Residents of Washington and surrounding areas flock to the Verizon Center weekly to catch a glimpse of the action, whether it be the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals or Georgetown Hoyas. We're all used to the "Phone Booth" and its charm, but what about an outsider? The Basketball Jones took in a recent Wizards game at VC and had some interesting things to say.
Andrew Unterberger is currently on a trip to see an NBA game at every home arena. He recently stopped by Chinatown to see the Wizards take on the Indiana Pacers. Here are some of his thoughts regarding his experience.
Verizon Center and the surrounding block:
Like few of the other stadiums I've visited, the Verizon Center really sneaks up on you. Passing by it the first time, it blended in so well with the other buildings on the block I wasn't even entirely sure if it was the arena itself, or just some random building advertising that the actual Verizon Center was in the nearby vicinity.Given the number of stadiums I'd visited this trip where there was absolutely nothing else of interest in the surrounding area, though, it was cool to visit one that had so much going on around it.
That was about the only nice thing Unterberger had to say about the Verizon Center and the Wizards in-game experience.
Not a particularly resounding turnout in DC for a Wednesday night Indiana game, unsurprisingly. Scattered fans throughout, and it filled up semi-decently over the course of the game, but it was not exactly a madhouse of exuberance for this disappointing-to-date Wizards team. The Wall-McGee oop got a nice ovation, but aside from that, it was certainly one of the more sedate fanbases I've seen on this trip.
The Wizards' color scheme (though he does note that he's happy about the planned change back to red, white and blue):
The color scheme just doesn't seem flattering, for one thing-it seems like everyone looks uglier in a Wizards uni, and while that might have something to do with there being a high concentration of uggos on the Wizards team to begin with, I don't think that weird blue color ("Slate Blue," according to Wiki) is doing anyone any favors.
I guess the Wizards are allowed to have a mascot by my standards, but I don't get why you don't just stick a guy in a wizard suit and have him perform lame magic tricks and stuff. Instead you get this specially-ambiguous blue blob of a mascot that comes off like a brain-damaged version of the Phillie Phanatic, who bless his soul, was never particularly all-there mentally himself.
Surprisingly, Unterberger didn't mention anything about the food inside Verizon Center, which doesn't have the most sanitary reputaiton. But he did mention a trip to Ben's Chili Bowl:
I was mildly underwhelmed by the experience-I dunno, tasted good and all, but not much moreso than your average chili dog, and the bland funk music blaring from the jukebox was seriously uninspiring. Sorry, DC.
Sacrilege, sir. Sacrilege.