Saturday, July 23, 2011

The H206 Charity Game and Thoughts on the Press

If you haven’t picked it up already by reading through my Twitter feed, I was given the opportunity to attend the H206 Charity Basketball game as a press member, which means press passes. In a nutshell, my job was to supply a play-by-play through Twitter for SeaTownSports with the game not being broadcast on T.V. or radio.

You’re probably expecting a game recap right now, but there wouldn’t be much of a point to that. Think of this game as the NBA All-Star game Seattle style, with guys like Isaiah Thomas, Jamal Crawford, and Spencer Hawes on the court. Spectacular dunks, not a lot of defense, and bountiful numbers of three pointers made the game feel as though the players were just having a good time rather than trying to get a hard earned win.

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But if you really want to read a recap of the game, go over my Twitter feed or read Percy Allen’s, as he actually found the players for interviews. I wasn’t that lucky.

I’d never actually been to a game as a part of the press, so me and my friend Tanner Mahler (Twitter username is @tmahler92 ladies) were kind of walking in blind. All the press lady told me is “walk in gate four and they’ll hand you your press pass there.” That’s it. So it was kind of awkward telling the security guard we’re the press when all I have is my driver’s permit as identification.

After a couple tense moments with this middle aged man, we finally got in. I’m pretty sure the only reason we got past this dude is because we both looked like dressed up Bellevue kids and didn’t give him any crap.

Once we got in and retrieved our press passes, we both just stood there not knowing where to go or what the heck was going on. We probably spent 10 minutes watching Q13 Fox Sports anchor Aaron Levine set up for his show and observing how tall Spencer Hawes was. Thankfully, Kevin Cacabelos from SeaTownSports (which I now do a little bit of writing for) showed up, and then proceeded to lead us to the seats you see in the picture.

I was like a little kid in a candy store. Or Clay Bennett in a corn field. Or Howard Shultz beating people with a stick who drink Tully’s coffee. Take your pick.

Being a press member is awesome in two ways: a) The players stood mere feet away at times, sometimes at the point where I could touch them, and b) I sat where all the pro writers sit like Percy Allen, Tim Booth, and Steve Kelley.

The way the press works is interesting because it’s very organized… but at the same time laid back. It’s not like the writers are huddled up in a box tweeting the entire time. They’ll talk with fans, talk with wide eyed 15 year old kids (heh), poke fun at one another, and just have a good time. But at the same time everyone is focused on what they’re even at the game for, which is to get the players’ perspective and give an eyewitness report.

What it all came down to for me is I attempted to get some “work” done such as tweeting or trying to look professional, but I became pretty distracted after watching dunk after dunk and cheering.

Speaking of cheering and getting distracted (notice the professional segway there kids), there is a rule that kind of bugged me. No cheering in the press zone. I don’t get why it’s not allowed. It’s not like the entire stadium will blow up if I let out a little squeak of enjoyment in response to Jamal Crawford schooling Klay Thompson. But rules are rules I suppose.

Other than that, the entire experience was great and I hope someone gives me another opportunity to do something like this again. Except next time I won’t forget my computer and I’ll bring a voice recorder. Because, y’now, those are pretty important.

Reach Nathan Parsons at