Took my daughter to a Brooklyn Nets game last night. It was actually a school trip. Started out miserably—1 1/2 hours on a school bus, kids screaming, traffic jams frustrating, smell nauseating. My wife Texted me her sympathies, and we both assumed it could be a very long night.

It wasn’t.

The Barclay’s Center is stunning. The action was terrific. The crowd was lively (and I was witness to many 80-percent empty nights in New Jersey). Best of all, though, was the look on my girl’s face as various things popped up here and there. As the dancers launched T-shirts into the crowd, she stood and screamed. As some guy handed our Thunder Stix (glub), she delightfully banged them and banged them and banged them. She clapped for Deron Williams and Reggie Evans, though she has no idea who they are, and repeatedly asked, “Are we winning? Are we winning?” It was, for her, a big carnival—topped off by an overpriced-but-scrumptious slice of Junior’s chocolate cheesecake.

I tend to be a cranky traditionalist. I like Shea more than Citi Field, Candlestick over Pac Bell (or whatever the hell it’s called). I bemoan America’s short attention span; wonder why a game can’t just be a game.

Last night, though, I saw how wrong this thinking is. Sports entertainment is loud and obnoxious and, often, over the top.

Through the eyes of a child, however, it can also be lovely.