Paint the O2 Orange

Sarah and I took a trip into London one evening to watch a Bulls-Jazz NBA exhibition game at the O2 arena. The Chicago Bulls were my favorite team back when MJ was stroking it; I got chills when the Bulls entrance theme began. I guess that the Utah Jazz are my favorite now because my boy Deron Williams (University of Illinois) is their star player.

Overall the crowd was very enthusiastic, although it was clear that they did not understand the rules very well. People were harshly criticizing the refs at the end of they game when the teams were fouling on purpose (“Crumbs! Let ’em play!”).

The crowd was very partial to the Bulls because they have a Brit (Luol Deng) on the team, however they would applaud every good play. At the end of the game when the score was close they were booing the Jazz players shooting free throws because they wanted the Bulls to win. But the boos would quickly turn to raucous cheering when the Jazz player hit the free throw. Then the Bulls won on a last second shot and the crowd went berserk. It was definitely the most unusual sporting atmosphere I have ever witnessed

There is a tradition of “Painting the (Assembly) Hall Orange” at University of Illinois basketball games where all fans attend wearing the bright orange of the team colors (orange and blue). It is very impressive and certainly strikes fear and visual impairments into opposing teams.

To support Deron and show my Illini spirit, I decided to Paint the O2 Orange. It was, ah, not so impressive.


The Schrockinator


11 responses to “Paint the O2 Orange

  1. Basketball is strange in that the penalty for an infraction may be less than the benefit . Football lets you decline penalties. (In soccer, penalties are automatically declined by the referee.) Would be interesting to see the “advantage rule” applied to basketball.

    • Raymond…..I’ve been advocating changing the rules so that the fouled team can take the ball out of bounds instead of shooting free throws. Why this utterly stupid rule can survive is beyond comprehension. Games should be decided by ‘playing’, not by a free throw shooting contest.

  2. The US Arenas (and crowds) I visited were phenomenal.

    I found the politely sedate atmpshpere unusual, pleasant if a bit perplexing (it didn’t fit my stereotype of US people)

    What’s unusual to you about the crowd reaction you describe?

  3. The Schrockinator

    Booing because you want a player to miss a shot and then cheering when they make it was certainly unusual.

  4. My brother was one of the Seattle Pacific University orangemen. Their orange jumpsuits were pretty amusing. =)

  5. I cracked up reading your tale…especially about painting the O2 orange!

  6. Not sure if orange strikes fear into the hearts of opponents. Love the tale, though. Did they have music playing at every possession there like they do in NBA games in the U.S. That’s so annoying, can’t we enjoy the game without recorded music on each possession?

    • The Schrockinator

      Yes, they did play music very frequently, but perhaps not as much as at a game in the states. The music did help the crowd do the most coordinated indoor wave I have ever witnessed, though. It was a thing of beauty.

  7. hey steve….did ya throw out all your shirts with the chief????????????

    • The Schrockinator

      Oh no, I still have quite a few. One that I have been wearing recently is a green long-sleeved Illini Paintball Warriors t-shirt with an enormous Chief symbol on the back.

  8. OOhhh….Scary….

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