On top of the 8-ball, and maybe behind it
So when the Warriors take the floor for their home opener Nov. 1 and see this gigantic magic 8-ball painted on the middle of the floor, now they'll know why.
You see, in their latest successful attempt to convince people that they aren't running a civic eyesore, the Golden State Warriors have hooked up with boy billionaire/basketball fan/acquisition junkie Larry Ellison to rename the Coliseum Arena Oracle. Not "The Oracle," or "The Oracle Arena."
True, if naming rights required some level of accuracy, the arena would be renamed "Tenth Place," or "41 Games, And That's All," or even "Joe Barry's House." But they don't, and if Ellison wanted to pay to have the place renamed "Larry's Little Playground; Keep Your Feet off The Chairs, You Animals," so it would be.
This will, of course, create immediate friction with head coach/eminense grise Don Nelson, who has always regarded himself as a bit of an oracle himself. But Ellison is laying out 30 million scoots over 10 years for the naming rights to the old dreadnought, so we know how any copyright issues are going to be settled.
And while this will inspire people to think that Ellison is easing closer to his ultimate goal of buying the Warriors from Chris "The Hologram" Cohan, we must remember that Cohan is no more motivated to sell now than he was before, the chance of which is currently listed as "Not in a thousand years, Jack." This is just more free money thrown at the guy who already gets tons of free money from the most faithful/delusional customers in American sport.
So what does this mean then? Well, it means that Bob Fitzgerald and Tim Roye and Jim Barnett and Matt Steinmetz and the rest of the Warrior broadcasting army will bore us stupid with their attempts to make us think of the place we've always known as the Coliseum Arena as Oracle. We will, in turn, wonder what the hell they are talking about as the Warriors jump off to their traditional 8-13 start.
This is where the giant 8-ball comes in.
There is no good reason to paint the Oracle logo on the court, because the Oracle logo is, well, "ORACLE." Blah. When the old Milwaukee Arena was renamed "MECCA," that was cool. This is straight from the home office of Geekco International, with a side order of cheap commercialism on the side.
There is no better reason to slap a giant decal of Ellison's disembodied head on the court because, well, Ellison's is not an artistically accessible mush in the way that Abraham Lincoln's is, or SpongeBob SquarePants'. In addition, nobody wants Cohan's mug out there, and putting Nelson's enormous conk at midcourt just asks for trouble.
Thus, we are left to consult the dictionary (for you young'uns out there, it is a huge book that contains the meanings of every word in the English language, and don't make us tell you what a book is) to get a better sense of what we're dealing with here.
To wit: Oracle, n: 1. A shrine in which a deity so reveals hidden knowledge or the divine purpose. 2a. A person giving wise or authoritative decisions or opinions. 2b. An authoritative or wise expression or answer.
Now what better logo for this than the giant magic 8-ball? It is, after all, what people consult every October right before they predict a playoff year for the Warriors.
Not only that, it is generally agreed that the coolest thing about the Warriors is their old "The CITY uniforms," a style that never gets old or lame. You see it, and you think good things about a team that generally avoids good things as though they came with a skin rash.
Besides, what else would you put there, a giant eye? Like the eye on top of the pyramid on the $1 bill? Or the eye on the zaftig cartoon Turanga Leela, the Cyclops from "Futurama?" Or one of the giant eyes with the top hat from the cover of that famous old Residents album, "Eskimo"? Or maybe just a guy with a long white beard and a pointy hat with a crescent moon on it -- you could pretend it was Cohan.
No, as much as we like the idea of a giant eye staring at you, staring at it (reminiscent of the old days at the Coliseum where every hot dog came with a free contact high and all the hallucinations you could afford), the magic 8-ball is the best idea for what is otherwise an act of self-involved silliness by a man with way too much money for his own good. Much as he might try, Ellison can never make the regular guy call the Arena Oracle, because once names are ingrained into the memory, no amount of money can eradicate them.
Thus, on Opening Night, you will walk into the building on 66th and 880 and it will come to you immediately. You are entering the place where the Lakers are playing ... and also the Warriors.
Plus, the 8 will make you think of the position in the standings that someday your grandchildren might see the Warriors achieve. It's a cruel notion, but a fair one.
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So what the hell is he trying to say here?
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