum Bene: If you get off your butts and click where Zac says, you get special treatment and cuts in line for both. Zac’s missives follow:

NO. 1 - BEER!!!!

“Sorry for two emails in one night, but another big program was just announced and Area 55 is one of the first to know. You can get VIP Access to the Budweiser Beer Garden by registering now. VIP gives you access starting at 3pm. During the first two hours before the general public, you’ll get to hang out with complimentary drinks from Budweiser and listen to JMV as he broadcasts live. Then, at 5pm, the general public will gain access and drinks will return to $3.”

VIP Registration:


Full Details on Budweiser Beer Garden:


No. 2: PIZZA!!!!

“We are hosting up to 250 fans for Pizza on Pacers Plaza tomorrow, May 14, at noon and we want to make sure Area 55 is in full force. By registering via the second link below, you will get to enjoy Papa John’s and Pepsi while hanging out with Pacemates and watching Channel 13 broadcast live as the noon news will have an exclusive interview with President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh.
You must register to get complimentary Papa John’s and Pepsi, so make sure you register quickly.”

Full Details on Free Pizza:


Registration Site:


Monocles-R-Us! First some appropriate monocle-wearing vid-music:



OK, you can take it off after tipoff, but wouldn't it be a kewl thing for a bunch of us to have something classy on when we chance to be on camera. Sure it would! We ain't hicks! We have a fashion-sense! Hence, your beloved lame-duck Prez has picked up a few monocles and also made a bunch of hand-crafted cheap-os out of plumbing supply O-rings and yellow twine that I’ll be handing out at the PTO (which ought to convene around 5 in the $5.00 lot across from Arby’s at the corner of South & Pennsylvania). Should make for a good photo op and fill Roy with joy knowing his fashion message has resonated!

Why wear a monocle? Well for the uninformed, our patron and stylemeister, Roy Hibbert, almost wore a monocle in his Game 3 postgame interview. In almost, but not quite, sticking it in his oversized eye socket (Paul George wisely counseled him against doing it), Roy almost, but not quite, joined the ranks of many other famous monocle wearers and cyclopean fashionistas of the past.

Again, why Roy and the monocle? Apparently, Roy has been a secret monocle aficionado for many moons. It all stems from a podcast he did a while back with comedienne Chelsea Peretti. In the podcast Chelsea and Roy were talking about NBA fashion-sense or the lamentable lack thereof since Commish David Stern imposed a dress code on his reluctant player-wards:

Roy to Chelsea: "All these guys wearing, like, skinny jeans and glasses with no frames in it, stuff like that, that’s a thing of the past. I’m going to start something new here.”

After Chelsea urged him to start an NBA ponytail trend, Hibbert agreed, although with the following caveat:

“I say a ponytail, but you have to have some sort of eyewear. I’m going with a monocle. I’ll be the first one to rock a monocle like Mr. Peanut, or whoever. Like the Monopoly guy.”

So Roy had a monocle that he didn’t stick in his eye at his Game 3 presser. Supposedly, after deciding against wearing it, he gave it to Indy Star sports newsie, Mike Wells. My hope is that Wells puts it to good use, carefully reviewing all of those columns he wrote about Roy not earning his contract money.

Also this: If Wells does not have that monocle stuck in his peeper when Brooke interviews him pre-game tonight….well, boos would minimally be in order.

Anyway, intrigued by The Big Dawg’s attempted resurrection of the retro style and fashion sense that always goes with monocle-wearing, I also put the Research Staff of the Area 55 Newsletter to work compiling a run-down of other famous monocle-wearers Here are the results:

Great Moments in Monocle-Wearing History No. 1: Mr. Peanut! http://tinyurl.com/2vuxfy

Great Moments in Monocle Wearing History No. 2:: The Penguin, from the original Batman TV Show! – http://tinyurl.com/c53xm3z

Great Moments in Monocle Wearing History No. 3: Colonel Mustard, from your old Clue game! - http://tinyurl.com/cvzwfh2

Great Moments in Monocle-Wearing History No. 4: Ventiloquist Edgar Bergan’s famous dummy, Charlie McCarthy! http://tinyurl.com/c7t8pht

Great Moments in Monocle Wearing History No. 5 : The 3-Point Monocle! http://tinyurl.com/bf3ohhg

Great Moments in Monocle-Wearing History No. 6 – Affable Hunnic Stalag Kommandant, Colonel Klink!

