So, there seems to be some sort of sporting event taking place tonight... I decided to cover for a co-worker so he could watch the game with his children. I just can't be arsed watching the overblown spectacle, and the ubiquitous commercials. I used to enjoy going to a local tavern to watch the game... most places had open bar deals and it's a great night for chatting up teh ladeez (the funniest snappy comeback I've ever had was when I started hitting on a willowy gal who told me, "Most guys hit on my friend, because she's bustier than I am." to which I replied, "Do I look like a baby to you?" Editor's Note: Don't answer that question after looking at the profile picture of the big-headed hairless guy). For the last couple of years, I just couldn't be arsed participating in the whole spectacle... better to work than to blow a day's pay on booze and sundries.
My uncle Richard used to have some of the best season tickets in Giants' Stadium. Back in the '60s, my grandmother won four season tickets in the upper tier in a high school benefit raffle. She gave the tickets to my uncle Richard, and he was able to upgrade every year until he finally had tickets in the third row behind the Giants' bench on the 40th yardline. Here he was, an ordinary middle class guy from the Bronx, with the best damn seats in the house. Every home day, he'd get to the stadium early, and put on an elaborate tailgate party. He'd often give tickets to co-workers or relatives- he allowed himself the luxury of buying the season tickets every year, and he never stinted when it came to extending his hospitality.
Back in 2008, when the new Giants' Stadium was opened, the organization decided to charge Seat License Fees. My uncle would have had to have shelled out $80,000 for the privilege of purchasing season tickets. Suddenly, the one luxury that a middle-class guy from the Bronx could indulge in became unaffordable. No circuses if you've got no bread, Joe Punchclock.
Of course, my uncle had to give up the tickets that he'd had since the Johnson administration. He'd been less enthusiastic about heading out the games anyway, not being as young as he used to be. The last time I attended a game with him, I found it none-too-enjoyable... the sound system was way too loud, and goddamn commercials were broadcast on the scoreboard between plays. I left the stadium feeling insulted and wishing I'd brought earplugs.
I opted out of professional sports fandom. I'd rather watch the amateurs. Why buy into the hype and the high finance of the big leagues when I can see a camogie match in Van Cortlandt park, or the annual New York Open every March?