DONUT 1: The Dirk 'Choas' Backstory …
The Dallas Mavericks are rarely beaten to the punch when it comes to promotional trendsetting. The "punch'' comes now ... but first, the backstory:
In 2005, the NBA quietly established a policy for misbehaving fans called the "warning card.'' The card reads:
"You are being issued a warning that the comments, gestures and/or behaviors that you have directed at players, coaches, game officials and/or other spectators constitute excessive verbal abuse and are in violation of the NBA Fan Code of Conduct. This is the first and only warning that you will receive. If, after receiving this warning, you verbally abuse any player, coach, game official or spectator, you will be immediately rejected from the arena without refund."
The policy moved into the spotlight in December with a Pistons-Bucks game in which Brandon Jennings returned to Milwaukee (top right) and a note on a warning at a Knicks-Cavs game last year in which Cleveland fans were harassing Tyson Chandler (above).
The Mavs have the above cards available to use as well. But at a mid-December game against the visiting Grizzlies at American Airlines Center, Mavs staffers were also to make available to very select fans who are the most "Rowdy, Proud and Loud'' the parody "MFFL Warning Cards.''
DONUT 2: A clever parody …
Those cards look like this on the back ...
And on the front they feature an NBA-esque logo featuring Dirk Nowitzki ... along with an actual Dirk signature.
Invaluable, really. A collector's item.
DONUT 3: A Code of Conduct …
The Mavs don't want to encourage their fans to "violate the NBA Fan Code of Conduct.'' What the Mavs want from their fans is written on the back of the card:
"You are being issued this card because conduct and or behavior you are displaying while viewing this game are exactly inline with the CODE OF CONDUCT OF A TRUE MFFL (MAVS FAN FOR LIFE).
"This behavior can be contagious and therefore you must be rewarded and informed that in doing so, you could be converting everyone around you to act in the same manner.
"You and you along are responsible for the choas that has been created by your MFFL actions.''
Umm ... oops?
DONUT 4: Yes, there was a problem …
The word "chaos'' is misspelled. And suddenly, "invaluable'' goes off the charts.
I found out about the MFFL Conduct Cards and secured a look at them. I'm the tight-ass who informed the Mavs' front office that they'd misspelled "chaos.'' I thought it was kinda cute; what's more chaotic than misspelling "chaos''?
The Mavs, however, responded by throwing in the trash can the entire printing of the unique cards.
Except for a couple.
Which I have in my possession.
The Mavs are printing up new cards without the misspelling. Those will be hard to get, too; a Mavs staffer tells me, "We won't be handing these out like candy. Two here, three there, to fans who are the most Rowdy, Proud and Loud.''
So the Mavs' policy is that the Dirk-signed MFFL cards cannot be gifted. They must be earned ... one "choatic'' moment at a time.
Except, I've found a way to break policy.
DONUT 5: Our 'Win The Dirk-Signed MFFL Choas Card' Drawing …
Maybe as my reward for serving as the Mavs' spell-check, there are two of the MFFL Conduct Cards that did not go into the trash.
I own them. Dirk has signed them for DallasBasketball.com. And I'm giving them to you.
Your entry in the Nowitzki autograph giveaway is a simple process: You only need to be a member of DB.com Boards (it's free) and then post in this thread a quick thought about Dirk. ... and your T-shirt size.
Shortly after the All-Star Game, we will randomly draw two winners ... and you'll get the "Uberman'' T-shirt (long-ago endorsed by Nowitzki himself as "very cool'') and the almost-one-of-a-kind Dirk-signed MFFL "Choas'' Conduct Card.
If you are a newcomer or if you already a member of DB.com Boards, of course, you are eligible either way ... simply post a quick thought and a shirt size (and any other Dirk/Mavs-related gibberish you find entertaining) and you are registered!
DONUT 6: A Celebration of Dirk …
The purpose of this exercise (well, beyond inviting more readers to the joys of DallasBasketball.com) is a Celebration of Dirk.
