For most of us in Australia, the best fan experience one could imagine would be to attend an NBA game played by our favourite team.
Could it get any better, you ask? How great would it be if you actually had a shot at meeting the players up front, and how does being in the game as a member of the press sound?
Sound like a dream come true? We’re definitely reading off the same page here. Boston is on my itinerary this month, and you guessed it – I will be attending a Celtics game as a media representative of US Sports Down Under, when the C’s play the Charlotte Bobcats on 16 March.
I can’t begin to describe how excited I am. For a Celtics fan with no professional experience in journalism, this is a fantastic opportunity. A chance to meet some of the great people who write the columns that fans devour on a daily basis. A shot at covering my favourite team, to meet the players up front and to possibly interview some of them, how stoked can one get? I’d say plenty.
The media pass sounded like a really far shot when I got started. It took a fair bit of time to get the paperwork sorted, but approval was finally granted from NBA Asia late last year. Much thanks goes to USSDU owner Andy for helping with the authorisation process; without him I would have been stonewalled.
Now that the pass was ready, what would one do next? Prepare for the session of course. I sought advice from a veteran who had done the deed before; enter Jay King, who runs the popular fansite Celtics Town. He had plenty of helpful tips, which included things like etiquette do’s and dont’s, seating arrangements and interviewing advice.
(One of the dont’s unfortunately was no fandom – this meant no photographs, no autographs and yes, no maniacal stalkerish behaviour. In other words, act professional! Bummer.)
Attending a game is not as easy as it sounds; you don’t just show up with empty hands, although I’d imagine that would work too. There is the not-so-trivial matter of preparing your questions for the players. (You want to be prepared, and not go “ummmm” the first five seconds.) It’s easy enough to say I know the Celtics well, but research on the Bobcats had to be done.
Good to go
Everything is mostly ready now, so here’s hoping I don’t have a serious bout of nerves and melt into a puddle of goo at TD Garden. Wish me luck, and your local Aussie Celtics correspondent will be on hand to cover the game on March 17, 1030hrs AEDT. Stay tuned!
Here’s a shout out though: should you have any great questions you would like to pose to a Celtic or Bobcat player, drop a comment below or drop a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll be happy to include them too!