Last Monday morning The Dallas Morning News' SportsDay section had a front page, giant font headline reading, "Stacked Deck" following the Dallas Mavericks' big Game 2 victory over the struggling Miami Heat, thanks in large measure to the lights-out shooting and overall play of Jerry Stackhouse.
Stackhouse scored 19 points for the night, but poured in 10 right before halftime.
Under the headline the paper published a great photo of Stackhouse on the floor watching his buzzer-beating 3-point shot from the corner swish through the hoop to send the Mavs into the break with a 50-34 lead. It was a thrilling moment as you can tell from the fans pictured in the courtside stands in the background.
I looked at the photo over my Cheerios.
The photo captured a lot really, including my imagination. Great journalism with a camera.
I studied the photo off and on all day long.
I count 45 faces in this section of the crowd. All are white faces. I did see one African American head in the stands, but the gentleman appears to be walking through the area.
Mavericks games, especially close to the court, are primarily Anglo affairs, except for on the court of course.
I did a little research on ticket prices to the hottest event in town.
Up near the top section of the photo the face value of seats for this game were $380 each.
I have a friend who sold his four seats to Games 1 and 2 for $2,500 each. Face value for entrance to the series before with the Phoenix Suns was a bit cheaper, but not much.
The seats nearer the floor--like the first three rows--are even more expensive and thus, bring even more on the open market.
I searched the websites of some ticket services and found out that if the series returns to Dallas for a Game 6, these tickets will sell for between $5,000 and $7,000 each. No telling what a Game 7 would bring!
Doing a little math, I came up with the following:
At face value the 45 people in the photo would have paid something like $20,250 to sit in the seats pictured.
Of course, who knows what these folks actually had to pay for their seats. At my buddy's rate and assuming everyone bought tickets from a service, the cost for seating in the section would be around $112,500 for the evening for 45 people!
Scott Farwell, a reporter with the Dallas Morning News called me after this game. Ironic, huh?
He is working on a story about the Mavs, poverty in Dallas, the gap between rich and poor, black and white and the attitude of young, poor kids toward sports as the "way out" of the troubles of poverty and life in the 'Hood. The reporter wants to know what to make of the games we are seeing from a broader perspective.
I have a hunch people won't like his story or his questions.
It's just easier to watch the games.
[Note: You will find Scott Farwell's article, written with Paul Meyer, "Across city's divide, fans unite to cheer Mavs," on the front page of today's Dallas Morning News.]