Farewell to the Big Box in the Swamp

via www.visitingdc.com

The Nets have played in the Meadowlands for 29 seasons, through 1.173 games.  It's long been outmoded as a money-making facility, its days painfully extended first by a failed attempt to move them to a new arena in Newark, then later by a so-far unsuccessful attempt to move them to Brooklyn. Now, it's Newark again.

Those are the facts, but it was never just about any of that or the cracks in the floor on the creaky concourse, the overly protective Burgundy Blazer Brigade, the attempts at entertainment, the ever-changing parking lot configurations, the traffic jams on Routes 120 and 3...or even the great and not-so-great who played there.  It was about bonding with a sport, with a team and maybe most importantly of all with those who introduced you to The Swamp: the father or mother or uncle or coach who bought you a hot dog, a Pepsi, maybe even a jersey bearing the number 5, 15, 24, 3, 33, 34, 52 or 55. That's what made the place special.

As it ends Monday night, expect some nostalgia, some emotion, not for the team--after all, they'll be a few exits down the Turnpike, but for the experience.

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