For the season, The Uberman is averaging 21.8 points, 48.5-percent shooting, 39.2-percent shooting from the arc, 91.2 percent from the line, 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 turnovers.
It's yet another magnificent season and one that will be recognized by the NBA when Nowitzki plays in his 12th All-Star Game.
"He's one of the all-time greats,'' says coach Rick Carlisle.
He’s an All-Star for the 12th time because he’s earned it. This is no “legacy” pick. This is not an Oscar given to an elderly actor because of his body of work -- a "Lifetime Achievement Award.''
This honor is going to a player playing as well as almost anyone in the league.
DONUT 7: The turn-on …
Almost as if he was anticipating needing to convince the NBA that he is deserving of this All-Star berth (yes, his "beach'' would've been fun, too, but this is bigger): Over the last 11 games, Dirk averaged 25.5 points, 48.2-percent shooting, 38.9 percent from the arc, 94.7 percent from the line, 7.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.1 turnovers.
DONUT 8: More to give? ...
And then one more push, just in case ...
Over the last three games, Dirk is averaging 33.3 points, 60.7-percent shooting, 45.5 percent from the arc, 100.0 percent from the line, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 turnovers.
Dirk is good … very good … Hall-of-Fame good … still. He’s no one’s charity pick, no one’s reward for a great career dwindling into the setting sun. ... even as he himself says this might be his "last hurrah'' as an All-Star.
DONUT 9: Dirkspeak …
Among the many areas in which Nowitzki earns our praise: He's a stand-up guy. The journalist in me appreciates this, of course; but the fan in me does, too. I want insight into my teams. I want to know what play was called, and why, and which players have good relationships, and what the organization is thinking about the future, and heck, what restaurants guys eat at on the road.
You want all those same things -- which is why, by the way, DB.com was created 14 years ago. To fill that void and to explore those questions ... from the very serious to the highly silly.
Dirk helps us do that every night in the locker room, witness his Video Visit following Friday's 107-103 home win over Sacto:
(Read more about the victory -- more Video Visits and the best analysis in the business -- here in All-Access.)
DONUT 10: More Dirk-lovers …
A big thanks to our Mavs-lovin' sponsors and friends who help make DallasBasketball.com happen, including Estilo Gaucho, McKinneyDentist.com, Red Rock Bar & Grill and LS Wealth Strategies. Please click on their links to learn more about some of the very best DFW has to offer!
DONUT 11: Come into the gym with us …
DallasBasketball.com has for 14 years taken you inside the locker room, inside the front office, inside practices ... Where else do you think you could learn about Dirk doing "The Big-Balls Dance''?
The 75-Member Staff is devoted to the task, 24/7, with the best Mavs analysts in the business, including nationally-recognized authority David Lord and the gifted Michael Dugat, and also featuring contributions over the years from Mark Cuban, Mark Followill, Donnie Nelson, Derek Harper, Chuck Cooperstein, Ro Blackman, Bob Ortegel and more.
We are at your service in every way, including our invitation for you to take our free 7-day trial for Mavs Premium, the finest Mavs coverage on the planet ... It's a dime-a-day for the coverage the insiders read -- and insiders like the aforementioned contribute to!
Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 12: The Final Word …
So, for the 12th time. he’ll represent the Mavs in the All-Star Game. And for the eighth time he’ll do so as the sole Dallas player to make it … and he’s there because he deserves to be.
He'll do so with his rare combination of dutifulness and irreverence.
"I can’t wait to wear those sweet jerseys with the sleeves,'' Dirk Nowitzki jokes. "It’s really nice and snug. They should bring out my physique nicely."
And we'll do so with a unique combination, too -- your chance to win an "Uberman'' T-shirt and the extremely rare autographed Dirk Nowitzki MFFL "Chaos'' Card! I look forward to seeing you on DB.com Boards and hearing from you in this thread!