Need4Sheed’s Sweet Suite night at the Palace was this past Friday night for The Pistons game vs The Kings. Thanks go out to all of you who entered the contest, but didn’t make the cut this time around. Don’t fret, you just may have a chance in the near future to experience a one of a kind night too.
We met early in the West Atrium of the Palace, hours before a normal person would head out to catch the game. While waiting to get our tour we all got to know each other and how we all ended up in a place that we hold dear.
Steve and Gina drove straight in from Dayton Ohio and were in such a hurry to make it in time they didn’t even stop for a bathroom break.
Jason and his wife didn’t want to be late, so their drive in from Muskegon had them more than a few hours early in Auburn Hills.
Ryan and his wife Jennifer drove from Toronto a day early to stay with friends in Windsor so they wouldn’t miss a thing. They ended up in Auburn Hills at noon and decided to hang out at Meijer to kill time.
Nic and his girlfriend drove in from Toledo and were so early they went to a movie.
Noa Daniely, even though she was a winner, couldn’t make it to the game all the way from Israel. She was with us in spirit.
We ended up calculating all of the miles we drove to get to The Palace that day and it was well over 1000.
We were taken on a tour of the Palace when nobody but the staff and a few fans were in the building, and quite honestly it felt like our own little playground. Our tour guide for the day, Pistons marketing genius Dave Wieme couldn’t have possibly showed us a better time. Not only does he know his Palace history, he’s kind of a big deal around there.
And he’s a good photographer.
As we sat courtside watching Amir Johnson, Jason Maxiell, Arron Afflalo, Walter Herrmann and Rodney Stuckey practicing before the game we collectively decided that Pistons assistant coach Harold Ellis looks a lot like Stephen A. Smith.
Another treat….Dave stole Coach Steve’s 2004 Championship ring so we could see it up close. Me…well it looked pretty damn good on my hand.
Now Mr. Wieme has a ring too, but doesn’t break it our unless (if you believe him) he’s going to a wedding, “or something.” Don’t kid yourself people that “or something” is trying to score with the ladies, and after seeing it, I’m telling you it works. That thing is HUGE.
And Coach Steve had his on at work….that’s just how he rolls. Thanks Steve!
No Pistons fan will ever be the same after standing side by side with Walter. It’s just not fair he’s got better hair than I do.
Diesel said hello.
We waited at center court, but right before we were about to go to our Suite to get ready for the game we saw Tayshaun Prince and Antonio McDyess start to warm up. So we stayed and got a treat from Mr. Blaha.
Now you all know how I feel about George, but let me just tell you this man is one of a kind. As we sat watching Dyess and Tay, George and Special K were doing there pre-game show a few feet away from us. When they took a break I politely waved to George and said hello. He then walked over to me gave me a big hug and kiss and wished me a happy new year. Then asked who I was at the game with. When I told him I was with a group of winners from the site his smile grew even larger and then started to orchestrate a group picture without me even asking.
I mean the man made sure we set that picture up, had Sue the guest services attendant take it and made sure he sat next to me. He then said hello to everyone in the group and shook their hands. In fact I think we may have even held up his taping of Pistons live because Special K looked like he was anxiously awaiting his return to his courtside chair in front of the camera.
As I said goodbye and thanked him he asked me, do you have one of these? Holding up a Pistons media guide, I said no, “you do now,” he replied. He took out a sharpie and was about to sign the cover when I instead made him sign my favorite Pistons T-shirt.
Sweet, sweet string music!
We then headed up to the suite to enjoy the game.
It’s one thing to get to experience the things we did, but it’s another to sit down and watch a game with 12 people who have as much passion for the team as you do. Enjoyable is putting it mildly.
- Hot Dogs
- Pretzels and
- Larry O’Brien
Not only did Dave bring the 2004 Championship Trophy up to the Suite for us, but he let each of us hold it. Ryan took it to heart, if that’s not a smile of joy I don’t know what is. I just hope he looks that excited when he holds his child one day.
I may be one of the luckiest people I know. I started this whole thing because I love this team. I do this all because I love this team. I go to the games because I love this team. I get to share my love for this team with all of you, Pistons fans just like myself who bleed red, white and blue.
Because of Dave I got to do what I love most, I get a chance to see the smiles on Pistons fans faces when they are standing on the court for the first time, talking to George for the first time, standing next to Amir Johnson for the first time and getting a chance do something not many people get to do, hold the Larry O’Brien trophy in their arms.
Things that just cant be measured.
What a Sweet night.