Slam dunk da funk!

Nope I’m not talking that classic song by 5ive that we all loved when we were at school (well depending on your age of course!!)…I’m talking one of the biggest sports in America – Basketball!

Yep as part of our initiation into American life we figured we should head on down to the Philips Arena to watch the Atlanta Hawks. So the German did the boy thing and got some tickets and off we went to see the Atlanta Hawks take on the Philadelphia 76ers!

Now my only knowledge of basketball is the words ‘slam dunk’ and ‘shoot some hoops’ – generally picked up from American sitcoms and films and names such as Harlem Globetrotters, LA Lakers and New York Knicks – again picked up from American sitcoms and films along with those baseball caps that seem to be worn by all the cool kids – obviously not me! The German had a big job on his hands teaching me the rules of the game but it was a task he was willing to take on!

So we got to the Arena and walked down here…

It's all in the picture...

It’s all in the picture…

Yep a treasure trove of many, many, many different eateries and drinks places to stock you up before heading to your seat for the game including burgers, pretzels, pizza, more burgers, tacos, nachos, fried chicken, more burgers, and this…

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Bottomless, yes bottomless popcorn!! The tub was massive but we were allowed to fill it up as many times as we wanted – result! However after purchasing it I realised it was butter/salted popcorn – not my first choice but I was willing to give it a go! We also went on the hunt for beer – something the German found rather difficult! Now I’m not the biggest beer drinker so I’m happy to go for Bud/Miller/whatever flavour beer in the light version but the German – hell no he won’t touch the stuff! It appears it’s a big thing over here though and finding so-called ‘normal’ beer was proving difficult! We went to about 4 different food stalls before he finally found the beer he wanted – phew! Anyway off we trotted to find our seats loaded up with popcorn and beer!! The game was on!

As we got there a school choir was just starting to sing the national anthem – now as much as I love the American anthem and children, I now feel quite harsh saying they weren’t actually that good. (Yep I’m going to hell – they’re children after all!) Aaaaanyway – that ended, the cheerleaders came on and we were ready for game time…

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So the first quarter started. The German informed me that there are four quarters (obviously!) each lasting for 12 minutes. So I’m thinking well this is gonna be over quickly – surely not. And I was right – there are Time Outs, bits of entertainment in between each quarter, half time entertainment, little games, kiss cams, dance offs – you name it they have it in a basketball game! And it’s all fun! We had music that included Atlanta‘s very own Usher, Ceelo Green, LMFAO and organ versions of Rhianna (yep she really is everywhere!!) and the White Strips while the game was in play! It all felt very American (obviously Rachel – you’re in America!!) I suppose what I mean is it’s what you expect to happen at a basketball match – I suppose exactly what you see on the TV/in the movies etc!

Just shooting some hoops...

Just shooting some hoops…

So the actual game is really quick when it’s in play – the Hawks were losing to begin with but soon turned it around – The German told me that’s the beauty of basketball – the game can change really quickly! I learnt that a team has to shoot within 24 seconds of getting hold of the ball (there’s an amazing organ countdown that goes with this!!) they’re only allowed to be in the square around the net for 3 seconds at a time and if they shoot outside of the big semi-circle they get 3 points instead of 2! I was learning well!

So they game went on…the Hawks were kicking ass but sadly I missed some of the hoops/goals/points scored (I’m not too sure of the technical terms!!) because I was engrossed in this…

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Yep it would appear I had become slightly addicted to the buttery/salty popcorn taste sensation and was ploughing my way through the huge tub! I couldn’t stop shovelling it into my mouth – and yes I’ll admit it there were some popcorn spillage mishaps but I like to think everyone has these when eating popcorn yes? No? Just me? Ok we’ll forget I said that!!

So they game went on, the Kiss Cam came on – it panned around the audience and picked couples who had to kiss when they were on camera – the majority did but a couple avoided the situation! The Hawks carried on slam dunking and racking up the points and yes I carried on with the popcorn until this happened…

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Yep we demolished the whole thing!! I would like to point out though that we didn’t take advantage of the bottomless aspect of the tub and we only had the one! Makes it slightly better, yes? Alright we’re just fatties!!

Now all this happened before half time – yep we polished off the popcorn even before the half time entertainment! We watched the last 2 quarters in a popcorn induced haze – a lovely haze may I add but a haze all the same!! The Hawks were going for it and were well ahead going into the final quarter and at the end of the game it was victory to the Hawks!!! Final score Atlanta Hawks 107 : Philadelphia 76ers 96! Woooo! I like to think we were a good luck charm – we’ll see how long that lasts!!

Oh I forgot to mention this was one of my welcome to America presents from the German (Yep as mentioned before he’s definitely a keeper!!) along with where we went last night…

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The Masquerade. A small venue where bands play kind of intimate gigs – last night we saw these lovely people…

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Gaslight Anthem!! Now last time we saw this band we were at Leeds Festival – a massive venue! So to see them in such a small space and be so close to them was fab!!! Oh and they had many different English football scarves on stage with them and of course the guitarist wore his trademark St Pauli waistcoat – both the English and German bases ticked for us!! Wooo! Amazing gig – Loved it!

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4 thoughts on “Slam dunk da funk!

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