by Lang Whitaker

So, you want a taste of the real behind-the-scenes of All-Star Weekend? What it’s like to rub shoulders with the big shots and be a part of all the excitement and glory and glamour?

Well don’t look at me. Right now it’s 11:48 p.m. here on the East Coast and Ryne and I are living large in the C concourse of Dulles Airport. I usually try to stay at least at little vague about my whereabouts, lest some of you wacky Linkstigators prank call me or something, but tonight I will tell you exactly where I am: Gate C5 at Dulles Airport in Washington DC. Try and find me here, why don’t you. I think it’s safe to say I’ve never spent an evening in a more secure environment, except for maybe the time I spent the night at a jail in downtown Atlanta trying to help bail out a guy I didn’t really even know.

Anyway, why are we here? Well, long story. Actually, it’s not a long story but I don’t want to tell it because I’m not happy that we’re here. We were supposed to fly from New York to DC and then DC to Phoenix. The flight out of NYC was delayed, of course. I hate connecting flights. I never ever ever ever want to take connecting flights. I wrote about this at length a few months ago. But we ended up on a connecting flight. (Somehow, because he flew from Newark and not NYC, Ben is on a direct flight that should get into Phoenix tonight. Then again, he had to go to Newark, so maybe a direct flight is redemption enough.)

We spent from 8:15 p.m until about 10:45 p.m. in a customer service line, which provided the bare minimum of service, it seemed. One woman snapped and started screaming at the employees in Spanish and then refused to leave the desk, which certainly pepped things up.

Anyway, best case scenario, Ryne and I could be on the ground in Phoenix tomorrow before noon local time. Worst case scenario we get there around midnight. The only good news is that the worst case scenario is exactly that — we’re booked and have tickets and everything for that late night arrival. Hopefully we can get in there early. I’ll start dropping posts and twittering as soon as I get there. In the meantime, Ben will be there tonight so he can hit you with updates tomorrow.

In the meantime, All-Star Weekend is beginning. One thing I’ve been thinking about: What’s going to happen? We talk so much about everything but the actual game. I’ve got a feeling that D-Wade is due to break out and cop an MVP award. Who wins the dunk contest? Who wins the three-point shootout? Let me know what you guys think. I’ve got nothing better to do.