Cedar Posts was a big Charlotte Hornets fan, and enjoyed many games from seats at center court in the third row and from our corporate table on the floor.
So when offered a chance to score some tickets to a recent Bobcats game on the floor no one needed to ask twice.
So here's my run down of the game, Bobcats and the Time Warner Arena.
I'm not wowed by sports stars or celebrity types, I don't want my shirt signed and don't need a photo of the 3.2 seconds that I stood next to Shack, though I got to admit that at my height standing next to Shack would be pretty funny.
Thanks to Bryan of the Bobcats organization Mrs. Cedar Post and I had seats on the first row behind the visiting team.
Bryan was kind enough to meet us just inside the executive entrance. Which is a nice feature, no lines and expedited screening going into the game, something that prior to the 9/11 attacks was never necessary.
Our host showed us to our seats and escorted us into the Back Court Club and said he'd check with us later.
The Back Court Club is Charlotte tacky at its worst, as the food is nearly uneatable. Sure it is free food but the quality would be embarrassing to anyone entertaining out of town clients. Cedar Posts understands that the food service is handled by a family friend of Bob Johnson.
Hot wings in one tray and more wings in the next tray both were over cooked and greasy. Other than being a different color they both had the same over processed fresh out of the freezer taste.
The vegetable quasadias are hard to describe, a cardboard shoe box would have tasted better. The final of the four dinner entree items was barbecue. No buns just brown stringy barbecue.
Now we have good barbecue in North Carolina, eastern or otherwise we have good stuff here in the tarheel state but whatever they are serving in the Back Court Club is not North Carolina BBQ. If they tried to serve this food in the Mecklenburg County jail Amnesty International would file a lawsuit, citing cruelty and abuse.
The highlight of the Back Court Club was attorney Bill Dielh who was tossing back drinks at the other side of the large plastic bar and a half dozen or so under 30 girls dressed for something other than a basketball game.
Beer by the way was free, as long you were ok drinking Budlight. Otherwise it was $5.00, so I opted for the Budlight.
On the plus side if you are hanging around the area between the Back Court Club and the seats when the Bobcats take to the court the entire team will pass in review and most are happy to fist bump kids and adults as they walk by.
Having court side seats is a perk I once enjoyed during the Hornets regin in Charlotte. George Shin gave Charlotte something to cheer about, and later took his pride and ego to New Orleans.
Frankly the Hornets have done well as a team in the big easy, but they don't have the following that they enjoyed in Charlotte and neither do the Bobcats.
New Orleans "Hornets" makes about as much sense as the Utah Mormon "JAZZ"! The NBA should find away to give these cities back their right full team names.
Sadly the seats at Time Warner Cable Arena are narrower than those in coach on USAirways UGH! But they have considerably more cushion. I'm not a big guy so I was stunned to find that the seats are so tight, I don't know how someone who carries a couple of extra pounds would feel but I expect they would not come back.
At $275 per game the seats are pricey considering we are still Charlotte and the Bobcats are still Bob's Cats.
If your more than six feet tall plan on getting bumped by every other person who walks between the first row and the press tables. The Bobcats need to rethink the number of chairs they have between aisle and the hardwood.
Walking from the "Back Court Club" to the seats is nearly impossible. To walk the floor aisle, you have to stumble over television cables, and dodge the backsides of the media members who bring family picnic cooler sized luggage to the press tables court side.
Having decided the back court food was not worth a trek back across the cables I thought I'd try the food on the main level.
Coming up from the floor is not a bad trip, but at the top of the stairs is a detour due to the club seats so that you can't use the exit closest to your section.
The reported sold out game is really only half full, but they count ticket sales including tickets given away and not real attendance. Something Bob Johnson has learned from his Washington buddy Rodney Monroe.
The league should require real attendance as the bench mark.
The arena is a confusing nightmare of bad planning and less than logical placement of rest rooms and food service. There is a real lack of lighting which gives the food court area the feel of a Walmart at 3AM.
The short line was promising, but the attendant behind the counter moved at the blinding speed of a sloth. After considering each of the available options on the overhead menu, as I had plenty of time I found the the line had not moved yet five minutes had vanished from the third quarter.
I considered bailing out of the line several times as I watched Gerald Wallace streak down court past those lucky enough to be seating in the seats where I should have been. I watch Wallace make a wonderful Jordanisgue slam with a huge amount of air time on the overhead flat screen television.
The line is still not moving as a man waving a bucket of popcorn cuts in front of the entire line. "Hey" he yells at the slower than tortoise foodservice employee. "Y'all a killing me with the salt. There's no way I can eat this popcorn, I'll have a stoke or sumthing".
Since popcorn was my final choice after watching the women try to scratch her brain with her 3 inch thumb nail.
I think Wallace will be an NBA star in the coming year.
Bob's promise as quoted in the Charlotte Observer that he would "absolutely, unequivocally" not move the team out of Charlotte is a sure sign that change is on the way. Change that was confirmed by several of the Bobcat's season ticket sales staff.
Mrs. Cedar and I took time during the game to meet with both Bryan and other members of the Bobcats front office and gave them our thoughts for improvement. While not confirming Bob's departure it was clear he's on his way out.
We also talked with friends from the CMPD during the game.
But, the highlight of our Bobcats night was watching Rodney Monroe chat it up with Micheal Jordan after the game, Bryan had introduced us Mr. Jordan mere seconds before Chief Monroe interrupted our short introduction.
While waiting for the crowd to thin out Bryan polity points out other season ticket options we might want to consider, as Jordan excuses himself Chief Monroe acknowledges both of us and heads out another exit. A women yells "we love you Rodney"! and I have a good laugh about the whole situation.
Seems Rodney has more fans that MJ. NOT!
Keep in mind I'm not 25 anymore so hanging out after the game uptown doesn't do much for me.
Yes that is Mrs. Cedar Posts slamming back margaritas after the game the other night, but it was a rare night to find us uptown in Charlotte.
While we will not by season tickets to next seasons Bobcats game, we were both impressed with the Bobcats staff. Clearly everyone from security to Micheal Jordan is trying to build a team and a following. As we left the game no less than a dozen people thanked us for coming out and supporting the Bobcats.
Center City, Downtown, Uptown whatever you call it has changed. Walking to our car I'm shocked to find my way blocked by a train moving through a crowd of people and a vibrant city night life that was no where to be found in Charlotte just a few years ago.
I grew up in a quiet southern town, where the highlight of a Friday night was a Myers Park vs SouthMeck Football game and everyone was home in time to watch the 11 o'clock news. A place where going to a basketball game required a drive to Chapel Hill to watch a young kid named Michael Jordan play ball for a coach named Dean Smith.
Funny how things are so connected.