Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fixing "the half court shot contest"

Now that the Celtics season is over, not only do I have less to write about, but I also no longer have games to go to regularly.  So throughout the summer I will occasionally post non-time sensitive stuff relating to being a season ticket holder.  Today: "The Half Court Shot Contest."

This has been going on in arenas all over the country for a long time.  The Celtics frequently have one at half time that is sponsored by Cumberland Farms.  In this version you get to shoot a 3-pointer to win $500 dollars, and if you make that you get to shoot from mid court for $25,000.  I'm a big fan of the contest, but one thing in particular drives me crazy:  It's a totally random drawing, and often it features people that physically can't even throw the ball the distance from the three-point line to the rim.  What is the point of having a contest where you trot out somebody's great grandmother, who then proceeds to toss the basketball as if it's a watermelon and miss the hoop by 9 feet?  As someone who actually could succeed (put me on that leprechaun logo at the Garden right now and give me ten shots from half court, I guarantee I make one.  Probably I'll make two), it's infuriating to watch the opportunity often given to people that have literally a 0% chance of winning.  It's like selling fake lottery tickets.

So here's my proposal: have the random drawings, but pick ten times as many winners.  Then hold "tryouts."  The people who know they can't do it won't even show up.  Everybody who hits the rim during the tryouts gets entered into another drawing to pick the actual half time participants.  Then it's a real contest.


  1. Back in the '70's when halftime entertainment was rare and when a mascot was (literally) booed off the court, there was one night when they had a celebrity free throw shooting contest. Though he wasn't entered, they drug ol' Red out there. With an old-fashioned (even then) two-hand set shot, Red drained about ten in a row. The grin on his face as he walked back up to his seat was priceless.

    I fear your suggestion, while logical, might bust the poor dairy's marketing budget.

    Take care and be well,

  2. Great story, thanks for the comment!

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