Feature Story: Mavs Victory Parade

Information:

This was an assignment in a reporting (2000 level journalism class) class I was to write a news feature story of my choosing. I chose to do it on my experience at the Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade. I received a 94 on this assignment.

Chaotic energy and Love filled the unprecedented Victory Parade in Dallas.

It’s 4 a.m. on June 16, 2011. The sun has far from risen; the morning has not yet begun. It’s dark as I pull on my t-shirt that will be drenched in sweat in a matter of hours. Before 6 a.m. has brought on the sunrise, I am on a train that is at its capacity without any room for movement. This day, this event, is one that I will remember for the rest of my life. A little before 7 that morning, I arrive at my destination. Aptly named Victory Park Plaza.

As I step out on to the platform and into the new day, I am completely swept away in the sea of Mavericks fans. One can’t look to the left, right or ahead without seeing an unending wave of green, blue and white. It is an awesome sight to behold. I join a couple of friends to begin the descent to the middle of the frenzy. The Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade and Maverick mania is in full swing.

It’s still cool and in the mid-80s when we find our standing seats on the top of a parking garage along the parade route, with the perfect view down on Victory Avenue. Now, we wait; and wait we did. For four hours, we stood in the shade of W Hotel awaiting the chance to see the World Champions. As the morning wears on, more and more and more and more people begin to show up.

When the hour of the parade comes there is absolutely no standing room; the DART platform is overwhelmed with latecomers. The scene looks like a photo shopped picture or digital battle scene from a movie. People blend into other people. It is absolute chaos.

One onlooker, Marcus Kopplin, from Fort Worth, left his home before 5a.m.to be here, stating, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. There will never be a first championship for them again. I knew I had to be here early to get a good seat.”

Finally, around 10:45 a.m. the crowd who had been somewhat quiet begins to swell and scream. I grab my poster and my camera to make sure that I catch this amazing event in its entirety.

“I’ve been up all night, I couldn’t sleep,” said Aimee Munger, another bystander from Arlington, who begins to shake with anticipation, “I was too excited!”

“I’ve been here since before the sun was up and I cannot wait to see Dirk, he’s my favorite!” she shouts.

First to show in the parade (after the bagpipe marching band) is the original owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Donald Carter, and his wife, who make their way in a Ford Mustang convertible. Following him are flatbed trucks and huge trailer trucks full of the Maverick origination including: ESPN Mav reporters, front office and many more. Jamie Foxx, Dallas-area native, made a surprise showing and was videotaping the crowd on the parade route.

After many, many trucks and convertibles, finally Mavs current owner Mark Cuban appears on the back of a black Mustang hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy for the thousands of fans to see. Following Mark begins the train of the cars carrying very noticeable and known faces including: President Donnie Nelson, Head Coach Rick Carlise and then the main event – the team.

“Finally! I’ve been sweating for six hours to see them! They would have them at the very, very end. Ugh, oh well!! GO MAVS,” said Sarah Hodge, a fan from Plano-North Dallas area.

The first glimpse of the World Champion team includes Shawn Marion and J.J. Barea and their families (and J.J.’s famed girlfriend former Miss Universe).  Next to come are Brandon Haywood and French import Ian Mahinmi.

Truck number 30 in the parade holds two playoff heroes: Peja Stojakovic and Brian “the Custodian” Cardinal, both who made humongous impacts on the floor against the Lakers and the Heat. Tyson Chandler’s truck was filled to the brim with friends and family, he is heralded as being the biggest game changer for the Mavericks. The big man has a smile bigger than life and is taking pictures and videoing the experience.

Finally, after waiting 31 years and five bad dream-filled seasons and four sweat-drenched hours, the superstars arrive. Jason “JET” Terry, Jason Kidd and the MVP himself, Dirk Nowitzki arrive to the ear-pounding screams and chants of “Go Mavs” and “MVP.” Never, had anyone seen a happier man in their lives, than Dirk. His smile is bigger than he is. Everyone could feel his emotion emanating and radiating from him.

“It was EPIC,” I said of my experience. Wrapping up the whole Dallas Maverick’s season in one sentence.

At 11a.m. it was over. The parade had ended, and it was far past time for me to find some food and air-conditioning. The sweating, the near fainting heat, the bad memories of losing has ended. The home team, Dallas Mavericks are the World Champions. And the parade is something that no one will never forget, neither will the 200,000 plus other attendees.

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