May 3, 2007

The baddest scoreboard in the NBA

From the DC Sports Blog, found via

"We have the baddest scoreboard in the NBA," bragged Cavaliers Senior Vice President of Marketing Tracy Marek.


So the idea was floated: what if "Q Tube" itself blew fire? Through the mouths of four giant swords? The brand new scoreboard was taken apart and fitted with propane-powered firebreathers at a cost of $200,000, plus $2,500 per flaming game. The original plan was for a pyro wiz named Lloyd to sit inside the scoreboard to monitor the firestorm, but the experts eventually determined that was unnecessary.


Anyhow, the flames discharge throughout the pre-game introductions; all four corners at once (that's called "The Big Kahuna") and then individually in succession after each starter is introduced. It's loud, and it's warm, all over the arena. I think my face got singed. Such performances landed Q Tube the featured spot on the team's postseason media guide, and even the Wizards approved of its power.

"Oh that was hot," DeShawn Stevenson said of the intros, although he denied being startled. "I don't ever get scared," he said. "If they were trying to scare me, it didn't work."


Here's some more from an official press release from the Cleveland Cavaliers:
Cavaliers Unveil Flaming Swords at the Q

The Cleveland Cavaliers have introduced “The Flaming Swords” as blazing exclamation points to the team’s player introductions at Quicken Loans Arena. The pyrotechnic display that shoots out from four corner retractable swords on the center-hung video scoreboard called Q-VISION, dramatically sets the tone for the fans and home-court advantage. The unique presentation to the team’s pyrotechnics, which was unveiled at the November 1st season opener, is already a much talked about signature trademark of Cavs games at The Q.

The use of pyrotechnics is one of the NBA’s fastest growing game presentation features. This season, the Cavaliers have creatively adapted the pyrotechnics that traditionally spout from atop the basketball stanchions, to fire out from the emblems of the team logo. The four swords hang vertically on the corners of the scoreboard and are lowered to a 45 degree angle before flames proceed to explode from their tips, much to the spine-tingling amazement of the fans.


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