By lex, on August 10th, 2008
It is probably not true, as it no doubt may appear in time, that your correspondent is at heart a cheap screw when it comes to the article of supporting professional sports in his home town of these last seven years. The fact that I have only gone to Padres’ games when comped to the owner’s box should not be read as any expression of amour-propre, but rather the gracious acquiescence of the charitable instant. Kindly accepting someone else’s kindness, like.
And yet – admission against interest – it was only on Friday afternoon, having been offered four tickets to watch the Chargers play Dallas at the Q by a co-worker, whose husband had been offered the season tickets by his employer, that I first considered watching a local football game. Live, I mean.
For someone who spent three decades in the military, I am curiously averse to standing in line. Qualcomm stadium might well have been designed by the devil himself to harvest the souls of impetuous blasphemers, so craftily have the approaches been designed to engender choler amongst impatient, car-bound multitudes. Cursing, aye, rent clothing and gnashing of teeth. All these in abundance, and that was just to get off the highway. Never mind moving through the gate.
Which we had special parking passes too, and life got that much the better. At least until we found our seats. Four of us there were, and three people sitting in our places. Staring up at us with bovine stupefaction.
It was finally demonstrated to everyone’s mutual satisfaction what everyone had known to begin with, and our poachers sought their entertainment elsewhere. I sat in what I thought was my seat for five minutes until a gentleman with wrap-around sunglasses, a Bolts jersey, prison tats and his ball cap pulled down around his ears informed me that I was in his seat, bro. Season tickets right here for five years, bro. We were in the plaza overhang near the end zone, the noise was deafening, the view mediocre, and – having asked my new found friend to compare tickets and finding myself in the wrong – I had to wonder silently to myself who would, over a period of five years, buy season tickets for such a miserable spot. As soon as we shifted left, our man departed, never to return. No doubt seeking his entertainments elsewhere. In his place a hyperactive five-year old – Dallas fan! – alternately slammed a pair of stadium seats up and down over and over again while thumping his helmet clad head against the back of the chairs for a good 30 minutes.
We came a quarter late, and watched through two quarters plus half time, bugging out before the mad rush came in the fourth. I could not help but notice that the crowds at Qalcomm – a cramped and claustrophobic place – seemed a fair bit drunker and the atmosphere more physically edgy than your run of the mill Padres crowd at Petco.
Maybe it’s the tailgaters and the testosterone, but I have determined that when it comes to professional sports? In San Diego?
I’m a baseball fan.
Owner’s box, please.
Update: Oh, yeah. We won.