The DadBall Era: Return On Investment

Like most things in our divided times, it started simply enough with a tweet:

First things first: It is against established #DadBall protocols to be gifting such pricey things in the first place. Our funds remain completely focused on our stupid kids until Boxing Day, when the madness subsides and the cabin fever sets in. Until then, a good handshake will have to do, Mr. Postal Service man!

[gets mailbox blown up with dynamite]

That said, Collin’s overarching point stands:

The Colts are boring and average, and to see them in person costs GTFOH-dollars and 29 cents, and not a penny less. And that’s not even for GOOD seats. No, that impossible sum gets you and your kids into the Coke Lot Section of the stadium, a lawless tent-village 12 furlongs from the field, a half-mile up, the view obscured by steel girders and plumes of vape smoke. Too far to see anything clearly, but not far enough to escape the sounds of the wounded and Bachman-Turner Overdrive for 3-and-a-half hours straight. I know that region all too well.

Except I don’t have that kind of time or money anymore—especially not on a sunny Sunday afternoon. THAT’S TOP-SHELF YARD-CHORE’IN TIME!

The Pacers, meanwhile, are also boring … but they’re the strangely enjoyable kind of boring that suits me just fine—like shoveling snow or going to Costco—and they’re also very talented (and getting better). To see the Pacers in person can cost next-to-nothing if you do it right, if you don’t mind watching the Charlotte Breakers or New York Eagles or any other janky, possibly fictional NBA team on a cold Wednesday night in the dead of winter.

On the parental front, that is infinitely more doable than hauling four kids to a Colts game and—at present—it is infinitely more fun as well. The Pacers simply provide a better atmosphere. A better in-game product. A better experience at a ridiculously better price.

Some of it, though, has to do with the Pacers simply being more interesting right now than the Colts, in person or otherwise. This is largely because the Pacers are on the verge of being a Championship-caliber team.

[gets mailbox blown up again, this time by the Hot Take Police on Twitter]

I’m not saying they’re there now. Again, they’re on the verge of legitimately contending for Eastern Conference and NBA titles. Not this year. Maybe not even next year. But the core is FINALLY in place, and it’s in place specifically because Malcolm Brogdon is the no-frills, all-business, Nike-Monarchs-like Team Dad the Pacers have been lacking for so long—and that he’s also a top-5 NBA point guard doesn’t hurt either.

There is nothing flashy about Brogdon. Quite the opposite, really. Rather, he is exceedingly necessary. Prudent. Boring, even. He’s not heroin, like Kyrie Irvin or James Harden. He’s Coumadin. Except why pay for brand-name prescriptions? No, Brogdon is Warfarin, because dad’s not paying brand-name prices when a generic triple-double will do just fine.

Brogdon is the perfect mixture of stoic wisdom and offensive efficiency, like Abraham Lincoln with a solid VORP rating. This is his team, make no mistake, and it will be for quite some time. I will bet my basketball life on it. It’s Oladipo’s city, yes, but Brogdon’s team, no matter what he modestly says to the contrary.

Pair those two with Domantas Sabonis and the Pacers have their three-pillared core of multiple Championship runs. (We will talk about this later, Myles, I promise.) It’s not happening this year, most likely. But it IS happening.

Spending a couple hundred bucks so you and your kids can see this in its infancy – in person, from damn near the opposing team’s huddle – is infinitely better than spending your mortgage payment to watch the Colts slog around the field from your seats in the Caspian Sea. That is really all I was getting at here.