Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"If a shot falls in the woods," well, what if there weren't many Nets fans there to begin with?

Last night the Meadowlands hosted just about as exciting a game as you could possibly imagine," wrote Henry Abbott yesterday in ESPN's TrueHoop blog, referring to the New Jersey Nets-Philadelphia 76ers contest that ended with an astonishing half-court buzzer-beater from Nets point guard Devin Harris.

But his local newspaper, the New York Times, didn't send a staffer to the game, and it was covered with three paragraphs of bland AP copy. (The New Jersey papers, the Star-Ledger and the Record, surely played it big, and New York's tabloids hardly ignored it.)

The Times's omission--actually, they cover the Nets, but inconsistently--says more about shrinking newspaper budgets than anything.

How many people were there?

But Abbott's headline, If a Shot Falls in the Woods..., has another meaning: what if there weren't that many Nets fans in attendance in the Izod Center in the first place?

The reported attendance was 13,235, or 66.3% of the 19,968 capacity. Now, I know that attendance reflects tickets distributed, not gate count, but does anyone think they came even close to the reported total?

Keep in mind that the game was competitive until the end, so few should have left early.

(Photos are crops of copyrighted photos Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Note that crops on the first photo and the second photo
eliminate the value as intended--the hoops action--to focus on the crowd size.)

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