Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Dinner With Brent

The night before game 5, I went out to dinner with my bosses and mentors. We cocktailed at Bleu Hour before making our way to the Nines for a meal. As we were riding up the elevator mentor Derek said aloud, "Hey, you here to broadcast the game tomorrow?"

I looked up and realized Derek had mistook Brent Barry for Jon Barry. 

"You got the wrong guy, Derek," I said, "That's Brent, the Rocket." 

We proceeded to heckle him a little bit. I asked him if it bothered him that he was going to have to come back for game 7.

We got off the elevator and wished him well. We loitered a bit in the foyer before finally walking into the restaurant. We must have loitered longer than I thought because there was Brent again, right in front of us, asking the hostess for a table for one.

I popped him on the arm and said, "Table for one? You wanna you join us?"

He looked at me and then scanned the bosses and mentors.

"What? We're cool," I assured.

"Okay," he said with a shrug.

So Brent fucking Barry sits down next to me at the table. We all introduce ourselves. He asks what we do. "We work for Wieden + Kennedy. We make all those Nike commercials."

Brent feeds our ego by acknowledging that he knows of us and is an admirer of our work. He proceeds to tell us that he has dabbled in film production himself, and that after his career finally comes to an end he'd like to figure out a way to evolve his interest. He's got some good ideas.

So the banter continues. He's super cool and easy going. He's quick-witted and down to earth. At one point he looks at me and asks if I'd like tickets to the game. 

"Uh, can't do it," I say, "See, I'm a curse. If I go to the game, that means you won't be back for game 7."

Long story short, we transfer his generous offer to the bosses and mentors. Wine and conversation last long into the night. Our plan to get him drunk is pointless, he tells us; these days, he rides the pine til the game is out of hand. Somewhere the other side of midnight we exchange emails and say so long.

The next day Brent and I email back and forth. Nice to meet you. Thanks for hanging out. Then we strike a deal. If the Blazers win game 5 and 6, the Brent Barry tickets for game 7 are mine. 

Believers in my curse might think me crazy for pulling this, but the way I see it, it will settle once and for all my season long quest for a contract from Mr. Allen. If the Blazers win, I will accept that I do not control their destiny. But if they lose, I figure Paul will have to accept the truth.

So go Blazers. Win game 6. I won't be anywhere near the game. That said, if we lose, it won't be because of me. I have made the point before that just because I don't watch it doesn't guarantee victory. The only guarantee is that when I watch, they lose. Game 7 can bring it all to rest.

P.S. Brent Barry is one classy dude. After the game 5 loss he invited my boss's son into the Rockets locker room where he got to meet Yao Ming. After that he took them down to meet some of the Blazers, including Roy and Aldridge. Brent must've had a mom that raised him right.