Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wizards vs. Pacers 2018

My son's school had tickets for the family night at the Washington Wizards basketball game on March 17, 2018. The Wizards were playing the Indiana Pacers, a close rival. It was an exciting game.

Like last year, we had the inexpensive, high up seats in the stadium. Unlike last year, no good samaritan gave us better tickets, so we staying in the nose-bleed seats.

View from our seats

My son chilling before the game

The stadium had the typical pre-game activity going on--players warming up and a little indoor blimp flying around.

Testing the camera's zoom feature

Blimp or car--you make the call!

One of the challenges with high up seats is deciding weather to watch the jumbotron or the actual action on the court. Before the game, they had one of many ceremonies honoring people at the game, including two children named honorary co-captains of the Wizards for the night.

Captains easier to see on the big screen than on the court

With preliminaries done, they were ready to start the game. That included introducing each of the starting players with their own bursts of flame!

Lights swirling around the stadium

These players are on fire!

The mascot was not introduced but he kept wandering in and out of our attention span. So did the cheerleaders.

Mascot cracking someone up

Actual view of the mascot from our seats--choose the jumbotron

Cheerleaders warming up the crowd

The game started with a slow build in the action. The teams were fairly even during the first half.

View is about the same on the jumbotron and in real life

During one of the commerical breaks, they presented a Dunkin' Donuts race on the jumbotron, which was the same race we had seen before at Camden Yards during a Baltimore Orioles game. Not very exciting.

Donut run without a delivery=no fun

Another commercial found the Wizards and Geico honoring a woman from Boys and Girls Club, which was nice.

Surrounded by mascots

Jumbotron view

They also played a game called Hot or Cold, where a lucky audience member would be blindfolded and the crowd had to guide her to the mascot at the center of the court. Well, they secretly replaced the mascot with the girl's uncle who just got back from deployment. It was a touching surprise.

Hot or Cold contest kickoff


During another commercial break, they had another challenge, this time for the players and in honor of Saint Patrick's Day. The jumbotron displayed an "Irish or Not?" slide and then showed the players trying to guess if certain items were Irish or not.

You ready for this?

Wrong guess, Kelly!

Tomas didn't even know who Ed Sheeran was (neither did I, so I don't blame him)

Bradley rightly identifies curling as not Irish

The Irish may not forgive him for this mistake

Something is out of sync here

During half time, we went in search of snacks. The pretzels weren't hot yet so we bought some chicken tenders and fries. Since the stadium is sponsored by Capital One, the concession stand gave us a ten percent discount on the food for using our Capital One credit card.

During the final half, the game became more exciting as the Wizards developed a slim lead. At another commercial break, they had the weirdest contest I ever saw--the human bobble head contest. Guys had pedometers strapped to their heads and they had to nod up and down as fast as they could for thirty seconds. Thirty seconds doesn't sound like a long time, but let me assure it was.

Advantage jumbotron

Later, some restaurant got in on the action. Chick-fil-A had parachuting snacks. Being in the nose-bleed seats, we looked down on the people getting the prizes.

Parachuting chickens!

Local bar and restaurant chain The Green Turtle had a shell game that one fan got to play. She won thanks to the crowd helping her out.

Shell game with virtual turtle shells!

Cheerleaders in their second half outfits

The Pacers had a bit of a comeback late in the game but then the Wizards opened up a wide lead, leaving them triumphant with a score of 109 to the Pacers' 102.

More game action

The big finale

We had a fun time and got new t-shirts. Unlike last year, I was smart enough not to ask what size they recommended. Last year they gave me a medium which was too small for me (though it was the tallest stack of t-shirts by far). I asked for a large and got one that I can wear without it being too tight.

T-shirt giveaway

We had a great time and will probably go back again next year.

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