Great Moments in Monocle-Wearing History 7 – Boris and Natasha’s Pottsylvanian Boss from the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show - Fearless Leader!

Great Moments in Monocle-Wearing History No. 8 – Dapper robot from Futurama - Bender!

It’s Monocle Night at the PTO and in Area 55! To reiterate, to celebrate Roy’s fashion sense and generally to show our New York City viewers that Hoosiers are not, in fact, “hicks,” your Prez will be handing out his complimentary ersatz monocles at the PTO and pre-game (if any are left by then). Get yours and stick it in your eye! Be a fashion maven like Roy!
Let’s get a few pictures taken all-monocled up to show that we stand in solidarity with Roy’s new trend in eyewear.


05-14-2013, 11:54 AM
I appreciate the reference to the Cadillac's hit song. Gosh, we are old!

Yes we are! Don't remind me! But if you liked the Cadillacs, I'm guessing you'll love the vid I inserted in today's Newsletter showing Gene Chandler (no relation to Tyson) doing "Duke of Earl"

"Nothing can stop me now! I'm the Duke of Earl!"

05-14-2013, 11:56 AM
If you liked Speedo and the Caddies, you'll love Gene Chandler doing "Duke of Earl". Such things are wasted, methinks, on our younger readership.

05-18-2013, 10:59 AM

Salutations, 55ers.

I could tell all of you how important tonight’s game is, but I know you all know that already.

I could also tell you how important it will be tonight that we be loud, raucous, and crazy, but you all know that already too.

I will tell you this and I'll be uncharacteristically brief. We all want to see our guys get another crack at LeBron. The Knicks stand in our way. Tonight, our guys’ mission is to eliminate the Knicks. I’m sure every member of the Pacers knows what he has to do. Frank will have them ready.

We have a mission too. We are part of the reason the Knicks haven’t won in Indy this year. We have to keep the crowd engaged. We need to encourage our guys; we need to thoroughly discourage the Knicks.

Let’s bring everything we can and leave it all in BLF tonight

Elbow Picks Need any more motivation? Well, for starters, we may be playing without George Hill again tonight. Right now, as this Newsletter goes out, whether George will be able to play or not will be a game-time decision dependent, in large part. on whether he passes an NBA concussion test.

I hope I’m wrong, but my expectation is George probably won’t play due to the head-smack he sustained on a screen thrown at him by Tyson Chandler in Game 4.

Here’s the Chandler screen: http://tinyurl.com/cnd8l4e

You may have noted that Chandler’s screening maneuver featured an extended, outwardly thrust, high elbow that was aimed, in my humble opinion, at intentionally catching a defenseless George Hill squarely in the side of his head. In my opinion, the way Chandler’s elbow was positioned made his screen “unsportsmanlike” under operative NBA rules jargon and should have merited, minimally, a Flagrant One foul, if not a Flagrant Two that would’ve had Chandler thrown out of the game and assessed a hefty fine.

It is one thing to set an arms-close-to-the-body-screen and totally another to stick out an elbow in order to guarantee head contact.

Nothing was called by the referees at the time Tyson stuck out his forearm and his elbow, of course. That’s the way things go in the NBA. Chandler wasn’t fined afterwards either. That’s the way things usually go in the NBA too, especially when the victim isn’t an ESPN-anointed NBA star.

For educational purposes, contrast the above non-call with another Chandler-inflicted screen in which poor LeBron James was the victim and the immediate NBA refereeing response:


What’s the NBA rule on elbows used in screening? Our crack research staff has swung into action:

NBA Rule 4 – Definitions -Section X-Screen

A screen is the legal action of a player who, without causing undue contact, delays or prevents an opponent from reaching a desired position.
NBA Rule 4 – Definitions – Section IV - Fouls

f. An elbow foul is making contact with the elbow in an unsportsmanlike manner whether the ball is dead or alive.

