The first NBA game I ever saw was the Phoenix Suns at the Madhouse on McDowell during the revival heyday of KJ, Horny, Tom Chambers and Dan Majurl.
My dad was an avid season ticket holder. He had a whole room in the house dedicated to the Phoenix Suns. Walls covered with Suns stuff. Gaming table. Barcoloungers. Big TV. And a well-used VCR to rewatch home games in the middle of the night to re-experience what he just saw from the 12th row.
He and my step-mom had made close friends with those season ticket holders around them, sometimes making the games as much a family affair as anything they could get at home. They did all the season ticket holder events, wore their Suns gear proudly and generally identified themselves as Suns fans to anyone and everyone.
I don’t remember the exact date when he first took me to a game, but I do remember the sights, tastes and sounds of the experience. Walking in with thousands of other fans from the outdoor parking lot toward the sprawling Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Taking our seats in the corner to wait for the teams to come out for shootaround. Watching the players in real life, bigger than life, running faster and jumping higher than anything I’d ever seen in person.
I remember the taste of the hotdog and the fizz of the coke. I remember cheering louder than I’d ever cheered before, rising up on every three pointer being launched. And on every fast break.
I don’t remember who won. Or who was the leading scorer for either team. It could have been a blowout win or loss. Or it could have been a nail-biter. I don’t even remember exactly who played.
But I will never forget the experience. The warm fuzzies. My current office is on the 12th floor of a downtown building and just happens to face in the direction of the Madhouse. Every day I see that building in the distance. And every day I smile at the sight.
I want to give that experience to as many other kids as possible, because THAT experience was one of the best of my entire life. Nothing can take that away from me, no matter what happens good or bad. Broken heart. Swollen heart. Broken life. Perfect life. Lose everything. Get everything back.
It doesn’t matter what happens to me, I will always have that memory and nothing can take it away (except old age and senility, but let’s not deal with that quite yet).
I want to give that experience to thousands of kids every year, and I am lucky enough to do that through this blog. And through you guys and gals.
Thanks to you. And thanks to the Suns. And thanks to everything I cherish in life, this is what I do to give back to my community.
Give that lifetime experience to two kids today. For just $9 of your money, you can give a lifelong happy memory to TWO kids.
Please. Just click the damn link and in 60 seconds you can go back to whatever else you were doing.
What: Just $9 of your money sends TWO kids to their first Suns game!
When: Kings at Suns, January 7, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Fun fact: If everyone who reads this blog today, and only today, donates just $9 through this link, we would be able to fill up the entire 20,000 seat arena...
Update: In two days of donations, we are up to nearly 1,500 tickets thanks to those of you donating already and the Suns matching each donation dollar for dollar! Our goal is to beat last year’s 3,300 though, so there’s a long way to go.
It’s takes less time than ordering something
you absolutely need dumb on Amazon.
Click this link to donate: Suns.com/Brightside
- It’s $9 per ticket. No extra fees or charges. THE SUNS ARE MATCHING EVERY DONATION RIGHT NOW! So right now, $9 sends TWO kids! $18 sends four! Etc. Etc. Etc.
- Fill out the one-page form to select the number of tickets you want to donate, and how you’re going to pay
- You will get a confirmation email directly from the Suns about the ticket donation
Oh and there IS always something in it for YOU
- Every TWO tickets you buy ($18) enters your name into a raffle for a VIP experience (two PREMIUM tickets to a game, pregame courtside access for warmups and a signed ball)
- $90 = 10 kids go, PLUS you get a pair of upper-level tickets for yourself
- $225 = 25 kids go, PLUS you get a pair of lower-level tickets for yourself
- The first 25 of you to donate $90+ at once (10 tickets) get an exclusive invitation for a private Bright Side interview session with one of the Suns front office folks
- If you’re among the first 25 to donate $225+ at once (25 tickets) and you can make it to the game itself, you can go to the pregame interview with a Suns front office member AND we will honor you pregame right there on the SUNS COURT! You get to walk out on the court yourself and get cheered by the crowd!
*In prior years, GM Ryan McDonough or James Jones gave us 30+ minutes of their own time right before tip-off of the game. Still awaiting confirmation of Jones’ availability for this year.
Please donate now: Suns.com/Brightside
In the comment section below, please add your own memory of the first NBA game you ever got to see.
And if you’ve never been to an NBA game, wouldn’t you like to go to one some day?