Sunday, September 30, 2007

The River City Showdown

Alabama and Florida State came to town today for one of those games rare for two reasons - it was a neutral field, and it was two upper level programs playing each other out of conference. It was a great game, not least because we(Florida State) won. There were some annoying things that happened in and around the game, though.

I decided to get tickets on Wednesday, and the game has been sold out for a while. I went to, which you will have heard of if you listen to sports radio at all. They're a ticket reselling marketplace. Sellers place their tickets and buyers either bid in auction or just buy for a fixed price. Kind of an Ebay for tickets only. There were hundreds available so I bought 4 of them. What happens is you tell StubHub you want them, they tell the seller who then mails them and you get notified.

After I waited a day and a half, on Thursday night, I called to find out when my tickets would be mailed. After holding for a long time, I was told the seller no longer has those tickets. So this asshole put his tickets up for sale, and then sold them offline. StubHub apologized and gave me a $75 coupon towards my next purchase. I still didn't have ticktes though and the handful left on StubHub were too expensive.

So we went to Ebay and found 4 good seats for $100 each. The online ticket market was really tight, and we had to buy 4 even though we only needed 3. This leads to the next thing that pissed me off.

All week on TV, on the radio, we've been hearing what a big game this is. That even thought the teams were both down a bit historically, that it was a tough ticket and had been sold out for months. This seemed to be borne out by our online experience. So we figure we'll go to the game and sell the 4th ticket before we go in. As we arrive we realize there are hundreds, if not thousands of tickets for sale all around the stadium. It was such a buyer's market, that we could have come down ticketless and got 3 seats for probably $15 to $20 each. As it was, we sold our 4th for $20 right before we went in, and that was just pure luck. So the upshot is that unless it's a 1 vs 2 or something like that, I'm never buying resold tickets on the internet again to a game in Jax.

Finally, a little thing. We went down right before the end of the half to get Tori some Outback cheese fries. The Outback line was probably 10 registers wide and maybe 15 deep. I figured we had just enough time to get to the front and get back before the start of the 3rd. I was right, but when we got to the front, the guy said they were out of fries, they didn't order enough. Even with maybe 200 people in line, they couldn't manage to put up a handwritten sign? I know we weren't the only ones waiting for cheese fries. Well, fuck you Outback - I missed the our first TD because I had to go wait in the nacho line(much shorter, but slow) because Tori was dying for some food.

Even though we overspent for the tickets, we had a really good time. The weather was great, the crowd was pretty electric. Half Alabama and half Florida State, sold out and very loud. College games are just so much better than pro for atmosphere. The game itself had a lot of excitement, after a slow first half. The 21-14 final was all second half. It's a great Saturday of football, what with our winning, Colorado, whom we beat 2 weeks ago knocking of top 5 Oklahoma, and the Gators losing to Auburn. Now on to the NFL, where the Cowboys host the Rams to try to get to 4-0.

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