NBA Comments on the Rules – Section II – Basic Principles - Section B - Fouls: Flagrant - Unsportsmanlike

To be unsportsmanlike is to act in a manner unbecoming to the image of professional basketball. It consists of acts of deceit, disrespect of officials and profanity. The penalty for such action is a technical foul. Repeated acts shall result in expulsion from the game and a minimum fine of $1000.

A flagrant foul-penalty (1) is unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.

A flagrant foul-penalty (2) is unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent. It is an unsportsmanlike act and the offender is ejected immediately.

The offender will be subject to a fine not exceeding $35,000 and/or suspension by the Commissioner.

NBA Rule No. 12 – Fouls and Penalties – A. Technical Fouls – Section V – Conduct

d. A technical foul shall be assessed for unsportsmanlike tactics such as:
(6) A deliberately-thrown elbow or any attempted physical act with no contact involved

l. A player, coach or trainer must be ejected for:
…(3) An elbow foul which makes contact above shoulder level

Now you know what the rules say. How they are interpreted, of course, is another thing.

But this much is for certain:

Tyson Chandler, I think, ought to be booed constantly tonight. He’s a jerk. Let’s get in his bearded head.

A chant of “ELBOWS, ELBOWS” might resonate on nationwide TV too. Who knows? Maybe it’ll have a salutary effect. Maybe the next time a big guy elects to level a guard with a dangerously extended high forearm and elbow, the high rollers in the NBA front office might actually get off their dead asses and do something about it.


05-18-2013, 07:39 PM
Yeah, I guess that was "brief" - for a lawyer...

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

05-19-2013, 09:18 AM

05-26-2013, 01:14 PM

Salutations 55ers!

Tonight at 8:30 P.M. we confront Miami on our home floor. The game will be sold out, the crowd will likely be lively and liquored up, and I’m hoping the noise level will reach 125 decibels or more (125 being the threshold for pain to the ears). The Heat have been very quiet since we stole home court from them in Miami. They know that if the Pacers take the next two games here in Indy, their Playoff hole will likely be so deep that even their coddled star, LeBron “The King” James, will likely be unable to pull them out of it. The pressure on both teams – us to maintain, and them to regain, home court advantage will be intense.

Area 55 and G2Zone have to bring it as never before. The next two games in BLF are the culmination of everything that our twin fan sections exist for. Our noise has to be constant, loud, and telling. No lulls. No let-ups. No lapses.

Mark Boyle, the Pacers radio voice, mentioned in Game 2 that the Miami crowd always got quiet when the Heat were down. The Knicks crowd, in Madison Square Garden, occasionally booed the Knicks when they struggled and went down to us. It amazes me that this can happen in the context of the Playoffs. It amazes me that the Heat and the Knicks have fans like that.

We, by contrast, are different. We love our guys. And now, at long last, we have the opportunity to demonstrate to every basketball fan in America that will be watching tonight’s game just what a crowd from a rust-bucket, small-market town can bring for its team in our, by NBA standards, tiny little arena.

Many players and pundits have said that the noise level in the old Market Square Arena used to be the highest in the NBA. Some say that the noise heard now in BLF pales by comparison.

Let’s show the whole world tonight that they’re wrong. Let’s show them how much we love our team and just how much we want them to succeed and win.

Remember this tonight:

The Pacers carry our state’s name on their shirts. They represent our home city’s proud pro basketball tradition. But they are more than that.

They are guys that have worked in our food kitchens, autographed our kids’ jerseys, sponsored our blood drives, and put backpacks on our kids’ shoulders. They are good guys. They are like us. Diligent, hard-working, tough, resilient and strong.

Like us, they are built, not bought. They have done things the right way. They are humble, not arrogant. Quiet guys and not media gods. They are self-developed and not artificially created.

They have represented us well. They are very young, but they have come from basketball nowhere in a short three years to bring our city to the brink of an Eastern Conference Championship.

The Pacers mirror us. They have become a part of us. The Pacers are us.

