I am super proud to be in very awesome The Awl, and pretty pleased with the (longish, profane-ish) essay I wrote for them about attending the last Nets game at what will always, to me, be the Brendan Byrne Arena:
I'll begin with the Great Man Theory of how things come to suck. All those cartoonish "Tales of Jersey" villains—Jersey City's Frank Hague and his 30 years of graft-intensive mayoralty; clowns like Hague's successor, "The Little Guy" John V. Kenny; venal flyweights like Joseph Vas and a dozen others like him—turned out to be nothing compared to Nets' owner Bruce Ratner and his marketing guru, Brett Yormark. Those slick motherfuckers came across the river to Jersey, bought the Nets from the gaggle of hapless millionaires that had mismanaged the team for decades, and showed a state that knows from ruins how ruination is done. On Monday, in a swamp-bound, half-empty arena dwarfed by the nearby hulk of a failed "destination mall" called Xanadu, an embarrassingly outsized chapter in my life closed with a half-assed Nets loss to the mediocre Charlotte Bobcats. I was too worn out, both by the experience of the game and Ratner's tenure as Nets owner, to even feel bad about it.
Several hundred thousand more words of that, if you're interested. Thanks to Choire et al. Here are some pictures from the evening. Fig. 1: Abandoned Xanadu ski slope, with Stephen Del Percio for scale; Fig. 2: My Love For Dark Photos, Cont'd; Fig. 3: The guy who enjoyed the game most, getting wild in the Loud Zone.