Home » Free or NOT so Free, Scraping the Bottom of the Sports Barrel

Finders Keepers are Sometimes Weepers

29 June 2008 No Comment

Are free tickets really free?

Andrew recently wrote about my dumb luck. I found a free ticket on the streets of Wrigleyville during the first inning of a night game. If you read Andrew’s blog, you know that this almost never happens.  I had the urge to scalp it and grab some free beer money for a future game but had a “better” idea: why not surprise Andrew in the stadium and show up unexpectedly? Brilliant idea? Sure…and romantic, too. Expect for one small detail: Andrew randomly ended up on a rooftop rather than the stadium. We watched the game together but apart- waving and texting as a dumb consolation prize. I thought to myself: was this ticket worth the paper on which it was printed? Well, of course. I have been to games by myself. I love sitting and chilling in the park. You don’t need a friend to enjoy the game. You have a stadium of fans. A radio with Ron Santo. A hot Cubs team. What more could you want and on a FREE ticket no less?
I firmly believed this until…I sat in my “free” seat and realized that coming up the aisle to sit in my section was my ex-boyfriend from high school and his wife (my ex-best friend). You get the picture.
Even when you are 31 years old, ex-boyfriends, ex-BFFs or anything “ex” from high school is not what you want in your section. My presumption is that with a free ticket, there must be some unpleasantness tax. It is karma beating you in the head for trumping its laws and finding the illusive free ticket. The universe must have you pay.
This was just a dumb theory until I accumulated more evidence this weekend. We went to a very special baby shower in the West Suburbs. As luck would have it, the shower ended and we were driving home, past the Toyota Center, at the exact start-time of the Chicago Machine- a professional lacrosse team. Given the fact that Andrew spent the afternoon with mostly women at a baby shower, I was in no position to deny him this bottom-feeder event. Andrew was fortunate enough to get “free” tickets from a kind fan outside the stadium.

I said to myself: how free are these tickets if I have to endure the pain of attending a professional lacrosse game? Just then, the weather took a turn for the worst. Dark skies, frigid winds and gusts of rain started coming. We ran with an umbrella and as we got to the security, they told us that we could not bring them into the stadium. Apparently, an umbrella is a weapon-even when it is down-pouring. Note: although a umbrella is a weapon, a three foot lacrosse stick is fair game. Kids were swinging them around everywhere. 
Andrew reassured me that we were sitting under the overhang, but once we got to the seats, I realized it didn’t matter. The rain was traveling horizontal. There was a VIP Budweiser section but the tent was so puny that it didn’t even extend over the VIPs. In all, there was only 2500 fans at this event. I wondered how many of them were on comp tickets and were paying in their absolute misery.

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