Let’s make sure that we, as fans, let our guys know tonight that we know that. Let them know that we appreciate them. That we love them. That we treasure everything they’ve done for us. That we support them in their effort and in their quest to bring us, and themselves, even more.


A brief introduction to Rings and Things: http://tinyurl.com/6okowp9

LeBron James is perhaps Akron, Ohio’s most famous citizen (unless you want to count Harvey Firestone, the founder of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company or Art Fleming, the first emcee of the TV quiz show “Jeopardy!”).

As a tyke, LeBron grew up a basketball prodigy, happily dribbling the roundball, ingesting steroids from his mother’s mammaries, and when not doing television interviews, hating the city of Cleveland.

True, LeBron’s home town, Akron, is located a mere 40 miles from Cleveland -- but as most Buckeye Staters know, these two towns are worlds apart in terms of their level of sophistication and culture. As LeBron once said of Cleveland (while musing on the halcyon days of his royal youth):

“It’s not far, but it is far. And Clevelanders, because they were the bigger-city kids when we were growing up, looked down on us. … So we didn’t actually like Cleveland. We hated Cleveland growing up. There’s a lot of people in Cleveland we still hate to this day.”

And, I might interject here, many in Cleveland still hate LeBron.

See, LeBron grew up a Basketball-Jonesy type of kid that, on finishing high school, decided to take his beloved momma’s advice (and that of his public relations guru, the world’s only ape possessed of a PhD) to eschew college and take his talents to the NBA in search of the big bucks. Unaware of his secret hatred for Cleveland, that city’s team, the Cavaliers, naively drafted him. Clevelanders embraced The Young Lord, anointing him as their “The King” and hoped in the depths of their depressed Midwestern hearts that he would take their squalid town - lowly, polluted, rust-bucket Cleveland - to the nether-reaches of NBA titledom.

LeBron, at first, seemed amenable to the deal. After getting drafted, he took the money Cleveland gave him and, for a time, buried his festering but still clandestine hatred of that city and its snobby, Akron-disdaining citizenry. He buried that hatred for six or seven NBA seasons – basically until his contract was about to expire. During that time period he even managed to take the lackluster Cavaliers to the Playoffs a couple of times. But, for all The King’s efforts and try as hard as he might, he was just never quite able to get that coveted Big Kahuna of all Kahunas - an NBA Championship Ring.

This troubled and frustrated “The King.” Sure, he was the king in Cleveland and the royal treasury was full. But without a Ring, in the NBA scheme of things, The King was really only minor royalty – an uppity nabob, a nattering princeling, a mere satrap, and not really, as James Brown might have said, “The King of ‘Em All, Y’All.”

LeBron looked at the Cavalier players around him – mediocrities like Mo Williams and Anderson Varajao – and concluded that it might take him quite a long while, if not forever, to make it to NBA nirvana-land and get a Ring.

Also, The King, himself, had developed a troubled personal history of going into a disappearing act during the 4th Quarters of Cleveland’s Playoff games. Crunch time was tough when everybody had to count just on him to pull a tight game out and the King had nobody else to throw the ball to. It's hard to get a Ring for a King when The King's got no help!

So, in 2010, The King’s time had come. His contract with the Cavs was about to expire and The King was about to become that most liberated of all NBA fauna – a “free agent!” In a flash, a burst of an idea stole into The King’s supple and chemically-enhanced brain: He needed help! Without “help,” he’d never, ever, be able to get a Ring anytime soon in Cleveland. No. For sadly, despite all his elite athletic prowess, The King wasn’t like a Shaquille O’Neal, a Tim Duncan, a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or a Michael Jordan. He’d never be able to put a supporting cast as bad as Cleveland’s on his back and get himself that all-important Ring!

So The King realized he had to make a “Decision!”

See, there was this other guy out there called “D-Wade.” D-Wade played on another NBA team that was a lot like Cleveland. It was called the Miami Heat. D-Wade was a pretty good player too. And, just like The King, D-Wade had earned no Ring and was going nowhere Playoff-wise with Miami. D-Wade wanted a Ring too.

