A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dallas Mavericks: World Champions

Official Championship Shoot
Here it is, five days after the historic Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals, and I am sitting muddling through my thoughts, trying my hardest to figure out what to put in a blog post like this, and I have literally erased everything I've written in the last hour six times. It seems there are hardly any words in any arrangement that truly express what this fan feels right now. All I can say is that I have been a fan since I was 16 years old (that was nine years ago), and I have never doubted this team. Not once. Through all the ups and downs, hopes and disappointments, blood, sweat, and true tears, I have always believed that this team was capable of winning a championship. Which is what makes this championship win so sweet and personal for me, and I'm sure for thousands of other Dallas fans!

I can't explain  the pride I felt at the end of Thursday evening, looking back on this week. A Mavs championship, a humble MVP, a celebratory parade with 200,000 attending with not one major incident, and all the while the players of that team dedicating every moment to their fans, thanking them for supporting and sticking with them. The unity between the team and the fans, and between the fans and each other, was palpable. We all won something this week, and it's my belief that the fans are as equally thankful to the team and the MVP as they are to us. Which is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Another reason why this win was so sweet.

In a conversation I had with another Mavs devotee, she said "Finally, the good guys won!" I just sat back for a second, nodding, and said, "You're right! That is what it feels like!" I think many fans feel like that about this win. For so long we've seen arrogance and pride reign in the NBA. With the Heat, we saw three juggernaut players thrown together: they had swag, they had talent, and two of them specifically were completely sure of themselves and let it be known. But in the end, it was the stoic, quiet, humble Dirk Nowitzki that got that MVP trophy. It was the Mavericks, with not a "big three" but a solid team effort (especially from the bench), that rose to meet the challenge in the finals. It was team work, it was humility, it was thirteen years of focus, experience, and desire that brought the Mavs to this sweet win. There are no short cuts. Dirk proved that, and it couldn't have been a better lesson for a team like this Miami Heat, with their "King" James, to learn.

I was lucky enough to be at the AAC Game 6 Watch Party with about 18,000 other fans the night we clenched the championship. It was amazing, to say the least! People started lining up outside the doors of the AAC as early as noon (I know this for a fact because a friend of mine from high school did it and that's how I got to be at the front of the line to enter. Don't worry, no one was angry behind him; all the fans were surprisingly cool with it, covered for me, even!)! It was a sold out event, which is crazy if you think about it, because we all really just bought tickets to sit around together watching TV.

Really it was the energy and atmosphere of the crowd everyone was looking forward to when they purchased their ticket for the party. If we won the game that night, where else would you want to be rather than with a ton of fans to celebrate with? I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. The sense of community I felt with the fans around me was just brilliant. We were all there for the same reason, cheering for the same goal. We all understood without having to say anything to each other why it was important for us all to be together. I feel like that game meant more to us all than just winning.

The way I watch Mavs games is pretty intense. I am never comfortable, not even when we are a far ahead. I've learned after years of watching that anything can happen and not to take anything for granted. That's why I was completely tense the entire game. Even during the commercials. If something happened that was good I jumped up and screamed! If something happened that was bad I jumped up and screamed! Then in between I sat there kind of rocking back and forth, trying to keep my heart rate normal. I don't think it ever was, hah! No conversation was had. I couldn't focus on anything other than the game and my nerves. It wasn't until the last 4 minutes of the game, when everyone around me was standing and the Mavs were up by ten points, that I allowed myself to imagine that we could win the championship right there. Then, it wasn't until the last 56 seconds that I actually got excited and started jumping around. I collapsed in the arms of my husband, overwhelmed with excitement and emotions, and finally able to relax because I knew they had done it. I won't lie, there were tears.

As the the buzzer sounded, streamers and confetti shot out of the top of the arena, everyone was screaming and dancing around, and "We Are The Champions" started playing in the AAC (I also received twelve text messages from friends who were celebrating elsewhere). Everyone in the arena was cheering, high-fiving, hugging complete strangers, singing and swaying along with the song. It was the coolest thing I could have experienced. We watched the team celebrate on the jumbo-tron, and I couldn't even believe that it had finally happened. I was stunned! It was one of the best feelings in the entire world. Nine years of cheering on this team, nine years of wanting this so badly for Dirk, and it was finally here! Dirk's trophy presentation was drowned out by chants of "MVP! MVP!"

As we left the building it was like entering a sea of people all headed for Victory Plaza. Ever so often someone random would come up and high-five us or shout "GO MAVS!" and so everyone around would whoop and holler. Also there were bits of "Let's go Mavs!" chanting throughout the crowd in different patches. We went from the AAC straight to an Academy to get some championship gear around 11:30, but the line wrapped around two buildings, so we went to Cafe Brazil where tons of other Mavs fans were. You couldn't drive a mile in Dallas without hearing honks and seeing waves from fellow fans! The overall feeling is kind of hard to describe, but here is a the video I took of the celebration!

