Besides being a great game, last night's Super Bowl was noteworthy for the nearly 30-minute delay early in the second half when the power in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went out unexpectedly. Yes, there are stadium malfunctions that tend to make news. The bat at the Bradley Center for a Marquette game a few weeks ago was hilarious.
The Magic have had their share.
In one of the first games at Amway Center, the lights did not turn back on after they were dimmed for the starting lineups. The delay was a somewhat embarrassing moment in Amway Center's dress rehearsal. Luckily it was not the most noteworthy malfunciton in Magic history.
Ten years ago today, the Magic suffered through one of the most bizarre stadium malfunctions in recent history. At the Amway Arena (then called the TD Waterhouse Centre), the shot clock buzzer went off late in a blowout loss to the Trail Blazers. And then it would not turn off, ringing for nearly five minutes before the arena staff actually shut off the power to the shot clock.
Here is Jerry Brewer of the Orlando Sentinel's recap of the game from Feb. 4, 2003:
In the weirdest of games, Tracy McGrady didn't score for a 24-minute stretch. Then, with 2 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in a game that already was decided, the shot clock expired on a Trail Blazers possession. The buzzer, indicating the violation, sounded for the next five minutes. Fans, players and coaches waited, covering their ears, growing irritated.
'I was thinking, 'I wish someone would turn this . . . buzzer off,'' forward Pat Garrity said, carefully avoiding the use of an expletive.
To remedy the problem, the whole system in the arena was shut down, including the scoreboard. As fans filed out, it turned into a minor-league atmosphere. The public-address announcer had to shout the score and final seconds of the shot clock.
Yep, it was that kind of night. Just like this season, the Magic were struggling heading into the All-Star Break. Except that season they had Tracy McGrady, who could make things happen on his own. Just not in that game. Orlando went on to finish with the eighth seed in the East and pushing Detroit to a seventh game in the first round by taking a 3-1 series lead.
And then, of course, the team fell off a cliff the following season.
Notably, Jacque Vaughn was a member of that Magic team 10 years ago. So he was a part of that game with the clock malfunction. Just imagine Paul Porter having to call out clock times and score. It was that kind of team then and that kind of night.