January 24, 2004

Professional sports on the Q.T.

I went to see the San Jose Stealth play tonight at HP Pavilion. Never heard of them? They're part of the NLL, the National Lacrosse League. The teams are owned by NHL teams, and they play in hockey rinks that are temporarily converted for lacrosse, which is appropriate since it's more or less hockey on carpet instead of ice. What? You didn't know there was a professional lacrosse league? Neither did I before last year when they moved the team from Albany, NY. So of course I went right out and bought season tickets.

It was a good game, their second home game, and they had another come-from-behind win. It's just such a thrill to sit downstairs in decent seats, the ones I'll never be able to afford at Sharks games, and to be so close to the action. Plus, they keeping playing music when the stops and breaks are over, so there's a little more energy than there would be otherwise. There's one other thing they have that hockey doesn't: cheerleaders. Yup, the Anorexic Girls come trotting out before the game to cheer the team as they're introduced, then they hang out in groups in a couple of places around the arena not doing much more than clapping their pom-poms in time to the music. Then they come out again at halftime to do a kind of lame routine. Okay, they're not anorexic...probably... they're ballerinas that are pitching in as cheerleaders. And, no doubt, they're athletic and I'm sure good dancers, but they need a lot more practice to be entertaining cheerleaders!

All in all, though, it makes for a fun night out. It's not quite "off the radar" yet, as their slogan goes, but it has potential, if they can keep the attendance up and draw new fans.