The next morning I dragged myself out of bed around 8 AM. I knew that the boys were arriving from Miami at Love Field around 11:30, and I wanted to be among the fans that met them at the gate. Since I couldn't calm my mind once I got in bed, I had only slept about three hours or so. I was dragging, but nothing was going to keep me from doing this. I wanted to come through for my team like they had come through for me! At least that's how I viewed it. Justin and I picked up my mom and headed out there. There were thousands of fans! We had to park far away, it was hot, we were getting sunburned, but no one had a negative word to say. We found a place against the fence across from where the plane would land and the group standing with us immediately welcomed us in, and we made friends. I was so impressed with the overall attitude of Mavs fans through this entire ride. No one was pushy, rude, or otherwise.

When the boys finally landed, about two hours after we had arrived at the air port, we were hoping they would make the long walk from the tarmac to the fence to say hello. As I understand it, not many teams have in the past, but the Mavs had mentioned the fans so often in their championship talk that we were confident. Of course they did come over after emerging from the plane holding up their trophy. Each player (most had a cigar hanging out of their mouths) came up and down the fence line, taking pictures, yelling, carrying the trophy, and showing their appreciation for us. On our end, we cheered, held up signs, took pictures, and (I for one) basically stood awe-struck. When Dirk came over we all chanted "Thank you Dirk! Thank you Dirk!" The following are all my personal pics!

Here's Mark Cuban cheering after a picture.
Jason Kidd carrying that trophy!
My favorite Puerto Rican taking pictures of the fans!
That beautiful GERMAN!
That's my boyfriend, Tyson Chandler.

Jet put the trophy up to the fence so we could touch it!
I came home after that with a lump in my throat. Seeing, right in front of my eyes, the joy the team felt, especially Dirk, and feeling the gratitude they had towards us was humbling and touching in a way I didn't expect. As I sat down to edit these pictures, scrolling through each of them, sharpening the images, tears formed in my eyes as it started to really sink in. The surreal fog began to lift and I started to get it, that we had won an NBA championship and all the struggles, frustration, heartache, and devotion from all sides of this franchise had been rewarded with this reality. What a beautiful thing!

Official image from parade Presentation
The next few days, anytime I saw clips from the game, it was hard not to get emotional. I couldn't believe how easy it was for me to get choked up, but seeing your MVP get as emotional as he did after the win makes you feel it, too. At the parade, which I wasn't able to attend but caught on TV, it was obvious how happy Dirk Nowitzki was. After an entire season -nay, a career- of pushing away the urge to celebrate before it was time, of sitting quietly in press conferences and answering harsh questions, of being berated unfairly, and being called names he didn't deserve or earn, he could FINALLY let loose and enjoy his success. The time IS now. He could stand tall with his hands in the air and a smile on his face knowing NO ONE cold take away or deny what he has achieved. I've never seen him so happy, and it was just wonderful!

This team pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, won the old fashion way, with hard work, determination, loyalty, while supporting one another, and they did it with class and humility. Then, their fans mirrored that in the way they celebrated and responded to this epic event. I'm so proud to be a citizen of Dallas and to be a fan of the Mavericks.


  1. Woohoo!!! You know how I feel about my Mavs! So glad for Dirk. I am proud to be a Mavs fan!!

  2. The best playoff run in history is what you just described and I beleive my favorite, Larry Bird, and all his title runs couldn't match up to such intensity and teamwork!

  3. I'm so glad you did share. That was amazing. I'm so happy for you and Mavs nation. What a great bunch of guys. You should email a link of your blog to Cuban. He will read it. It might take a month or so, but he's good that way.

  4. I absolutely will, Kristy! I hope he sees it.

  5. I think you totally captured what an entire city (and more) was feeling. Definitely how I felt - especially how great it is to see Dirk enjoying what he's worked so hard to deserve!! As we were sitting there at the rally I told Zach I felt like we were at our kids' graduation or something - I felt so proud! And I always tear up when they play DFW Digs Dirk. :) Thanks for sharing!

  6. Awesome story! I am glad to hear your story and Thanks for sharing it. I guess we all in the same boat for being DIE HARD MAVS FANS.

  7. awesome, that's exactly how I feel, even though I'm fan since shorter time ....really nice!

  8. Thank you Anons! You're awesome! GO MAVS!

  9. Thoughts and experiences of a regular fan who expresses it perfectly!

  10. I completely agree with this whole post! I’m still so proud of our boys, and how they have been so humble—truly great sportsmanship from the Mavs. And it’s been awesome to see how grateful they are to their fans.

    I am SO jealous you were at the Game 6 Watch Party! I’ll have you know, I lived (unapologetically) vicariously through you and all the photos, tweets, and Facebook updates you posted! And I really loved reading about what it was like to be there, and to be at the airport, too. The next best thing to being there! ☺

    And I was the exact same way—totally unwilling to get my hopes up, even when we had the lead and the game was nearly over. It’s always heartbreaking to think, “We got this!” and then to lose it. SO happy that didn’t happen in Game 6!!! When we won, officially won, it was so overwhelming! I was SO HAPPY. I couldn’t stop smiling. Grinning like an idiot, really. I loved watching the boys and seeing how happy they looked!

    Nobody deserves it more than our Dallas Mavericks! I’m so happy they finally have a championship! They truly are a team with CLASS.

  11. Thanks for sharing that article. I know exactly how you feel. great job. It took them long enough but they finally got it after all these years and it feels great.