Fan Zone

by Ethan


We walked up the stairs to our seats as tip-off began. I felt the air thinning in the Amway as we elevated. Anthony and I eventually settled into the cool, hard nosebleeds. Every time we stood up we could almost touch the roof, but the view was better than any sunset I’ve ever seen. The Orlando Magic, led by Nikola Vucevic and new addition Terrence Ross, played against the Portland Trailblazers and one of the best backcourt duos in the league, 3J Mccollum and Damian Lillard.

The game continued and as time went by the sparkle slightly faded. Sloppy turnover after sloppy turnover had both franchises’ fans extremely upset. “The beauty of physically going to a game compared to watching at home is the fans around us.” I said laughing and pointing to the man who sat next to Anthony.

“Why is our team so bad, millions of dollars spent on someone who can’t hit a layup?” The inebriated 25 year-old Trailblazers fan screamed, then drank another large gulp of his beer.

“I know how it feels man, I’m a knicks fan.” I said, this year they were destined for their 4th straight losing season.

“You probably need this more then me.” he said as he offered me the rest of the cup and I shook my head.

“I drink because of them, they’re not helping my smoking problem either.” He said, then we busted out laughing.

Anthony said “High and drunk, well that explains a lot.” as laughter began between the two of us continued.

The game continued as the Blazers started to go on a run. We screamed at Elfrid Payton, a player me and Anthony share a burning hatred towards. At that point he made a crossover move with a fancy reverse finish.

“Watch, he’s going to do something extremely stupid, because he thinks he’s on fire right now.” I complained being extremely tight at the moment.

On the very next possession Payton jacked up an ill-advised three-pointer. Having two halves of the same brain we shook our heads simultaneously. Frank Vogel, the Magic’s head coach, then called a timeout and proceeded to yell at Payton. That ended up being the end of the 3rd quarter and we went to leave to meet our boss. We traveled with the Florida Flight, a minor league basketball team, to their own personal locker room. I’m the part time announcer for the flight and Anthony is the mascot “Jet Lag.” We both went to set up as the Magic cheerleaders walked by. Anthonys mouth dropped to the floor and my eyes became wide. Me and Ant’s eyes met. The entire room was silent.

One of the players in the room chuckled and said “Y’all a bunch a weak punks, a couple hot girls walk by and y’all going silent. Sad.”

Everyone on the team started making excuses for why they weren’t staring. The game ended on a Blazers victory and I went to go set up the audio and video. I walked through the tunnel and went on to hardwood of the Amway Arena. The same floor greats such as Penny Hardaway and Dwight Howard played on. I feel at awe, and full of excitement. I went to go set up the camera and the microphone and to my excitement CJ Mccollum walked by. I told him I was a big fan and I was just super happy to talk to him. Anthony came up and was told by the owner he wasn’t allowed to talk to the players as the mascot. You could see him frown through his skin suit. I went back to setting up and Ant started jumping up and down pointing behind me.

“Speak up” I said, messing with the poor kid.

I turned around and to a great surprise, I saw Mo Harkless and Damian Lillard, starters of the Blazers.

I walked up to them and said “Yo dude, huge fan.”

I stood in front of them awkwardly, palms sweating and wearing a jacket of goose bumps, staring for what felt like 5 minutes and then went back to work. We had a charity game where a cancer patient was celebrated and allowed to go and play with the Flight. Me and My Co-worker, an independent journalist named, Danny Thompson, commentated the game. The fact that the organization would make a little girl’s day brought a warm sensation to my heart. When the game ended I thanked the owner of the Flight for allowing me to come, then Ant and I left with joy and excitement just to have an amazing experience in our lifetimes.

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