Remember that the order is for chilli chicken and that chilli chops come along with the chicken. Keep in mind also that the seeds are where the action is and all should be fine. No amount of blind sweat makes it any tastier, so be done with it and munch on through the pain of never finding enough food to eat.
Blurry printouts from a copier with identity issues knocks off three dollars leaving a flashback to times with others and of as cheap seats in the silver section. A bus-load of orange men walk toward the Entertainment Centre to split seconds of realisation that they are in fact the opposition team from Cairns. Ryan and Atom aren't even present, making this the first solo effort in stadium soaking. UNICEF, as noted by a flyer from the previous home game, takes three dollars from every ticket for their cause.
A flock of French kids bank the row behind and two Canadians with beers in hand the seats to the right. A closely shaven skull sits right in front and the plan of seating allocations is made apparent. Indonesian dignitaries are in a corporate box and Rodney O says something to the best effect. It matters little, inconsequential in all.
Mark Sanford breaks out a slam dunk and to mark the occasion, they finally, finally, play Metallica's Enter Sandman. Jason Smith back swipes a Taipans lay up for an effective, and clean, denial. Seconds later, Smith is hanging from the ring notching two on the board. Both teams fight hard, but the scoreboard shows the Taipans with an upper hand leading for most of the quarter. Cairns look set to start the second ahead when the hand of Ben Knight comes from nowhere to break a pass and pop the Kings in to level the first at 31.
Coming out from the shadows, the Lion makes it on court with yellow-tinted (prescription?) glasses. After another fine display from the Harlequins cheerleaders—who seem more tanned now than at the start of the season—a guy from the stands is thrown on court for a chance to win a $6000 Philips widescreen. Twenty-four seconds are given to execute a lay-up, a free throw, a three-pointer and a pot shot from half-court. Time vaporises as the numerous attempts fail and fail again by skooches on the rim. Time gone, the Lion takes the ball and shows up the kid, making it on the first go. Buzzer brings back the players. The Lion goes into hiding.
The second half of the first half sees the start of wayward feet called into account. Soles drag, skip and twitch into violation as the calls start with travelling. The spectacle continues for the rest of the night with pretty much every player trying to get their tickets stamped. Taipans edge out in front and a last ditch shot by Kendall misses leaving Kings short into the half at 46 against 47.
The Natural Born Breakers, feature act for the half-time, stroll their nine(?) with trepidation into the centre. Slow to start and getting no hip hopping bounce back from the crowd, the break-dancing crew start it up with robots and statues alive. Before too many yawns get to start they're spinning on handstands, kicking turtles and flipping all over the court. The crowd is fixed. One point in the set brings You Got Served to mind as they break-battle, out-styling each other with smooth hand offs and fluid bounces. This and the fact that the play list mixes in a few of the songs from the soundtrack. Forgoing an endless repetition they drop and scramble the act with equal parts of the outlandish and wild against finer, more subtle moves. Five or more minutes later they close with an all out display of individual throws and end on a gunshot. Their act lacks a particular depth as they focus their moves on one side of the stadium, the other half left watching their backs. They should pay attention to the Harlequins for this. Despite that minor performance missive, the guys are great. Hopefully they'll return for another game.
The other half of the break is the UNICEF Cup for Kids. Sprawling white and black oversized shirts play havoc and mean as the rules are cast aside and mayhem breaks loose. The blacks start the score only to see the mini-game dissolve into an elbow-swaying-fest of one kid trying to take it from another and an the ref for the hilarious display has absolutely no control over what's happening. Leaving for beers after the break dancers, the Canadians return and the French kids start smelling like hotdogs.
Third quarter and the Taipans take to the floor in a sprawling mess of bodies. Every other player is sliding on their backs giving the sweepers a week's workout. CJ Bruton checks out the action and gets thrown by a wayward elbow. Sanford continues his stride making more connections than misses ever seen in a game. Marcus Timmons and Anthony Stewart from the Taipans are name checked more than the others from Cairns. Distraction leads the scores to read 69-66 as the final quarter creeps up.
Guy Sebastian takes honours on the Trendwest draw but with the flopping and the immense size of the wig, the Lion ends up looking like the matron from Matilda or somewhat like Ross Noble. Retreating to the stands, the Lion knocks back a green bottle. Heineken is a possibility, but after seeing hoods throw a bottle from a car at a taxi, there's a chance of V.
Six minutes in the fourth, Smith drives up the court to set up Sanford for a sweet, sweet alley-oop. Consecutive timeouts work the Lion and Harlequins with an array of moves and coach Brian Goorjian's shaven head is noted as things start to go blurry and eyeballs dart side to side in a frenzied fashion making no sense of the cold. BJ Carter actually steps on court and David Barlow grabs the ball making the last shot for the night to bring home the Kings' 98 to the Taipans' 82.
Reviewed on Saturday, 30 October 2004