See, in Miami the favorite urban sport is sniffing cocaine and despite all D-Wade’s flair, basketball there is basically a sideshow -- something played in a big local arena but viewed only by white-suited drug lords who showed up (infrequently at that!), usually around 30 minutes after tip-offs, and generally only to admire one another’s suits and cut illegal drug deals.

And there was still another guy with The King’s problem. This one was a funny-looking guy, who was going nowhere with a team called the Toronto Raptors. His name was Chris “CB4” Bosh. Bosh was supposed to be a pretty good basketball player too, but his team, the Raptors, basically stunk. CB4 was unhappy in Toronto. He’d recently had his nose broken, was malingering a lot on the bench, and the fan base were growing impatient with him and calling him “soft.” Chris didn’t like the weather in snowy Canada either. And his prospects of getting a Ring in Toronto were almost as dim as that city’s wintry skies. But, like The King, Chris was a “free agent” too!

Now, thought The King, wouldn’t it be neat if he and D-Wade and CB4 all got together someplace – say Miami – and made all nice and played their basketball together. Why then they’d have a “Great Team!” Then the three of them could “help” each other and get lotsa Rings!

There were other factors to consider too, of course. Like “happiness.” Was LeBron really “happy” in Cleveland – a city that Akronites like him always inwardly despised and where one of his teammates, Delonte West, was rumored to then be having an affair with LeBron’s mom (the esteemed Queen Mother)?

“Happiness,” after all, is important. A King needs to be happy! And Cleveland was just Cleveland. The King, despite the worshipful adulation of the city’s fans, really didn’t owe Cleveland or its fans anything. Kings never owe their realms anything. Kings owe nothing to anyone but themselves. That's just the way royalty works.

So all these factors began to percolate like festering farts in The King’s royal brain. The King pondered these factors. He “thought” about them. He consulted with The Queen Mother. He consulted with his public relations man, PhD Ape. He started consulting secretly with Pat Riley, the Miami Heat’s General Manager.

Rumors that The King was doing all this “thinking” and “consulting” got out to the newsies too. ESPN started talking about it. Pundits started talking about it. Cleveland started talking about it. Everybody started talking about it.

And the talking started using big, university-type words that The King, who never attended college, had never even heard before. Words like “synergy” and “osmosis” and “Triple Entente.” And all the talking and big words boiled down to the possibility that The King, D-Wade, and CB4 –might all just take a slight pay cut and use the thing called “free agency” to get together someplace -- someplace nicer than Cleveland and Toronto. Someplace like maybe New York or, even better, a nice warm place like Miami. That way, y’see, The King could get his “help” and, together with D-Wade and CB4, The King could win lotsa Rings and then he could be "happy!"

Of course, before making such a move, LeBron had to really think about it. A royal “Decision” always requires beaucoup royal thinking. It also requires somewhere appropriate to announce “The Decision” once it is made – a grand and noble venue, like in an hour-long nationally televised program. So LeBron set one up!.

But there was drama too! Ah, there was so much to consider: There were all those prior pronouncements and promises that The King had made to Cleveland’s management and its fan base. Stuff like:

"I got a goal, and it's a huge goal, and that's to bring an NBA championship here to Cleveland. And I won't stop until I get it."

Many philologists, grammarians, and other learned people that are tasked with interpreting the meaning of words had parsed prior statements like this from The King and concluded that they meant something. Many thought that these royal words meant that, despite The King’s “free agency,” His Noble Highness had actually promised to remain with his subjects in his royal Cleveland domain and labor on longer, at least for as long as it would take to bring Cleveland an NBA championship.

But The King knew his earlier royal pronouncements and promises to Cleveland were just one factor to consider. There were yet other more important ones. There was The King’s long-simmering, Akronite hatred of sophisticated, snobby Cleveland and its citizenry to remember. Such early slights still rankled The Anointed One The King had a great memory and he just couldn’t forget them.

