The Pacers are doing about as well as I'd hoped they would this year. But the way they're doing it has far exceeded my expectations. Hard core teamwork, with plenty of motion. Pushing the ball up the floor, beating the defense for easy buckets. Solid team defense and effort for 48 minutes. Has it been like this for every game? Not quite, but it has lately. Even in losses, the lapses in effort have been scarce. Bottom line, the team is a joy to watch compared to the past couple of years.
The casual Pacer fans who aren't paying attention may not realize what they're missing (and a lot of them are missing it, judging by the empty seats at home games), so the Pacers are pulling out
all a few stops to entice fans to check out their product.
At each of the home games in December, the Pacers will give away an Ultimate Experience prize to a fan drawn at random. Now, you don't have to go to a game to enter, but you can only enter at the Fieldhouse on game day. Not an easy task unless you live in a downtown flat, so the incentive is to check out a game AND have a shot at some cool prizes.
There are some nice offerings among the ultimate experiences, although a closer look at the official rules dulls the shine a bit. I thought I'd take a look at the fine print for you.
- Private lunch for four with Larry Joe Legend (Drawing at 12/4/07 Phoenix Suns game) -- According to the official rules the lunch is at the Fieldhouse and valued at $150, but the opportunity to eat with LJL holds no retail value. What? A chicken salad sandwich and chips holds more value than LJL's time? Game time markup on that Fieldhouse food must be in full effect. How about bringing in some St. Elmo's or Oceanaire?
- A private suite for 12 to the Dec. 14th game vs. Toronto Raptors (drawing at 12/12/07 Chicago Bulls game) -- Very nice offering worth a grand total of $5,250. That's $4,500 for the suite and $750 worth of food and non-alcoholic beverages. Not bad...wait a minute. NON-alcoholic beverages? Shouldn't the Ultimate Experience include a few adult beverages? I'm not saying you have to restock the fridge every quarter, but a couple chilled beers would be nice.
- Join the Pacers’ radio broadcast for a game, plus four tickets, media room dining and a commemorative photo (drawing at 12/14/07 Toronto Raptors game) -- Now this would be sweet. Boyle and Slick have a great seat at mid-court on the club level. The four tickets are worth $300, but hanging with Boyle, the media dinner, and photo hold no market value. Hmmm, the media buffet sounds a little dicey. Am I going to have to wrestle Mike Wells and Greg Rakestraw for some chicken wings?
- Private lunch for four with Donnie Walsh (drawing at 12/19/07 Philadelphia 76ers game) -- Same value as the LJL lunch. Will we have to sit in the smoking section? Hopefully they'll arrange a call from Peter Vecsey.
- Two hours of court time and a clinic by Pacers legends (up to 20 people)(drawing 12/22/07 Washington Wizards game) -- Now we're talkin'. The Conseco court time is valued at $2000 but the legends clinic has no retail value. Actually, scrap the clinic. I'm cutting it to 15 people. 2 hour run. Winners stay. Last one to shred a hammy wins.
- Win a "Fly Away," which includes accommodations and travel for two on the team plane to Charlotte for the Pacers game on 12/31/07 (travel 12/30 – 12/31/07)(drawing 12/29/07 Detroit Pistons game) -- Now this is THE Ultimate Experience. This doesn't actually cost the team that much either. Hotel is valued at $223.59 (mini-bar budget?). Game tickets are $100 apiece. Air travel is $88.08 per person. So, will someone stake me for the in-flight poker game? How about a post-game club run with Tins and Quis?