I never told Mr. Orange or any of my fellow angry protesters, but I was a part of the selltheknicks.com march undercover. I guess I could have mentioned that I was there to cover the event, but I was having too much fun joining the chanting. I was a little bit late to the starting point on 46th street and 9th avenue. The first time I spotted the angry mob was here, across 8th avenue. Exhibit A:
I joined in once they crossed the street towards me, and somebody gave me a high five that still kind of stings. It was worth it. I joined the march and took a bunch of photos in between chants and hand clapping. Some of the chants from the march were: “DUCK U FO-LAN!”, “FI-RE THOM-AS”, “STEPH’S A CAN-CER”, “PASS FIRST POINT GUARD”, and of course “WHERE’S OUR DRAFT PICK?”. Here’s my perspective from the middle of the pack.
I even had to break my personal pledge to never ever, under any circumstances, no matter what the reason, ever ever ever go to Times Square at any time. It’s very crowded. No disrespect to our city’s wonderful tourists, but man there’s a lot of you. Keep spending that money though! Here’s a photo. The guy in the Reggie Lewis jersey was interviewing people.
The best part of the march was the reaction from people in the street. Lots of smiles, high fives, and fist pumps in support of the mission. We even made a new friend who was standing on a Times Square street corner (don’t worry, it was not a “working girl”) who had his own sign.
The Funniest moment was when we walked past the MTV building. Damn kids. They were in a line that was approximately 300 deep. I was told it was for concert tickets and not some late night TRL action. Here is one of the protesters with the MTV kids looking on, extremely confused.
When we got to the garden area, some dude in a Knicks jersey accused us of not being true fans. To that I say, whatever man. I had more fun getting the frustration out with fellow fans than at any time during any Knicks game over the past year. Once outside of MSG there were photo ops and an organized march around the perimeter. We crossed pass the bus with all of the players getting off, but they probably had other things on their mind, such as millions and millions of dollars, phone calls to make, agents to talk to, endorsement deals, etc. You will probably see better photos of this, but here is our final destination, MSG.
After finishing the lap around the garden, I still had to time to take the train home and be there in time for the start of the draft (which was actually half an hour later than I thought. Thanks espn.) and Pedro’s first pitch (though the Pedro experience was not so great). As the Knicks were about to make their picks, I noticed several of the faces you’ve seen in the photos on the telecast. For example, Walt Clyde up there was not happy with the 29th pick. The 20th pick madness was even better with the drunk and rowdy fans begging for Marcus Williams. Jay Bilas had some zingers and Chad Ford wrote an amusing critique, among the laughing at the Knicksfest that threatens to shutdown the web today. Lang will have thorough draft coverage on The Links today, and linkstigator Ben Couch wrote about things from the Knicks perspective in his blog. All I will say about the pick, and this is being as positive as I can: Isiah says he can be like Rodman and Ron Artest. Isiah developed both of them, one as a team leader and the other as a coach who believed. That being said, with Isiah no longer around Rodman and Artest both blossomed into incredible superstars who became… let’s say… totally unpredictable. Just a thought.
Was the march a success? I think so, only because it made things really uncomfortable for alot of people. Progress takes time. Even if the numbers of participants were low, the impact was still felt. Even if it doesn’t lead to the actual sale of the team, at least there was a national media spotlight focused on how pissed off and frustated the fans are. We, as disgruntled Knicks fans, have no pride. This was not our choice. And I don’t think you will see this kind of coverage on the MSG network.