And there were those nagging personal issues too. As mentioned, one of The King’s nobles, a Cleveland player named DeLonte West, and The King’s royal mom, The Queen Mother, had been getting it on. This bothered The King’s concentration and had caused a worsening in The Royal Shot, particularly in 4th Quarters. That, in turn, translated to even more lost Playoff games for The King. And, of course, there were also those elusive butterflies of an NBA Ring and The King’s general “Happiness” to consider too.

Anyway, when all was said and done, The King had to make up his mind!

So “The Decision” was made. And The King announced it. And guess what? Cleveland lost.

As The King put it:

“In this fall… this is very tough… in this fall I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”

The King wasn’t really too worried about local Cleveland fan reaction to The Decision. He knew that his loving Cleveland-based subjects would sympathize and understand "The Decision." Their King, after all, had a need for True Happiness. Sure, The King’s royal coffers contained millions and his subjects adored him. But money and fan adoration aren't everything a King needs. A King needs Rings!

Yes, the King needed more! The King had an immediate and burning desire to start acquiring the many, many NBA championship Rings true Kings acquire! And getting "happy" and getting Rings was just not possible in Cleveland. True fans of The King would know this. True fans of His Highness would empathize. True fans of The King would simply say “Bon Voyage, O Mighty Anointed One!” and wish their beloved King their very best as he went elsewhere to quest for lotsa Rings!.

And, when all was said and done, it wouldn’t really be “goodbye” to Cleveland. LeBron’s departure would really be more like an “Auf Wiedersehen!” See, as The King pointed out, his subjects could always watch His Royal Progress on their little TVs and, what's more, The King would continue to keep one of his royal palaces in Akron, just 40 miles away, so his subjects would know he always sort of remained close by. So it wouldn’t be like The King would be totally gone. All would not be lost! Clevelanders could still worship their beloved ruler whenever he happened to be visiting his Akron palace! The King put the prospects of future contacts with his Cleveland fan subjects better than I do here:

“You know, [the Cavs’ fans] can have mixed emotions, of course, but it's going to be a lot of emotions not understanding why. And then you're going to have the real friends who love me for who I am. For me being from Akron, Ohio, and loving Akron, Ohio, it's always home for me. I'm still going to live there, always be home. And Akron, Ohio is always home for me and that area.”

And as The King predicted, his true fans (the ones with his best interests at heart!) took his departure well:

http://tinyurl.com/292zf59 <http://tinyurl.com/292zf59>

http://tinyurl.com/ny8ydzx <http://tinyurl.com/ny8ydzx>

http://tinyurl.com/jwv2uc2 <http://tinyurl.com/jwv2uc2>

http://tinyurl.com/klj9jeq <http://tinyurl.com/klj9jeq>

http://tinyurl.com/l3c2r4r <http://tinyurl.com/l3c2r4r>

http://tinyurl.com/m98tkcs <http://tinyurl.com/m98tkcs>

The Cavs’ management understood too, and despite his abdication, bade their departing King lachrymose best wishes and gave him a profound and heartfelt adieu.

http://tinyurl.com/24f3uw6 <http://tinyurl.com/24f3uw6>

Well, you all know the rest of the story. The King DID take his act to Miami where he honed his skills and after an initial bump in the road (A Finals loss to Lord Dirk of Nowitzki), eventually flopped his way to an NBA championship in 2012.

Yes, The King now has a Ring! And Miami suddenly had a “Great Team!

And you know what? The King is still The King, only in South Beach and not Cleveland. And The King’s royal story has a happy ending!

The End!

Postscript: Strangely, there are some in Cleveland that are pulling for the Pacers tonight. I wonder why?


05-28-2013, 11:27 AM

Salutations 55ers!

We couldn’t get it done Sunday and the Heat are now up 2-1. Their strategy now is to have LeBron post low and dare us to double him while his underpaid bit players throw up threes. On Sunday, Udonis Haslem, left uncontested, awoke and got hot. LeBron hit 4 or 5 baseline hooks. Battier, Bosh, Allen finally started contributing and all hit 3s.

PG had his first bad game. The Pacers missed 14 free throws. And the refs let Miami foul and flop with impunity. Everything went wrong for us. It was one of those games.

