"The Burning Ring of Fire"

Michael EmreyContributor IMay 4, 2008

Is the "ring of fire" mascot dunk a bad idea? 


I was compelled to write this article after watching the first quarter of the Spurs and Hornets second round playoff game on May 3.

The second quarter was about to start, so everyone thought, when I found out that the court was covered in fire extinguisher dust.  The look on Gregg Popovich's face was the same as mine: stunned. 

Numerous mascots around the league successfully complete the "ring of fire" dunk, but it was only a matter of time before something went wrong.

Luckily, it was only a momentum killer, and a 19-minute delay, and not third degree burns covering some poor person in a skin tight hornet suit (or whatever that is supposed to be). 

When you think about it, jumping through a ring of fire isn't really that cool anyway, is it?

I mean, I would rather watch a mascot, no scratch that, who cares if the person is dressed like a fool...I would rather watch anybody jump off a trampoline and do a couple flips, or maybe go between the legs like Gilbert Arenas at last years All-Star Game, to throw down a "badunkadunk."

Why not ask some regular guys to come out onto the court between quarters and have them put on a dunk show?  Just go to YouTube and search for dunks, there are plenty of people out there that can put on a dunking clinic. 

Or why not have random people selected to put up half-court shots for a chance to win something?  It doesn't have to be a car, just some sponsored item, or free pizza for a week.  How many of those shots go in anyway?  Barely any, but it is still a blast to watch. 

All I am trying to say is that there is no need to have mascots jump through flaming rings anymore.  Maybe the incident last night will bring attention to the fact that it is dangerous.  The guy didn't even catch on fire; however, the delay for the cleanup effort was a huge momentum killer. 

Shame on the Hornets organization for attempting such a stunt.