A Night In Section 205: The Ping Hat Man



Monta Ellis is off and the guy wearing the Ping hat in front of me is none too pleased at that fact. Ellis, Milwaukee’s volume shooting 2 guard with the faint Pharaoh chin beard, hasn’t been able to hit a thing tonight. And Ping hat is mad.

Ping hat is a big guy. He’s sitting in the row right below me, one chair to the right of mine. He’s wearing a tan sweater (Because apparently it was sweater night at the Bradley Center. Seriously, you guys. For the fourth time. EVERYONE IN MILWAUKEE WEARS SWEATERS) with some jeans and the same pair of old New Balances that Steve Carell wore in Crazy, Stupid, Love before Ryan Gosling took him shopping and tossed them over the railing in that mall.

His sweater rides up a lot. Every time there’s a time out or dead ball he stands up. Circulation is important. At one point they’re playing “Everybody Dance Now” (Nice, Milwaukee game ops staff) and he stands up and starts doing what the song demands of him. When he does, the sweater rides up again to reveal the suspenders clipped to to the back of his jeans. It’s a joy to see someone wear suspenders for practical purposes. They’ve been hipsterfied (not a word) so much you forget there’s actually a functional reason for their existence outside of being a place where someone with a waxed, twirled mustache can put a Tegan and Sara pin.

At one point, early in the game, he turns around and looks at me. He sees that I’m not short and that I’m a little cramped. He tells me that, if I need to, I’m welcome to stick my feet in the chair right in front of me to his left. Big guys got to stick together. I say I really appreciate that, because I really do, and I’ll probably take him up on that. He then sees that B is wearing a Clippers jersey. He raises his eyebrows.

“Clippers?” he says.

I smile and say, “It’s cool if you have to take back the offer.”

We laugh. He asks her why the jersey. She says she’s from LA. He says he knew she had to be from LA because there aren’t any girls in Milwaukee that pretty. Slow your roll, dancing Ping hat man.

He’s a legitimate joy, though. The type of guy you’re just certain is an incredible grandpa. He gets up to leave at the end of the game and I see  he walks with a limp, a pretty pronounced hitch in his giddy-up. He powers his way up the stairs, though, onward and upward.

Go dance now, Ping hat man.

I had fun in Milwaukee. The people were good and the game was fun and they did exciting half court shot contests that I will always be all for. I even left as a miniature version of a Bucks fan.

Props to you, Milwaukee. You’re good people.

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