Crowds = Good

Watched the New York Liberty beat the Charlotte Sting in double overtime last night. Wonderful close fought game, which you wouldn’t expect given that Charlotte have only won four games this season and are already out of playoff contention. But they’ve got a new coach—the glorious Muggsy Bogues (whose height is anywhere between 4ft 11 and 5ft 3 depending on who you ask—whatever—for an ex-NBA player he ain’t tall)—and many amazing players: Sheri Sam, Helen Darling, Tangela Smith, Tammy Sutton-Brown.

I think I know one of the reasons the Sting have been having such a rotten run. There was almost no crowd. The arena in Charlotte was echoingly empty. Surely having almost no-one yelling for you must make it hard to play your best. The Liberty often surpass themselves at home. I’ve seen them fall apart and then pick themselves up because we in the crowd were screaming our hearts out for them. If there’s no-one watching you, there’s no-one there to egg you on, to abuse the refs for you, there’s just silence.

Most published writers know how that feels. I don’t know a single one who hasn’t experienced the audience of none or one. Who hasn’t sat there ready to sign for no-one, staring off into space, looking depressed and forlorn. Just the expression to not attract any impulse purchasers who might have bought your book if you were sitting there looking cool and interesting. That’s why you should always do events with someone else, so that even if you both attract no-one you can at least natter away to one another with insouciance, elan and charisma, or, you know, something just like.

As Fred Dagg used to say, “I’ll get out of your way now.”