Now it’s Game 4. Frank Vogel is no dope. He’ll have a strategy planned to try to cope with the Heat. But we all know that BLF has to be a lot more of a home court for our guys than it was Sunday in Game 3.

Truth told, I’m really very upbeat about our chances tonight.

We ordinarily rebound from bad games. Our team is pretty steady and won’t let what happened to them Sunday carry over into tonight. My guess is that tonight’s game will bring us a much stronger Pacers effort and also a more focused home crowd. The loafered polo-shirt types that came to Sunday’s game on a lark following a day of tanning at the Track will not be so much in evidence tonight. The fans tonight will likely be more local basketball people coming to BLF to back the Pacers. The checkerboard Speedway featured T-shirting scheme that worked so poorly Sunday has been abandoned. It’ll be another Gold Out - something that will serve to unify the crowd and that has brought us good things in the past.

Joey Crawford’s officiating crew (Crawford, Ronnie Moll, and Derrick Stafford) will be calling the game. This is a plus. Crawford’s no great shakes, but he’s impartial. We’ll likely see a better and more evenly officiated game than we got from the bozos on Sunday. Moreover, CBS has belatedly picked up on D-Wade’s act and is now rightly calling him on all his slimy fouling and flopping (See the article here: http://tinyurl.com/ns6n3nm). This is also a plus because games are not refereed in a vacuum.

Therefore my best guess is that we should see a lot more basketball tonight, and a lot less of the extra-curricular cheap shots and acting from Miami than we’ve had to go through previously. I think that too works in our favor.

We have to once again be loud and strong for our guys. We need to get the crowd into it too.

So here’s how we do it:

1. We have to be in our seats at least 10 minutes before tip-off. We need to start chanting before the game even starts. Get your food and drink before-hand. We all have to be on one page tonight. We can’t go down 3-1 at home to the Heat

2. Our chanting needs to be focused and in unison. The guys in front have to start it and the people in back have to be watching and listening to see what the chants are. We also have to be smart and listen for the organ and the drum-line so that we are in sync and aren’t running counter to something else going on from a noise standpoint in the arena.

3. Our chants have to be simple and constant. We need to get the crowd into it. The crowd won’t understand what we do if it is too difficult to follow.

4. We need to be extremely vocal when the Heat are shooting free-throws. This is especially so when their dirtiest players (Chalmers, Haslem, Battier, Cole and Wade) are at the stripe. This is our one opportunity to tell a nationwide audience who and what these slimeballs really are. Let’s really give it to them!

Remember: Tonight’s game is very, very big. Everyone has to leave it all there tonight. We can beat Miami. We’ve done it once (very nearly twice) and the latest countervailing Heat win does not a whole Playoff series make. If we can pull even with Miami tonight, our guys are right back where we were when this whole series started. Then I like our chances.

We can do this!

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of our Playoff demise have been greatly exaggerated. I expect that this will become a little more apparent to the world of professional basketball tonight.


05-28-2013, 03:49 PM
Our chanting needs to be focused and in unison. The guys in front have to start it and the people in back have to be watching and listening to see what the chants are.

Joe, I can loan you one of our Talking Bigheads with the dry erase board and give you a marker if that would help, but I would need to get it back after the game, and it would need to be under your supervision the whole time you have it. Look for me in the atrium before the pre-game show or stop by the G2 Zone if you want one.

05-29-2013, 09:32 AM
My boss in Denver just emailed me to tell me that "he's a flopper" had him rolling every time he heard it on the broadcast.

Good job, G2 and A55!

05-29-2013, 09:41 AM
Some love for the Area55 and G2 guys and gals.


06-01-2013, 10:38 AM

Salutations, 55ers!

OK. I don’t really have much to say. The Heat now lead the series 3-2. If we win tonight, however, the series goes to 3-3. Then it’ll be gut-check time in Miami. Guess who the pressure will drop on then? It won’t be on us.

Nope, this thing isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot. What’s more, I’m even predicting a decisive Pacers win.


All year our guys have responded real well after a loss. We usually learn from our miscues and bounce back big time. I don’t see why tonight’s game – being as important as it is – should be any different.

