There's just no escape from the Super Bowl
Living as I do in the Sports Capital of the World - at least through Sunday - I no longer have any idea what's going on in the world.
For all I know, the pope has rescinded the celibacy rule, Rush Limbaugh has endorsed Hillary, and plastic toys are now being made in the United States.
I do, however, know that the people in Arizona spelled Tedy Bruschi's name wrong. (Hope I got it right.) That some Mexican media maven in a wedding gown proposed to Tom Brady. (He declined.) And that Bill Belichek wears sandals. (He may be the only coach in the history of the National Football League to do so.)
And thanks to The Boston Globe, at one supremely surreal point, someone was trying to sell two Super Bowl tickets on eBay for $77,000.
Now, we all know that there can be a very W-I-D-E gap between bid and ask, but I did stroll on over to eBay a while ago, and certainly tickets in the $10,000 range do not appear to be out of the norm.
Admittedly, it ain't what it used to be, but there's still a few things you could do with it.
- An uninsured couple could get pretty nice health insurance for the year.
- Some of the poor folks risking their lives running space heaters could buy a fair amount of heating oil.
- A Massachusetts resident could pay his kid's tuition at UMass for a year.
- You could buy a Hyundai.
I'm guessing that no one in the above categories is paying $10K for a Super Bowl ticket - although some of them are probably going into hock for a new flat-panel, HD-TV so they can watch the game up as close and personal as TV will get you. (Confession: we have a new flat-panel, HD-TV, and it's really great watching football on it. Fortunately, we did not have to go into hock to buy one.)
I'm actually a big believer that - as long as they pay their taxes - scalpers should be allowed to scalp. If someone's willing to pay 10 or 20 times face value for a ticket, the question of sanity only comes down on one side of the transaction, no?
I'm not so wild about the ticket agency scalp-a-ramas, under which the StubHubs, Ticket Masters, Ace and Higs of the world seem to be able to get their grubby automated hands on plentiful tickets for events (like Red Sox games) that I wouldn't mind going to. Who wants to pay $80 for a $26 bleacher seat in Fenway Park? (Just my typing those words $26 bleacher seat probably caused my father to start spinning around in his grave. Yes, Dad, those same seats you used to pay $1 for when we were kids now cost a whole lot more. But the good news is that the seats in the bleachers now have backs - and the Red Sox are one whole hell of a lot better. Still, it was kind of nice to just jump in the car on a Friday night and sail down the MassPike into Boston to take in a game without having to spend one iota of energy plotting your ticket acquisition strategy.)
But even if I grouse about the ticket agencies, I get why sports teams and concert promoters guarantee certain amounts to these bad boys, since it protects them on the downside. (Of course, there hasn't been downside for the Red Sox for quite a while. But a deal's a deal.)
But look at me. It should be all about the Super Bowl and the Patriots and the Perfect Season, and still my thoughts drift to that wondrous day in April when the first screechy little kid from the stands yells "Play Ball."
Back to Super Bowl mania.
The "media outlets" - newspapers and TV stations (haven't had the radio on much lately since I no longer own a car) are so over the top with SuperBowl madness, I really do want to scream.
Shouldn't the big news be the Fed rate cut? Or Mukasey on Waterboarding? Or the latest from Kenya? Or Rudy and John Edwards dropping out of the hunt.
No, it's all about whether Amazon is pre-selling books about the Patriots' 19-0 season (which hasn't quite happened yet; but they're also selling a book about the Giants' Super Bowl win, which hasn't quite happened yet, either).
It's all about whether Plaxico Burress made a prediction or a guarantee that the Giants would win.
It's all about those tickets for sale for $77,000. (That's 7 Hyundais....)
I will admit: I'm going to watch the SB on our new and beautiful TV. I am going to root for the Pats. I even told my friend Marilyn I'd go to the parade with her if the Pats win and it's not too cold. (We'll be right around the corner, so we don't have to go out of our way at all.)
But part of me just wants to holler, 'Wake me when it's over!'
Like it or not, when "your" team is in it, there's no escaping the damned Super Bowl.