Friday, April 23, 2010

New Jersey Nets vs. Charlotte Bobcats

Okay, so this story really starts before Jonathan's parents even came to town. You see, I play two games regularly (both are from the same company - Alamofire). One is an internet game (PackRat), and the other is a geolocation (read: phone) game (Gowalla). Well, Gowalla is becoming pretty well-known these days (it's about a year old), and they have formed a bunch of partnerships with various organizations across the country (although they are a worldwide game). One of their partnerships was the New Jersey Nets basketball team.

Let me give a quick rundown on the game... basically, whenever you go someplace, you can open Gowalla on your phone (works on iphones, androids, palms, and anything that goes on the web), and "check-in" to the location where you are (restaurant, store, park, etc.). There are over 100 items that can be found and traded at various places, so you try and get all of those and vault them. You can also create spots, "found" spots by putting items at them, and work on creating and founding more spots to get more pins of achievement. You also get a stamp for every place you visit (you can go to a place multiple times but you only get one stamp per location), and there's a stamp for each state as well.

Now, back to the story... the Nets project allowed Gowalla to put out 250 "tickets" as items. Each of these items was redeemable for 2 tickets to the final home game for the Nets. Well, the Friday 10 days before the game, Gowalla put out the announcement that you could try your luck at finding tickets at various locations in NY and NJ, and it specifically indicated that they would most likely be found at sports-ish venues, whether that be a sports bar or a sporting goods store, etc. The day they announced this, we drove into Jersey for some errands, and I stopped at a Dick's and a Sports Authority to try. Nothing. And, since we had company coming the next day, I kinda gave up on the idea.

Fast Forward to the following Friday, when we took Jonathan's parents to New York City. We had just gotten off the train and were heading to our first destination when I checked into the Manhattan Center (we went to the Diggnation there a few months ago). My jaw dropped as I saw the little icon and message telling me that I found a pair of Nets tickets!! I immediately showed Jonathan (who is a casual Gowalla player... I'm quite avid), and he decided to check-in, too. He was lucky enough to snag another pair, so we had four tickets to use on Monday, April 12th.

We invited a couple people, but in the end it was just us and our friend, Rob. We drove up to the Meadowlands Sports Complex in NJ, and hit little traffic on the way there. However, the signs are not the best once you get off the highway, so we had to backtrack a little bit to actually get over to the IZOD Center. Parking wasn't bad, and we found the Gowalla table pretty easily. I was really excited about meeting one of the developers, since I've been a fan of Alamofire for over two years now.

The seats were pretty awesome. At first we couldn't find our section... turns out it was because we had FLOOR seats. Now, for someone who isn't that into basketball, this made me pretty excited. I was able to get a few good pictures of the game, but there weren't that many awesome shots/dunks/etc. to begin with. Also, I got a Gowalla shirt, which I was pretty much ecstatic about. I was really hoping that they'd have them there, and I hope it works as an advertisement when I wear it, since I've been trying to get more of my friends to play (what I think is) this awesome game. Anyway, the Nets lost, but they were close on and off. Here's some photos form our sweet seats...

I don't really understand why they had foxes (I think?) as the mascot for the Nets. anyone know?

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