Second, the NBA, belatedly, has tossed “The Birdman” for his blindside assault on Tyler Hansbrough in Game 5. The Flagrant One that the Striped Ones charitably awarded him for that has since been upgraded to a thoroughly merited Flagrant Two. The Birdman’s wings will be clipped and, instead of being the “Free Bird” his neck tat-ware extols he’ll be left to defecate in his cage during tonight’s game. Oh, and BTW, the technical that the refs gave TH as a consequence of Birdman’s violence in Game 5 has been rescinded. That doesn’t mean much now, but at least Tyler won’t have to pay the mandatory fine that ordinarily goes with any NBA technical foul. With Birdman out, that means that when Chris “Avatar” Bosh gets in his typical foul trouble, the Heat won’t have anybody capable to spell him. Result: More rebounds for us.

Oh, and I might mention this: In case you had any lingering doubts about the general lack of class that has come to characterize the Miami Heat, there’s this little gem: The Heat team actually awarded Birdman the ball from Game 5 as a reward for his cheap shot on Hansbrough. This is more of the same hubris, in-your-face arrogance and general sense of impunity that accompanies just about everything that is Miami. My guess is the Pacers will remember this deliberate insult tonight.

We need to remember it too, 55ers. Respond accordingly.

Thirdly, we’re at home again. This is our turf. Our fortress. Our Temple of Doom. We’re really good in BLF. Funny things happen here to foreign invaders too. In his last visit, LeBron got Teed up and accumulated 6 common fouls. You’d never see that occur in Miami or really anywhere else. I like to think our chanting, the Gold Out, and all the focused crowd noise that was present in Game 4 had something to do with the atmospherics that so frustrated LeBron and made him look so less regal and kingly.

Let’s see to it that this gets reprised tonight.

Finally, some of the Pacers – notably George Hill and Lance Stephenson - have a lot to prove. I look for both of them to be in full attack mode and have really big games. Their play in Game 5 was a big aberration. Watch them respond to the challenge tonight.

Nope, this isn’t over yet by any means. If I didn’t hate the Heat so much, I’d almost pity them for what is going to happen to them tonight.

Let’s bring it again big time, Area 55! Let’s help make sure this thing goes 7 games.


07-31-2013, 05:06 AM
http://www.pacersarea55.com/ Auditions are here! I figured since nobody else posted it I would.

08-15-2013, 06:04 PM

08-16-2013, 09:17 AM

Congrats, Sandman. Glad to have you back where you belong. Did the Dynlachts make it? Didn't hear.

08-16-2013, 10:21 AM
Did the Dynlachts make it? Didn't hear.

I traded emails with JoeyD yesterday. He got the call a few minutes before I did.

08-16-2013, 10:22 PM
Aww sandman...traitor! Lol

08-16-2013, 10:34 PM
Aww sandman...traitor! Lol

All about bringing balance to the best homecourt advantage in the NBA...

Besides, its one less competitor for you to get a G2 spot this year. ;)

And never fear, the G2 Gameday will be put into good hands once the field gets set. :)

08-16-2013, 11:03 PM
Congrats, Sandman. Glad to have you back where you belong. Did the Dynlachts make it? Didn't hear.

I made it, so I'm finally officially a member of Area 55! Very excited. Will certainly be different sitting up there this year, having been an ex-officio member first of Area 55 and then G2. I feel like I have a veteran's track record and 55er IQ, though I clearly only have rookie status. The wifey didn't make the cut, but we'll buy her in if we have the opportunity as in year's past, and she's also thrilled to be back in the section that started it all.

Glad to hear that so many familiar faces will be back, including you Joe Murphy! Of course, will miss the folks that sat around us in G2. Will have to find someone else to share the all-you-can-eat popcorn with now, but that's a good problem to have.

08-20-2013, 12:18 AM
Seems like a good time to retire last seasons thread and start a new one. Since there now is a new group of area 55 members we should probably start the conversation anew. Congrats to both last seasons G2 zone members and Area 55 members for their dedicated service to our team and on a very successful season.