You never know who you’re going to run into at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade. Sometimes famous musicians wander over from the Roseland Theater after soundcheck. Sometimes athletes come from the Rose Garden and elsewhere. It’s amazing how word has spread far beyond Portland of what a great place GK is for classic gaming.
Last Sunday, I wasn’t at all surprised to see noted pinhead Todd MacCulloch,who went to U-Dub and played in the NBA for the 76ers and the Nets. Todd is a lifelong pinball fan, owns over 30 pinball machines, and is currently ranked 104th in the world as a pinball player. Todd had driven down from Seattle with his infamous Pinball Posse to compete in GK‘s first annual Pinbrawl pinball tournament. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of playing Todd head-to-head on a few of our machines. I put up 650M on White Water, my best score ever, but Todd beat me with 750M, so I knew firsthand that he’s a great player and a definite contender for Pinbrawl’s Pinhead Trophy. Unfortunately, Todd had an off day, and got knocked out about halfway through the tourney. 🙁
In mid-afternoon, another tall gentleman approached the counter with a question. After answering, I asked him, “has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like Brent Barry?” He replied, “yeah, my ID says that all the time!” Turns out, Brent was in town with the Houston Rockets, currently doing battle with the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA playoffs. Brent’s a great guy and a NW favorite, having balled for the OSU Beavers and the Seattle Supersonics, but I’m only rooting for him to win video games this week. 😉 I watched him tear it up on Championship Sprint, finishing in 1st place ever time. The hand-eye coordination that makes Brent such a deadly shooter makes him a helluva gamer as well! Brent says he visits GK every time his team is in town. 🙂
Brent and Todd were gracious enough to have their picture taken with me:
At 5′-11, I’m not used to feeling so short!
Afterwards, Todd and I gave Brent tips on convincing his wife to let him buy his favorite game, an Addams Family pinball machine. 😉
If you ever see someone famous at Ground Kontrol, please be respectful, and don’t interrupt them in the middle of a game. And let the attendant at the counter know, so we can get a picture of the celebrity with their favorite game!