Organic excitement vs. corporatized excitement

I went to my first basketball game in two years last night. 100-level seats, a special treat. It was a great game, great to see Dame, great to see the youngins.

The past several years, I’ve seen more timbers and thorns games then Blazer games, even though I am a much bigger fan of the Blazers than I am of soccer. One of the big reasons for this is because I don’t really like seeing basketball at the Moda center. It’s an assault to the senses. My watch decibel meter was pegging 95 to 100 dB. The spotlights were shining in my eyes. It was hard to talk to my buddy.

Despite the "energy" in the arena due to Dame’s return, the crowd wasn’t really that into it. Many "let’s go Blazers" chants died on the vine. Nothing happened organically, other than the hilarious count to 10 every time Giannis shot free throws. Almost everything was driven by the painfully loud PA. We couldn’t seem to manage to do anything on our own. Every time out was some kind of sponsored clown show, so there was no respite from the assault.

Contrast this to Timbers and Thorns games, where the fans keep the chants going all game long. Everyone is ready to cheer a nice tackle, pass, or shot. Somehow they manage to generate excitement without Merrit Paulson‘s help.

Maybe this is a low energy year and the fans wouldn’t be able to do much on their own. But I really think that if they toned down the PA and let the fans take charge, there would be more genuine excitement at games, instead of the uncanny simulacra of excitement generated by corporate staff.

Is anyone with me, and if so, is there anything that can be done about it? Is the way they do things the same as at every NBA arena, and has anyone tried turning down the PA and trusting the fans to do the work themselves?