When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a season ticket guy. I loved the idea of getting to go to every game. I was intrigued by the idea of getting to know the people in my section and becoming “sports friends” with them. I wanted the ushers to know my name and the hot dog guys to know what toppings I like.
Now, I am a season ticket guy. As I’ve said in the past, I have partial plans for both the Yankees and Rangers. Unfortunately, it’s had the exact opposite effect that I thought it would when I was younger.
I went to 6 Rangers games this year. I went to about 10 Yankee games last year, and I’ve already been to another one this season. And, as a result, the magic is gone.
What was a special event that I looked forward to for weeks when I was a kid has now become almost an obligation. It’s no longer special to walk through the gates at Yankee Stadium, to listen to the roar of the crowd, to smell the smells of the game. The same thing applies to the Rangers. I spend more time dreading conversation with the idiots I sit next to and the long lines to get out of the arena at game’s end than I do thinking about how cool it is to be sitting in my own seats enjoying a sport being played at it’s highest possible level.
The last Ranger game I went to, I left after the second period. It was a game in which they could have clinched a playoff spot. The Rangers were only down a goal or two to an inferior tem. It was a Saturday night, so it’s not like I had to get up for work the next morning. So, why did I leave? I was bored. It’s as simple as that. Despite the small fortune I had spent on my seats, the game no longer kept my attention. I was far more interested in beating the traffic (foot and subway traffic in this case. I don’t drive to games.) than I was in seeing whether or not the Rangers could come back and beat the Senators.
Last week, I had tickets to a Yankee game. It would have been my second game of the season. It was also Robinson Cano’s first game back since he signed with the Mariners. And there was absolutely no chance I was going to go. The forecast was for a cold, rainy night. The Rangers were playing game 6 against the Flyers. There were a million places I would rather be than Yankee Stadium that night. And so, I ate the tickets. I tried to give them away. I asked 7 people. No one wanted them. I spent the night at a bar watching a hockey game, with the Yankees on a smaller TV in the corner.
My 8 year old self would have been appalled.
This was a really strange issue of Sports Illustrated. It’s a series of process stories with no traditional profiles. That’s especially odd, considering the scorecard column is a retrospective on the career of SI writer Gary Smith, who has decided to leave the magazine, and his unmatched ability to write great profile pieces.
Who’s Johnny? by Peter King
SO BORING!!! King speaks to a bunch of coach’s and talent evaluators to get their opinions on Johnny Manziel. It would have been interesting for a page or two. But it went on for a million pages. Too long.
You Gotta Play Hurt by Brian Cazanueve
Hockey players get hurt in the playoffs, but suit up anyway. Nothing new here.
The Whiff of Crisis by Joe Sheehan
Strikeouts are at an all time high. Here’s 9 thousand statistics to prove it. Joe Sheehan can suck the romance and magic out of baseball better than any other writer in history. He turns the game into an annual earnings report.
Semper Fit by Andy Staples
Looks dumb and uninteresting. I skipped it.
Long Shots by Chris Ballard
Ballard is my favorite current writer at SI. This article is about first round NBA playoff upsets. In another writer’s hands, it would have been terrible. In Ballard;s hands, it’s readable.
Point After by Franz Lidz
Lidz says Donald Sterling once whipped his own son in front of Danny Manning. Considering all we’ve heard the last two weeks and all we’ve known for the last 5 years, I guess it’s pretty surprising that Sterling didn’t just whip Danny Manning.