Glasgow Rocks End of Season Party
Emirates Arena Function Suite
21st April 2015
Andy and I decided to get involved with the planning of the end of season party this year. We knew there would be presentations to the player kit sponsors happening on the night but, as most of you know, we also decided to open two polls for Defensive Player of the Year and Rock of the Year with the winners being awarded a trophy at the party.
The first stage of planning was the purchasing of decorations. In previous years I’ve always thought the Emirates Arena could do with being spruced up a little. Compared to Andy, I’m a creative genius and so the decorating was left up to me. Who knew you could get basketball table confetti?!
So the information about the party was released to fans, along with a schedule of events. The Supporters Club had been given a 15 minute slot. 15 minutes we thought to ourselves. Giving out two awards definitely won’t take 15 minutes. The realisation then hit us that we would actually have to stand up and speak to the fans that were there. We put that thought to the back of our minds. It was fine, we still had a week or so before the party. Plenty of time to prepare a speech.
The day of the party arrived. We turned up a bit earlier in order to help set up and of course decorate the room with my decorations. We got a few dirty looks from the Emirates staff when they saw all the confetti, presumably due to the thought of cleaning it all up. We also called upon our trusty other halves Kirsty and Rob (thank you for all your help throughout the season) to help with the setting up.
We finished bang on 6:30pm as people began to arrive, perfect timing. The function room had been extended at one end due to the large number of fans that would be in attendance which was good to see. The place filled up quickly and it wasn’t long before the players then showed up – all huddled along the back wall waiting for a hungry crowd to ravage them. Due to the alcohol levels of some people it wouldn’t surprise me if that did happen. Don’t worry if you can’t see Reggie, his clamouflage / Granny’s blouse type shirt definitely made him blend in with the background.
The evening kicked off with the presentation of the kits to those who had sponsored them. I had sponsored Tommy’s warm up top. Thankfully it wasn’t his game worn jersey as I’m convinced it would be fairly dirty with the amount of time Tommy gets knocked down during games. Rob won the supporters club kit sponsorship raffle to get Dale’s warm up top. He was quite excited about getting his picture taken with Dale until he remembered that although Dale doesn’t look tall on court, he’s still a good few inches taller than Rob. The presentations all went smoothly and everyone seemed delighted with their kit. I was secretly raging that the Rockettes photobombed my picture, but I think I hid it well. We couldn’t take the kit home with us as the players still had to play their quarter final playoff games (Cheshire, boo!) at that point. The Rocks will hopefully send out the kit and professional photos soon.
Next up was the presentation of the Supporters Club awards. Before announcing the winners, Andy and I still had to get through our speech. The speech that we were meant to prepare before hand. The speech that didn’t actually get prepared. I was quite glad I’d tanked a bottle of cider about 10 minutes earlier before having to go up in front of everyone. After a whispered argument about who should take the microphone first, Andy stepped up. Apparently this speech was going to be longer and better than his wedding speech. If that was the case then I feel truly sorry for Kirsty.
We discussed how the Supporters Club came about (one night in the pub before a Rocks game in case you are wondering) and why we thought it would be a good idea to have one. We went on to briefly talk about the various things we had done throughout the season including the screening for the BBL Cup final and the couple of away trips we planned.
It was then on to the presentation of the awards. First up was Defensive Player of the Year. Andy spoke about Plymouth Raiders and Manchester Giants being ranked in the top 5 scoring teams this season yet who will they be matching up against in the playoffs? No-one. That’s because good defence wins games. He then read out a few quotes we received on who should be Defensive Player of the year:
– “7 blocks 14 rebounds. If you don’t give it to Kieron then I’ll eat my Rocks top and buy a Newcastle one”
– “Tayo has been guarding one up and one down for large parts of the season. A lot of what this guy goes unnoticed as we’ve taken it for granted that he’ll play the 4. Vote Tayo.”
– “I like Danny’s hustle play. If he was a dug he’d be nipping at your ankles, causing bother, all day long.” It was at this point that all the imports in the team had no idea what Andy was on about. What’s a “dug?” was pretty much the consensus among them.
The winner of this award was the top points scorer in a single game until Tayo overtook him in the last game of the season against Plymouth. Bar Kieron, he had more rebounds than any other Rocks player. He also had 56 steals which put him in the top 5 of the BBL. With over 50% of the vote, the Defensive Player of the Year was Danny Huffor.
Onto the Rock of the Year award. I briefly spoke about how it was nice to see players try to take more out of the game than just their pay cheque at the end of the day. I think we can all agree on this, particularly last season when the players still met with the fans even after some pretty bad defeats. It became apparent to us that although some fans enjoyed the excitement players brought to the court, others were more appreciative of the time they spent chatting to fans, signing autographs and taking pictures. It was clear that the Rock of the Year meant different things to different people. The voting was a lot more spread out for this award which was nice to see – all players were getting recognition. However with around 40% of the votes the winner of the Rock of the Year award was Kieron Achara. A few people had told us their reasons why Kieron should win Rock of the Year and most spoke of not only his motivation and passion on court, but also his willingness to inspire the younger generation along with sharing his knowledge and love of the game. I don’t think anyone can disagree with this.
With the presentations over it was time for the players to mingle with the fans, sign autographs and take photos. During that time the buffet was also served. It was quite good this year. Lots of different sandwiches, mini steak pies, sausage rolls etc. Despite any reports to the contrary, I did not eat 4 plates of pies. I should mention at this point that the Emirates have a cash bar. I think it was quite poorly stocked this year compared to previous years, selling soft drinks, beer (can’t remember what beer), Magners and wine.
It was then time to do the Rock’s raffle. There were a lot of prizes and a lot of happy winners. Rob and I have won the raffle a few times throughout various seasons and as a result we have quite a collection of signed memrobilia. Despite that, Rob was still adamant that he would buy a raffle ticket. Secretly I think he wanted to win the chance to be a mascot and run out on court with Danny Huffor at the Cheshire game. Danny Huffor is Rob’s #mcm. For those that don’t know what #mcm means then you can find the definition here (make sure to scroll the bottom of the page for a detailed explanation). Rob didn’t win.
Next up were the speeches from Sterling, Dan and Mr. Ian Reid himself. Sterling was up first and spoke about how the team are a great group of guys and are hungry to reach another final (sadly didn’t happen) as well as thanking all the fans, those who support them both home and away. No hints given if he would be here next season. That’s about all I took from Sterling’s speech. I spent the rest of the time admiring his tight shirt.
Ian Reid came up and spoke about…well I actually can’t remember. I was still admiring Sterling’s shirt. Finally, Dan went through a list of the usual “thank you’s” all of which can be found in the latest Rocks programme I think. No hints given from him either about next season.
At that point the evening came to an end. Fans were given one last chance to get photos with the players before everyone headed home. Myself, Andy, Kirsty and Rob stayed behind to clean up all the decorations. Kirsty had the best task in cleaning up all the table confetti. She did a great job. Which is just as well because I found out the next day that she stole some of it for her office.
We had a large number of balloons left over and what better way to get rid of them than to put them all under Coach Sterling’s desk. Ready for him bright and early the next morning.
Overall it was a successful evening and I hope that everyone who attended had an enjoyable time.