I miss the sounds of sports: the crack of the bat, the loud check into the boards, the roar after a late game-winning goal. I even almost miss the sound of an unthinkable four-bounce shot.
But, in recent weeks, I also miss the sound effects of sports. I miss when the Sixers play Mr. Burns saying “excellent” after they make two consecutive free throws, or when the Carson Wentz-lookin’ guy instructing a local celebrity to ring the bell as they play pre-recorded bell sounds over the PA system. I even miss watching the Sixers bungle another possession as I hear “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check” by Busta Rhymes playing in the arena. If the NBA actually ends up playing games in empty arenas, they should still play the music and sound effects.
I did not think this way before the total shutdown of sports. Basketball is my favorite sport to see in-person; I attend multiple pro, college, and high school games a year. I will stop to watch pick-up games. I love live basketball.
Generally, I prefer the presentation at the lower levels. I like watching a college game where the only instrumentation is from a marching band cramped into the stands. I like the aural quality of a high school game, with just the floor squeaks and ref whistles, even more.
But, spurred on by Barry’s blog earlier this week, I’ve been watching a bit of Taiwanese baseball recently. It is a weird experience. There are no fans. But, occasionally, they play music and other sound effects.
I love it! Hearing what I assume is the regular instrumentation of Chinese Professional Baseball League makes it feel like more of a game. And I think the NBA should do this, too.
I was thinking about the music played during NBA games this week because of a clever article by Kyle Neubeck at Philly Voice. Neubeck, a Sixers beat guy, tracked the Sixers offense at home games based on what music was played. It turns out the Sixers play really well when they play “Candy Shop” or “Fire” by 50 Cent. (They also do well when Erik B. & Rakim plays, because how could you not be inspired by “Paid in Full”?)
They also play like shit when “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check” plays. They play so poorly that Joel Embiid told Neubeck: “They better stop playing it. I’m not kidding — they better stop playing it.” Former Sixers guard T.J. McConnell said this of Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” another clunker: “They better not play that fucking song ever again. That shit’s gotta go.” (Philly Voice censored “fucking” but not “shit.” Here at UTSB, I figure our audience can handle the profanity.)
So even though the Sixers struggle during certain songs, I want to hear them if the NBA ever returns again and plays empty-arena games. In order to figure out what might happen, I asked the NBA about it.
The NBA’s Tim Frank actually fielded my question over email, despite the inquiry coming from an outlet named Unnamed Temporary Sports Blog. “Just way too premature to answer,” he wrote. “We’ll have to see what options are available as we go on and then make decisions at that point on how everything would be executed.”
You heard it here first: Maybe.
The Commentarrorist says:
Pleasure to read you and the others again. Of particular enjoyment, is when past articles at the former website are referenced and linked. The thought that I am trafficking the site but not for the scab content fills my heart. Thanks for this.
April 23, 2020 — 4:44 pm
The Commentarrorist says:
And yeah, all in. But what about the crowd noise for when that ball finally bounces in?
April 23, 2020 — 4:45 pm
Palpae Epigyne says:
Surely they could just provide the crowd noise equivalent of a laugh track?
April 24, 2020 — 4:52 am
Hannibal Armies says:
They should pipe in sounds of fans from their homes. That would be hilarious!
April 23, 2020 — 4:46 pm
Great idea, but remember it’s all in the execution. So, someone make a note to switch the positive and negative crowd reactions for home Chargers’ games.
April 23, 2020 — 4:57 pm
Robot Jerry Rice says:
Ok I am familiar with how consistently atrocious the header art is on UTSB and it’s probably passe to comment on it, but those crystal clear clip art music notes running over the top of a scene that is best described as what Double Dribble on NES looks like to someone with cataracts, are a new standard for atrocious. Wow.
April 23, 2020 — 5:07 pm
Dan McQuade says:
April 23, 2020 — 6:01 pm
Garfield Thelonius Remington III says:
Dan I’m just gonna chime in here, and maybe it’s the hangover, but your avatar photo here on this site makes you look like Sean Bean with better hair.
April 24, 2020 — 11:33 am
Martin English says:
and yet, there’s some thing precocious, childlike about it. … the simplicity, and yes, I’ll say it, I’ll go there, raw primitiveness of the art .. superimposed over the lack of artistic ego t, where the author’s words take primacy …
SHITthis is good whisky
April 24, 2020 — 3:10 am
I actually love the header art for this post…
April 23, 2020 — 5:25 pm
Concrete Brad says:
Should have been you, Coach K
April 23, 2020 — 6:13 pm
“Let Me Ride” is the superior track on The Chronic anyway…
April 23, 2020 — 6:50 pm
I once went to a minor pro game and the DJ played the beat from Biggie’s “I got a story to tell” what seemed like every third offensive possession. Can’t imagine pro basketball players really find that song super motivating, to be honest.
April 23, 2020 — 10:06 pm
Martin English says:
Just saying, your graphics department shit on almost everyone the herb uses.
April 24, 2020 — 2:58 am