I took the boys to their first Jazz game last night. Eldest got a free ticket from his basketball league, I got one for coaching, and after another player got sick, Littlest had a ticket, too. So the three of us met one of Eldest's classmates/teammates and his dad and went to the game at EnergySolutions Arena in downtown Salt Lake City.
The game went much better than I expected (at least off the court; the Jazz lost to the pitiful Wizards). Eldest and his friend paid attention to almost the whole game. They sat in the row in front of the dads and Littlest and were content to watch the game away from their fathers. I didn't mind. Eldest is getting to that point where he likes hanging out with his friends, maybe a little more than me if given the option. There's plenty of time to go to a game with just him (or just both boys). I think Eldest understood what was going on during the game, too -- at least enough that he paid attention. I'm starting to believe him that basketball has passed soccer as his favorite sport.
Littlest at time whined a little, but for the most part, had fun and didn't complain about being stuck at a basketball game. He watched most of the second half, thanks in part to the giant foam finger I bought him. He saw others with the souvenir and whined a little about it, but I did promise him to get him something at the game. Once he stopped whining, I bought him the finger at halftime. He spent the second half waving the finger and screaming "Go Jazz!" He may have not understood what was occurring on the court, but he understood to follow along when the crowd cheered or yelled "De-fense!" He had a blast.
The Jazz trailed by double-digits but came back to take the lead, sending the crowd, and the boys, into a frenzy. Alas, the game went to overtime and the Jazz fell apart. Littlest kept asking if it was over in OT, almost knowing the Jazz were going to lose (half the crowd walking heading for the exits didn't help).
Except for the final score, we enjoyed a fun, great night. Our seats were somewhat high up and in the corner, but this is an arena designed for basketball, so we weren't that far away (unlike the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, designed for hockey and miles from the court in the upper deck). Those cheap seats aren't that expensive as season tickets, and I've always looked forward to the day I could buy season tickets so the boys and I could enjoy basketball games together. Now that I know they can handle a full game, the year we buy them might be sooner than later.