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Friday, November 18, 2011

NBA Alternatives

There may still be hope for an NBA season this year, though remarkably abbreviated and the fans pretty pissed off.  But if there is no season, no Thunder games at the CHK arena, there are still plenty of entertainment alternatives out there for your discretionary income and some of the alternatives may actually pay dividends in the end.  Here are some ideas...

Support Local Music.  An incredible thought, I know, but one that even the pro-NBA Oklahoman can get behind.  There are literally hundreds of venues in Central Oklahoma where local musicians entertain and provide a real boost to the economy...without government-backed payroll tax incentives.  On any given evening, you can find folk music in the Paseo, some ear-splitting rock at the Thirsty Hog, country music in Bricktown, and many coffee shops feature acoustic sets from solo artists with incredible talent.  And when you support these local venues, the money stays in our community.  And while you're at it, check out some of the locally owned music shops like The Horn Trader or Dancing Dragon Music.

Donate.  If you're a high-roller and the economy hasn't ripped a hole in your check book, you could do something exceptional with your extra dough - you could help places like City Rescue Mission.  CRM, Jesus House (under new management) and local churches are busting their chops this holiday season to make ends meet as they help those who cannot help themselves.  Another great organization is the Mid America Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.  They host events, advocate for veterans who have been hurt and are a group of men and women who are absolutely phenomenal in their service to those who have served us. 

Movies.  Chances are you're not a big Twilight fan, but equally plausible is the fact that someone in your family probably is a fan.  Go to the movies and do so with a mission.  Hit each of the major theaters in Central Oklahoma over the course of a couple months and just enjoy some mindless entertainment.  Mindless entertainment is what the NBA brings anyway, but you can enjoy some movies with the whole family and not have to worry about traffic problems in downtown.

Eat.  Take the family out to eat - and I don't mean at one of the chain restaurants, but rather locally-owned restaurants.  Try something different like Flat Tire Burger in Edmond, up by UCO.  Or you could take the family to Ted's for some good Mexican food.  On 23rd and Classen, you'll find some exquisite Asian cuisine that the whole family can enjoy and yes, they are largely locally-owned.

There are alternatives to the NBA and if you're a die hard basketball fan, support local universities' basketball programs.  There are a lot of ways to spend the money that is burning a hole in your pocket, lusting for some Thunder, and you can do so in such a way that you can sleep well at night.