3/3/11

DNB's Fan Correspondent Checks In

About 2 months ago I had an idea to have a fan cover their experience going to London to catch the Raptors and Nets game in London. It makes sense for a few reasons. The first a trip to London is impossible for me on a number of levels starting with the expense to go. But second and more importantly someone from over in Europe is far more excited about this event than me. It is almost like the circus coming to town or in this case Europe. So I found a DNB reader and Raptor fan that was going and agreed to be our fan reporter of sorts sharing his journey to see the Raptors in London. I think this is a pretty cool idea and will be something you folks will enjoy. So here is Michael (@Euro4Raps) with his first post/report:


How is it like being a NBA fan in Europe? For games, you can get up in the middle of the night, 1 or 2 am if you happen to be a fan of any East Coast team, 3 or 4 am for teams from the other coast. Then about half the countries don't even have it on TV and you're stuck with NBA League Pass Broadband International, something they gladly expanded a few years back. In my country, Austria, not even the NBA All Star game makes it into the newspaper and most sports anchors probably get the NBA, NHL..etc. mixed up.

If you can't get up at night, for whatever reasons, you watch re-runs like I do. For me, about 3 days a week from November to April start by getting up at around 6 am, taking care of all the morning deeds (with the most important being to fetch a coffee) and getting comfortable in front of my computer to watch the most recent Raptors game. I have to resist checking the score on Twitter, most times I manage and for the following 2 hours, I'm glued to the screen, cheering and screaming at the players, coaches and, more frequently, referees. Just like every other fan at the arena or in front of his/her television would do, I assume. (On a side note, I have to thank the Raptors for those early Sunday games, they are the only one's I catch live.)

Obviously, I was all giddy jumping like a little kid opening birthday presents when the NBA announced they would have two regular season games in Europe. After all, my favourite team, the Raptors, would be coming to town. The latter not literally as London is not located in Austria but still just a 2 ½ hours flight away. I bought my tickets on the first day they went on sale and was glad that I could convince my best friend to join me.

So here I am, sitting at the airport in Vienna, waiting for my flight. I already know that the next two nights will be like my birthday and Christmas put together. Right now, I don't even care if the Raptors will win. Sure I will cheer them on, cross my fingers and hope for the best, but the sheer chance of just seeing them live, a few (hundred - LOL) meters from my seat, will be great on its own. After all, NBA fans in Europe hardly get a chance to cheer for their teams, something most of you folks over in Canada and the USA take for granted.

You can follow DNB Fan Correspondent Michael Leiblfinger on Twitter @Euro4Raps or find him at the back of The O2 on Friday in block 402, row H, Seat 490/1 and on Saturday in block 403, row R, seat 518/9!

Thanks to Michael and he will be checking in with us here in the DNB thorough out his trip to London sharing his experiences in England with us for the entire weekend. He will be taking photos that will be included in some of the posts and likely put together a whole package of all this photos once his trip in done.

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