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Thread: Cuban silences the Music

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    Default Cuban silences the Music

    http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/13563817.htm

    Mavs fans: Don't stop the music
    By JEFF CAPLAN
    Star-Telegram Staff Writer

    DALLAS -- The night the music died inside American Airlines Center, Mavericks fans, apparently disoriented by the anachronism of sneakers squeaking on hardwood, basketballs thumping and players grunting, told owner Mark Cuban to pump up the volume.

    During the Dec. 30 game against Golden State, Cuban silenced every last note of ear-splitting music that's normally incessantly piped in over the Mavs' PA system -- a direct response to a remark NBA commissioner David Stern made last month about the abundance of artificial noise filling the league's arenas.

    The experiment triggered a decisive fan reaction directed to Cuban's inbox.

    "Ten to 1," Cuban said, "against the sneakers and for the music."

    The sensory assault of recorded music, an alternating cacophony of blaring rock, hip-hop and R&B that's often blasted near the decibel level of a jet airliner and played nearly throughout the entirety of actual game action, has emerged as a staple at just about every NBA arena over the past five years.

    "People got really used to that and comfortable with it," said Steve Letson, Mavs vice president of operations. "So now, when it's quiet, it's like, 'Geez, what's going on? Something's wrong.'"

    Letson, with the Mavs for 22 years, remembers simpler days at Reunion Arena, when a drum beat enticed fans into the chant, "Dee-Fense," or a trumpet urged the crowd to scream, "Charge!"

    Now, Letson sits courtside for every home game. His headset keeps him in communication with a DJ, who shuffles through an immense inventory of songs, as well as the operators of the scoreboard LED screens, which display movie clips and other noisy prompts.

    Often, Letson takes cues from the owner, sitting along the baseline, flashing hand signals like a conductor to crank things up.

    "Quite honestly, there's a balance there," Letson said. "Sometimes we don't give the fans a chance. We bombard them with so much fan prompts that you don't know if they're saying anything or not."

    'Silent Night'

    Stern apparently has been wondering the same thing. Or, at least, a questioner on an ESPN Web chat last month got Stern to thinking.
    Stern was asked why PA systems are allowed to pipe in music during games: "If home fans can't get pumped up and make noise on their own, there is something really wrong with your league. The game should be the entertainment."

    Stern said, "I agree," and added, "Unfortunately, most of our teams don't and think that the fans like the entertainment. We're trying to find a few games to experiment with, for teams to give us a 'silent night,' so to speak."
    Always eager to set the trend -- he, after all, helped usher in this new age of constant noise and in-game entertainment -- Cuban, initially opposed to Stern's idea, decided to indulge the commissioner.

    "I figured if it worked, great," Cuban said. "If not, it would put all the discussion to bed."

    Interestingly, since Stern's rather innocuous answer on the chat, teams have begun to examine their in-game entertainment operation.

    "I don't believe we're ever going to go back to an environment where we're not playing any music," said Brian Byrnes, the SuperSonics' vice president of sales and marketing, "but there's enough people talking about maybe too much in-game entertainment, maybe too much music, maybe too many things happening. I think we're all realizing that maybe the consumer has just gotten a little tired of just music all the time."

    That's what Cuban set out to find out. But fan reaction was apparently so one-sided to the silent treatment, Cuban said, that at the next home game against Portland, the usual Rolling Stones song, Start Me Up, accompanied the entirety of the Mavs' first possession. The normal music onslaught was then gradually worked in.

    And it will be back in force for Saturday's game against Minnesota, Letson said, because that's what Cuban has determined the ticket-buying customer wants, even expects.

    "As they've priced themselves so highly, people expect entertainment for their dollar," said Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon. "And, they don't necessarily want the risk of walking into a game that's so boring because of the product on the floor that there's nothing else to enhance the entertainment value of being there."

    Quiet, please

    These days, the Mavs are an entertaining product without penetrating deep inside the public's ear drums.

    But teams have long been in search of ways to pump up the home crowds and produce louder, advantageous noise levels.

    Jeff Scalf, the Indiana Pacers' vice president of game operations, piped in the roaring sound of an Indy race car when the Pacers were on defense during the 1994 season.

    So many teams complained that the deafening sound was a distraction that the league outlawed it. A few years later, the Chicago Bulls were at the center of a noise complaint. Teams became frustrated when the Bulls played a musical tape for the duration of the opponents' possession, though there was a rule against music being played while the home team is on defense.

    Today, home teams can play a drum beat or some other electronic-induced prompt on defense and actual songs, with lyrics, while on offense, a setup Cuban believes enhances the game's experience for fans, especially younger ones.

    "We're going to go wherever our customers tell us to go, but in the interim, we'll try to mix it up and see if there's a better solution," Cuban said. "The whole goal is to find a better scenario, but you can't find one until you experiment."

    So far, it does not appear that Stern has requested any teams to go silent for a night or two. There is at least a plan in the works to incorporate the idea into the NBA's Hardwood Classic Nights that celebrate the history of the NBA, "using only old-school organ music for fan prompts," NBA entertainment executive vice president Gregg Winik said.

    While the NBA and its teams might never be able to please all of its fans all of the time, a reduction in noise levels might even find common ground with some of its players.

    "I kind of like it a little quiet sometimes," said the Mavs' Jerry Stackhouse. "There is time for music in the regular season on those nights where there isn't that much energy in the building. In the postseason, you may not need it as much."

    In the meantime, pack some ear plugs.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jeff Caplan, (817) 390-7760 jcaplan@star-telegram.com

  2. #2
    Member Jon Theodore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    I really love cuban, you gotta love this guy.

