In Chicago, last week– home of Da Bulls…As you may know they call United Center “The Madhouse on Madison”, and it is. When things are rocking there, it really is a Party you don’t want to miss.
Flashback to a couple of weeks ago:
I asked my Sports Guy: “Honey, what do you want to do on your birthday?”
He interrupts his fixation on the TV and says, “When is it?”
(He means what day of the week does it fall on, of course.)
And then, “Who is playing?” he adds.
So, I guessed that translated to dinner and the ballet were out.
Cubs and Bulls were both playing. He picked the Bulls – thankfully. (Cubs ended up losing and it was a crappy day. Yuk.)
So, birthday present tickets in hand, we headed with our group to the United Center aka The Madhouse Party Central.
An observation: Going to a game with a crazy, over-the-top Sports Guy is not exactly a day at the library – but when you throw in his birthday – the day of – it is pretty insane.
Now, contributing to the all inclusive celebration, the Loving Daughter (also a Bull’s Fan) has researched what options the Bulls offer to add to the experience.
It turns out that there’s a wide array of “Fantasy and VIP Packages” available to gift to your special someone on their special day – or maybe just for the hell of it – many for hundreds and into the thousands of dollars – packages that may include courtside tickets, and tons of perks.
Even one that allows the VIP to have the honor of actually sweeping the court pregame and once (only once) during half time. (Clever strategy for the Bull’s management to cut their janitorial costs.)
If you choose, you can even get Benny the Bull involved.
Now, anyone who has ever been to a Bull’s game has got to admit that Benny the Bull is totally awesome – and a Bull that can shoot baskets from half court, while looking the opposite way (which he did twice the night we were there) is worth the price of the ticket alone.
In fact, on a side note, I am obsessed with this bull/guy…who the hell is he?
Is he like Clark Kent in disguise 24/7, or does he take hot girls to his apartment, fix them a drink and then…surprise…emerges from the bedroom in his full Benny-Head and costume as he does slam dunk cartwheels in the living room. I really need to know.
Now, seriously, what birthday tribute experience would actually be worth mega mega bucks(to persons other than the Trump family)?
I mean you could probably get a ride with a Blue Angel on a fighter plane, or sit in with the Rolling Stones for a jam session, or maybe even get a lap dance from Beyonce (now that My Guy actually knows who Beyonce is…thanks to this year’s Super Bowl halftime show).
Anyway, some of the Bull’s packages could come pretty damn close to any of these price-wise, but I guess that’s why they call them “Fantasy”.
Maybe next year, honey. Wink.
So, needless to say, Loving Daughter generously gives the gift of the “Happy Birthday to (Name) on the Jumbotron at halftime for a nice piece of change. (Note – actually very nice because all proceeds go to the Bull’s charities.)
So, at the game we are strategizing. We decide we have to tell him he can’t go to the little boy’s room at halftime. Instead, he must keep his eyeballs glued to the screen – lest he misses the brief but momentous high point. (An obvious, but necessary “give away”.)
So, there we were fixated and anticipating, and there it was: a five second Happy Birthday Wish. We all screamed like crazies, jumping up and down in the spirit of the Mad House. Mission accomplished.
Now, to backtrack: After arriving late (of course) to the stadium – too late to get one of the prized Joakim Noah bobblehead dolls…the Birthday Boy was a teeny bit depressed, and who wouldn’t be? So, I offered to make him a poster that would say something original like, “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! GO BULLS” or whatever.
The Bulls usually have a table with poster board and markers where you can do this. However, I couldn’t find it, and someone said that it was downstairs, and I immediately decided that it wasn’t worth the trip.
So now, he doesn’t have a bobblehead (which could have been an heirloom to be handed down for generations to come), and he didn’t have a poster.
For a while, he would hold up what he sarcastically referred to as his “invisible poster”, but then in a “light bulb moment , took off his vintage mustard stained jacket (read more about the infamous jacket), and waived wildly every time the cameras scanned the stands. And, then – there we were – as big as life on the Jumbotron – screaming like we won the Power Ball.
Well, let’s say everyone was shown on the screen except me. I was totally blocked out by the large poster-replacing Bull’s Jacket. But, my Sports/Birthday Guy has had his second five seconds worth of fame in one night.
Of course, the thrills and chills just escalated from that point as the Bulls made more than one super comeback from mega point deficits to not only defeat the Knicks, but break their 13 game winning streak – all without Derek, Joakim, and I forget who else.
The Madhouse on Madison was rocking, and when the Bulls broke 100 – which got everyone in the stadium a burger (thank you McDonald’s)…It didn’t get any better than that. Best Birthday ever? Just about…If only Beyonce would have stopped by.