Madison Square Garden is right on the light zone/dark zone border dividing Manhattan’s haves from the have nots. Everyone below 34th street doesn’t have power — although it should be returning tonight around midnight — and everyone above has Netflix and Hot Pockets and everything else I enjoyed in the Before Time. And it’s on this dividing line where, tonight, basketball shall be played.
Even though the Garden spans 31st to 33rd streets, technically putting it in the dark zone, we’re assuming they’ve got electricity. How else would they be sending passive aggressive emails to their employees, telling them to come into work even though they have no way of getting there?
The Knicks and Heat are playing at the Garden tonight, too, although they probably shouldn’t be: mass transit is still crawling, taxis in midtown and below get gobbled up instantly, and anyone with a car in the city probably doesn’t have gas in it. This means that if you have tickets to tonight’s game, you, like those Garden employees, are going to have a really great time getting there.
And not just if you’re a fan. Athletes are having transportation issues as well. Look at Amar’e Stoudemire’s car! He’s not playing tonight, but still. That’s a lot of water covering that very expensive Range Rover. We all know what horrors Eli Manning faced. And Dwyane Wade was inconvenienced as well, forced to sit in standstill traffic after a flight into Newark.
“3 hour traffic just to get into the NY city . . . #C’monMan,” Wade tweeted, then immediately deleted. One can only imagine the “Oh shit” expression he wore, as he sat amongst dozing teammates on the Miami Heat team bus and realized he probably shouldn’t have said that. (Dwyane Wade is, in addition to being one of the league’s best players, its most politically savvy. He knows a PR mishap when he tweets one.)
Still: Twitter is Twitter, and the damage was done. RTs ensued, and ohmygodhowcouldyousaythats followed. So, Wade, still on the bus with his teammates, still on I-95, weathered the storm via iPhone.
“2 be clear ‘Traffic tweet was meant 2 say’… We shouldn’t B hre 2 play a basketball game when theirs so many families obviously still R affected by #Sandy.”
Good move. Better move? Donate the money you make from tonight’s game to Sandy relief efforts. So that’s what Dwyane Wade plans on doing: he’s going to give the pay from tonight’s game, which is roughly $210,000 before taxes, to an as-of-yet-undetermined charity (him and his teammates are looking for the right one).
Then he took things a step further, telling USA Today that they probably shouldn’t even play tonight.
When it comes to road venues, “It’s my favorite place to play,” Wade told USA TODAY Sports of the Garden. “But just knowing a lot of people here and knowing what they’ve been going through with no power, no water, no food … to me, it just seems like there’s bigger things to be concerned about than a basketball game.
Which, on the one hand… yeah. You’re right. Playing a basketball game in the wake of a massive hurricane seems stupid. But, on the other: I’m now at my girlfriend’s house. She has power. I would like to see basketball. Basketball would be nice. And since a Knicks game doesn’t dilute the city’s resources like, say, a marathon does, I don’t necessarily feel too bad about it. Bring me basketball, please. And Hot Pockets. It’s been a shitty week.
Image via CJZero.