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Have Baby Shower? Find a game on route: Chicago Machine

29 June 2008 No Comment

Nicole and I attended one of her best friend’s baby showers today. The shower was held in Downers Grove, IL – a 30 mile drive from Wrigley Field, but the highway that lead to the baby shower conveniently passed by Toyota Park. Toyota Park is the home of Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire and the lesser known team Major League Lacrosse’s Chicago Machine who happened to have a home game today.

The shower started at 11:30 am and the Chicago Machine game started at 3:30 pm. Since the shower ended at 3 pm, the Ultimate Sports Wife and I had enough time to arrive in time for the Chicago Machine game on our ride home from the shower while not having to drive out of our way. We paid $10 to park in the lot – cheaper than the $15 for Fire games. While Nicole changed to “game” clothes in the car, she also debated whether she should would rather sit in the car and work or sit in the stadium and bring her computer in the park. Guess she was not that excited about the MLL game.

I walked up to the box office to buy some tickets (I had read on the team’s website that tickets were $12 each for today’s game rather than the regular $25 – both prices I think are too much for this event). Knowing there would be no scalping market for this team, I hoped to find a fan that had extra tickets. I walked passed a group of fans and asked if they had extras. One guy said, “Yes. I have four.” I only needed two, so the man handed me two tickets for free. I told him he made my day – a line I picked up to ensure the fan giving me tickets knows he did a “good deed.”

Now that I had two free tickets, Nicole had no choice but to attend the game, which by the time I got back to the car, she thought would be a better option than sitting in the car anyway. Of course, as we walked to the stadium, it started to pour and as we got to the gate, the security guards told us no umbrellas were allowed in the stadium – a policy which probably aggravated at least 10% of the 2,500 people in attendance and a tactic to alienate the true loyalists who actually showed up for the event. I simply brought the umbrella back to the car and I met Nicole in the stadium.

The Chicago Machine won the game 16-13. We saw one “2-goal” shot by Steven Brooks in the 3rd quarter. During the 2nd quarter, the two head coaches were yelling at each other. Over what, I have no idea. But I realized I knew the head coach of the Chicago Machine from one of the classes I took at Northwestern University for my Masters in Sports Administration. Of course, I yelled, “Go get him John!” I don’t think anyone knew who I was yelling at, nor did they care.

In the end, I was happy I did not extend any additional effort for this game. The only thing that made the game worthwhile was that fact I happened to by driving by the stadium at game time (and free tickets helped as well).

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