Getting Married at Halftime...It's FANtastic
Some have insinuated that I was lonely and/or depressed on Valentines Day. This could not be further from the truth. I see it as a sort of independence day, where I do stuff that all my friends with girlfriends wish they could be doing instead of having dinner at an overpriced restaurant or shopping for a present they have no idea how to buy. So I went to the Heat-Magic game last night with Graig. The game itself was rather dull, save for a few vintage Shaq-backboard-rattling dunks, but what was worth the price of admission (okay, my tickets were free) was the halftime entertainment.
“The halftime entertainment?” you say. “Are you really THAT enthralled by dogs catching Frisbees and not-quite-ready-for-Cirque-du-Soliel acrobats, White Dade? Because if that’s the case there are cheaper ways to get your kicks than attending NBA Basketball games.” This is definitely not the case, as my usual halftime entertainment consists of a 24-oz. Bud Light and Personal Pan Pizza. But this game, well, this game was an exception.
As halftime began, a red carpet was rolled out onto the court by “Burnie,” the Heat mascot, and a preacher in a very nice suit was introduced to the crowd. He was followed by four men in tuxedos, and then, in the entryway where the aforementioned Frisbee dogs and cut-rate acrobats would be, were women wearing white wedding dresses. “They’re not…” I said to Graig as we gazed on in amazement from the far reaches of the triple-A. “No, they can’t be,” he replied. But sure enough…
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Valentines Day, so we have a very special halftime for you this evening. These four couples are going to proclaim their love for one another and get married right here at center court tonight.” Oh, God. This is going to be good.
“Our first couple is renewing their vows after 8 years of marriage. Rick and Melissa Cortez of Miami Lakes were unable to enjoy their honeymoon the first time around as Rick broke his rib three days before the wedding. He went through with all of the wedding festivities, but was unable to participate in the honeymoon and spent the entire week not eating solid foods and laid up in bed on Vicodin.” Did he just say Vicodin? Yes, yes I believe he did. Apparently the Heat PA announcer is a fan of prescription painkillers (then again, aren’t we all). That marked the first time I have ever heard the word “Vicodin” announced over the PA at an NBA game.
“Our next couple is Mike and Rachel Sanchez of Kendale Lakes. Mike and Rachel met in the fifth grade and were High School Sweethearts. When Rachel moved to Miami at age 16, who should show up two years later but Mike. Against the wishes of their friends, and both their families, they were married. People were taking bets at the wedding as to how long the marriage would last. Well, 12 years later, they are all a bunch of LOSERS!” They're losers? No, sir, the guy who married a girl he met at age 10 and followed her here even though everyone knew he was being an idiot…That guy is the loser.
“Next are Robbie Jackson and Felicia Owens. They made their way here tonight by calling a 1-800 number on 103.5 The Beat. 103.5 The Beat, #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B.” I’m sure as a little girl growing up in Ft. Lauderdale, Felicia dreamed of someday finding the perfect man and having the perfect dress, and then walking down the aisle WITH A RADIO STATION PROMO PLAYING IN THE BACKGORUND. How romantic. I’m sure this is one Johnny and Felicia will be sharing with the grandkids
“Our last couple are Mark Thompson and Lisa Fernandez of Miami. They don’t have enough money for a wedding so we are throwing them one here tonight.” You know, it’s one thing to have a cheap wedding, but quite another to have 13,000 people informed that you are, in fact, marrying a broke-ass-motherfucker. I must say it was nice of Mickey Arison to throw a wedding for the destitute, though. Even nicer to make sure everyone in the crowd knew he was doing it.
I’ve gotta wonder what these ladies’ reactions were when their fiancées said “Hey, babe, how ‘bout we get married at halftime of the Heat-Magic game on Valentine’s Day? Wouldn’t that be romantic?” Probably something along the lines of “Oh, did I forget to tell you? I’m really a man.” These guys’ lack of romanticism aside, I still must thank them for providing me with something vastly more entertaining than NBA basketball. Now what I’d really love to see is the halftime divorce. Although I bet they save those for the playoffs.