Spurs fans finally got a chance to support their team's playoff campaign against the Jazz Friday afternoon and did it by holding a pep rally. We don't want to get picky here, but how smart was it to hold the rally right there on the front steps of the Alamo?
This cannot bode well for the Spurs in Game 3 against the Jazz this afternoon. The last time Texans tried to hold homecourt advantage in the Alamo, they put up a gallant fight but still finished in second place. When you think about it, that pretty much sums up the Jazz-Spurs series so far."I can't think of a better place to make this statement than in front of the Alamo," said Mayor Howard Pete.
How about Waterloo?
Spurs fans had their backs to the Alamo wall Friday in steamy San Antonio, and this seemed more fitting. Their team is down 2-zip, and now the Spurs are desperate and need all the help they can get when they meet the Jazz in the, ahem, Alamodome.
The mayor gave a speech at the rally. So did Spurs owner Peter Holt, still hoarse from screaming in the Delta Center. If you gave a speech under water, you would sound like Peter Holt. There were more speeches from George Ger-vin and local newspaper editor Bob Rivard, who was miffed about staying up late to write about the Spurs getting ripped off by referees. Sorry, Bob. We'll see if we can't have the Spurs get ripped off during an earlier, more convenient hour.
The Silver Dancers danced and the Coyote mascot tossed T-shirts to the crowd and music was played loud enough to bring the walls of the old Alamo tumbling down. Several hundred fans turned out for the affair, some of them hanging out the windows of buildings on the square. Everyone was there, except, hmmm, let's see, players.
The Spurs were asked after Friday's practice about the pep rally. Their answer could be summed up this way:
What pep rally?
"I didn't know about it," said Vinny Del Negro, the Spurs guard. "But every little thing helps."
No, David Robinson said, he hadn't heard about the rally. "But anything to get the fans excited is great," he said.
"My wife told me about it," said Avery Johnson.
"What good's a pep rally without the players?" one out-of-town reporter wondered aloud.
"It's just for the fans," a member of the San Antonio media ex-plained.
Evidently, the Spurs' new plan is to insert a few fans in today's lineup. We knew they had a thin bench, but . . .
"The players have got to be rested for the weekend," Gervin explained to the crowd. "That's why they're not out here."
Meanwhile, Spurs supporters announced their strategy for today's game - Operation: Black Out. All fans are being urged to wear black to the game. "The Jazz will be falling into a black hole," they were told. Considering San Antonio's current heat and humidity, the fans are the ones who will be falling.
With the Jazz coming to town, the people of San Antonio are in a black mood. For one thing, they're tired of losing to the Jazz. They lost to them in the playoffs twice in the past three years without even forcing a rubber match, and they dropped three of four during the regular season. Now they are 0-2 in the playoffs, but with two more baskets they would be 2-0. On top of all this, there is the elbow business.
Revenge makes the world go round. "Remember the Alamo" has turned into "Remember the Elbow" - which is what Karl Malone used to separate Robinson from his senses a couple of weeks ago. Maybe the players have forgotten the incident but not Spurs fans. Hundreds of them signed a large sign attached to a truck-trailer (the "Good Luck Truck") near the Alamo at Friday's rally, covering it with such inscriptions as "Remember the elbow. Viva Los Spurs."
(They also wrote a few vulgar notes to the referees, which can't be expressed in public except by Hollywood actors in the theater.)
"A lot of anger is going to come out at the game," warned Spurs fan Emmit Hall. "It will be the loudest ever. It will make a difference."
"We remember the elbow; we'll never forget that," said Perl Arguello.
The line has been drawn again at the Alamo. Remember the elbow. Remember the Alamo. Remember your black shirt and ticket. Remember the Alamodome.