Fans Dancing, on Camera

Years ago, my step-dad and I sat in the upper section of Portland's Rose Garden, one row behind a really cute kid who might have been nine. During just about every timeout, he turned his back to the court, and started shaking his behind like crazy, like he was trying to pound nails with his hips. He was almost literally dancing his butt off.

He had jobs for us, too. Time and again he commanded: "Tell me when I'm on! Tell me when I'm on!"

(In my mind, to this day, a real rump-shaker of a dance move is called a "tell me when I'm on.")

After a while, I realized that by "on" he meant "on the jumbo-tron."

This kid deserved to be on the jumbo-tron if anybody did. He was really putting a lot into it.

But life is not fair, and the camera people who supply the jumbo-tron very seldom stray as high in the arena as we were sitting.

So, despite sweating through timeout after timeout, he never did get the reward he deserved.

I went home that night more aware than ever that for some people, making the big screen is a big deal.

Here is video of some of those people (although, sadly, none of them look like a grown up version of the kid I remember):

  • Nets fans. For a few seconds in the middle of this one, there's an older guy really cutting loose. I happened to sit near that guy once, and I'm telling you that -- although I'm a guy who loves this kind of spirit -- something about this particular show, which happens several times a game, felt wrong.

  • The Clipper fan in the wig gets extra credit/crazy points for going extra high energy long before the music even starts. He loses all that extra credit and more for doing the same thing at a thousand different sporting events all over YouTube.

  • This Celtic fan is working with more conviction than we have any right to expect.