Cliff Note: To those who are new to my blog, Ricky is my brother who passed away this past March 4. He was one who had many challenges in life, due to a medical condition he inherited. Although Ricky had some developmental problems, he had a heart of gold.
As I have mentioned before, my brother Ricky was a sports fan. The reason he became a sports fan was because I was. Ricky worshiped the ground I walked on. I don't think I deserved such an honor.
Ricky and I went to several sporting events together and a couple of years in a row, I took him to the Richfield Coliseum to see the Cleveland Cavaliers as his Christmas present from me.
We had some good seats for these. The game in 1975, the Cavs were playing the New Orleans Jazz, not a great team, but their best player was "Pistol" Pete Maravich. Pete was chasing a loose ball out of bounds in front of the section where we were sitting. We were in the second row and he was close enough to hear us. Ricky said, "GO PETE." I was the one who usually behaved myself at these games(yeah right) and I looked Maravich straight in the eye and said "You hot dog!" If looks could kill, I would have never made it past 1975. Imagine that, I insulted one of the greatest basketball players of all time to his face. Needless to say, Ricky was telling me on our way home how I embarassed him.
The next year we went back to the Coliseum to see the Cavs play the Los Angeles Lakers. The game was on a Sunday afternoon and was originally going to be televised. We were able to get tickets two rows behind the basket for the unspeakable sum of *gasp* $12.50 per ticket. As we were waiting to get in, I told some people who were standing with us where we were sitting. He offered me $1000 if I kicked Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his private area. I would probably just be getting out of prison now if I took him up on that.
The game was originally supposed to be televised, but CBS decided against that at the last minute, as the Cavs were off to a slow start. But I will tell you this was a good game. Ricky and I both got into the game and we were yelling and hooping it up when someone sitting near us told us that they paid good money for their tickets and they would appreciate it if we would not cheer as loud as we were. I don't think he appreciated us at all that afternoon.
Because of the fact this was to be the first nationwide telecast ever of the Cleveland Cavaliers, all fans were given a Cavs pennant upon entering. The seats looked like a sea of white towards the end of the game. The final score was Cavaliers 99-Lakers 98. The real loser that day was CBS.
Ricky and I would talk about that game often.
Cliff Note #2: I hope you enjoyed the story. It's one of my favorite gift giving memories.