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    A proper experiment should go longer than one game. Give the audience time to adjust; it's a shell shock after so many years of so much noise. They'd start producing the noise themselves again over time. The NBA was hardly a tomb before they started playing all this stuff.

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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Personally I hate all the music. But then again I hate it when people show up for anything other than the game. Which seems to happen a lot. So yeah to those people of course they want music. Sensory overload is what they're all about, and the enhance with alcohol abuse.

    I'd rather hear the activity on the court, God I miss that.
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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    I'm sure all those fans who are able to afford only 1-2 games a year really appreciated being a guinea pig in Cuban's experiment.

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    Member Frank Slade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    I just want the Cavs and Detroit PA Announcers to be silenced..

    who do I have to talk to about that....

    Why Not Us ?


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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Slade
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    I just want the Cavs and Detroit PA Announcers to be silenced..

    who do I have to talk to about that....
    Cuban assassins, I guess.

    ( points to anyone who gets that)

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    All is full of Orange! Mourning's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade
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    Cuban assassins, I guess.

    ( points to anyone who gets that)
    The new documentary from that German guy about Cuba's secret service beying behind the murder of JFK?

    Not just some documentary maker btw. Also he's gone through the archives and spoken to some new "sources", haven't seen it yet, but it's on german tv tonight, so who knows I might watch it tonight (unlikely) or waite until it gets aired here (VERY likely).

    Regards,

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Mourning
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    The new documentary from that German guy about Cuba's secret service beying behind the murder of JSK?
    Just for that, you get two .

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    #PacerNation 317Kim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by btowncoltŠ
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    DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETROOOOIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTT BAAAAAAAAAASSSKKKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEETTBAAAAAAAAAAAAAL LLLLLLL!!!!!!!!
    dont remind me.

    Spurs PA anyone?

  11. #11
    All is full of Orange! Mourning's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade
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    Just for that, you get two .
    2012 PD ABA Fantasy Keeper League Champion, sports.ws

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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave
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    Personally I hate all the music. But then again I hate it when people show up for anything other than the game. Which seems to happen a lot. So yeah to those people of course they want music. Sensory overload is what they're all about, and the enhance with alcohol abuse.

    I'd rather hear the activity on the court, God I miss that.
    Very well put.

    By eliminating EVERYTHING, Cuban's just being a smart-***.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    No more music during games...During timeouts and other breaks, fine...but I want to hear squeaking!

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    Member SycamoreKen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    It would be nice to be able to converse with the person next to you about the game without having to shout. But, unfortunately, witht he ever dwindling attention spans these days they ahve to do something to keep the people focused. Maybe baseball needs more music.

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    Member Knucklehead Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Gradually decrease the music and extraneous artificial noise over several months or a year. Then step it back up to today's level. Everyone would be complaining about it.

    It's how people get used to things -- gradually. The artificial noise was ramped up and people got used to it and now expect it.
    Don't thank me, I'll kill ya.

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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    A proper experiment should go longer than one game. Give the audience time to adjust; it's a shell shock after so many years of so much noise. They'd start producing the noise themselves again over time. The NBA was hardly a tomb before they started playing all this stuff.
    Actually it was longer than one game. The experiment started with the Christmas weekend game .. Cuban figuring there would be more younger fans than a typical business week game, he decided to cut the music. The kids, he thought, would make plenty of noise. He was right. Great game, lots of fan noise so Cuban continued the experiment.

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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    That's why I'm a college BB fan and not NBA. I've been to a few NBA games, but I can't handle them. The loud incessant music takes away from the game. I go to a game to watch a game, not to listen to music. I was at the Lobo game last night against Colorado State and the most sound was the crowd cheering! What a concept at a basketball game, huh?

    I watch NBA to see Danny play. Other than that, I have no use for it. Give me the college game anytime. The real basketball atmosphere, the kids busting their butts, the fans getting into it.

  18. #18
    Edge of Reason GO!!!!!'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    I'm over main stream music, and I want to hear play calls and shoes squeking too, but then again I liked petrol @ 20 Cents a Gallon and I'll never get that back so i just face the music and life goes on....


    Ya Think Ya Used Enough Dynamite there Butch...


  19. #19

    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Typical overreaction by Cuban.

    Nobody ever wanted all music eliminated from the game. Just stop the overly loud annoying music played almost every posession in some places.

    Play all you want as loud as you want every break in play.
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

  20. #20
    Member Since86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
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    A proper experiment should go longer than one game. Give the audience time to adjust; it's a shell shock after so many years of so much noise. They'd start producing the noise themselves again over time. The NBA was hardly a tomb before they started playing all this stuff.

    It was a horrible experiment if he only took those responses who actually took the time to email him about it.

    It's not a scientific polling, and only gets those who are really opinionated on it. It has to be totally random in order to get what the general public feels about it.

    Plus, who would email him about liking it? Praise to disapproval is always lobsided to disapproval, because those who want change are more vocal.


    It's a horrible way to "put to rest" those talking about silent nights, that are about as accurate as online polling.

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    Default Re: Cuban silences the Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Slade
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    I just want the Cavs and Detroit PA Announcers to be silenced..

    ....
    The Cavs guy is new this year and it is obvious the new owner who is from Detroit told his employees to find someone who is just like the guy in Detroit. But they found someone who is 10X worse. (the guy in Detroit is annoying, but the guy in Cleveland is much more so)
    He even does the "Cleveland basketball" . It sounds horrible.

    Luckily Reb Porter is still around and I like him. The Magic PA has always been bad and same with the Heat's guy

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