The yin and the yang.
The universe maintains a serene balance even while we as individuals prove to be wildly unbalanced and boldly unpredictable. We see examples of this in our everyday lives, like that guy you know who has no money and no job but gets laid like a rug almosty nightly. Or the dude who never got any in college but became an executive at Google and now he lives like Hugh Hefner.
The same balance occurs at every stadium each week in the NFL. The balance I want to talk about here is the balance of happiness and anger. There is a game going on down on the field. The real-time results of that game produce either happiness or anger in the fans sitting in the stands. What feeling you experience depends on what team you are rooting for and herein lies the problem. As a season-ticket holder for the Redskins, my emotional state is tied to the Redskins every home date. Fans of the opposing team would of course be exactly opposite. Balance.
Not so fast though. When I am pissed off about an offensive pass interference penalty on Devin Thomas or a second consecutive time-out called by the coach, the happiness that this elicits from the opposing team's fan(s) fails to stop at just balancing out my anger. In fact, it makes me MORE angry. And when we score a touchdown on a bomb to Santana Moss, or when Clinton Portis cracks the end zone, the despair and misery of the opposing team's fan(s) does not simply balance out my happiness. It makes me MORE happy.
My point: when fans of opposing teams infiltrate FedEx en masse and sabotage our home field advantage, IT THROWS THE UNIVERSE OUT OF BALANCE. This is simply irresponsible on the parts of Redskins' ticket holders who knowingly sell their tickets to fans of the away team, as well as the folks who buy those tickets and show up wearing the colors of the opponent. Are we not--at our core--beholden to the universe to do our dead level best to achieve whatever harmony we are capable of attaining?
For the sake of this argument, please don't fill the comments section with Dan Snyder rants. I will grant you--up front--my agreement that he has single-handedly contributed MOST to the commoditization of the overpriced ticket to a Skins game. I understand fans have to use StubHub to get money for their seats and I get that there is no way to know for sure who is buying those tickets.
Today, I wish to address those who transact DIRECTLY with fans of opposing teams, specifically NFC East opponents. You know who you are. I have been going to FedEx for 10 years and I see you every week and then all of a sudden the Eagles are in town and your office mate or neighbor or nephew is sitting in your seat wearing a McNabb jersey. Are you KIDDING me?!? This is simply unacceptable. UNACCEPTABLE! Same goes for Cowgirls' fans, wearing their stars and waving their flags like they are the marshalls of some kind of gay Wild West parade. Same goes for Giants' fans, with their Eli-jersey wearing, Plaxico-defending obnoxiousness. Give me a break.
I know these fans are going to get their hands on tickets. They live in our city. The nature of Washington, D.C. and its surrounding area is such that residents are just as likely to be from some other big city as they are to be from here. But do we have to make it that easy for them to get the tickets?
It is only marginally coincidental that I write this a couple days ahead of a preseason tilt against the Steelers. They travel better than a lot of college teams. But because it is the preseason, and because this weekend is more about getting the tailgate ready for the regular season, I am somewhat resigned to accepting the inevitable orgasm of Pittsburgh's colors: black, yellow, and ugly. As for what happened last year on Monday Night, all I can think of is: "Never Again!" You will never convince me that StubHub sold all of those tickets last season to Steelers' fans. No way. Redskins' fans sold their seats to Steelers' fans--DIRECTLY. We were 6-2 at the time! What an abomination. And to make matters worse, out of what can only be attributed to the perverted union of an inferiority complex and small-mindedness, Dan Snyder is handing out 50,000 Redskins "rally towels" on Saturday. Great...so we are weak AND unoriginal? It just doesn't seem right to rip off their towel idea (whether it was Myron Cope who first suggested waving a towel or not, it is attributed to him and Steeltown as far the NFL is concerned.) And then they are all going to be there to rub our noses in our unoriginality? But I digress.
I want to make sure I come across as a little sensitive to folks that are faced with not being able to hack the cost of tickets without the help of friends/neighbors/family chipping in a week here and week there. I have been there. But I can assure you I have NEVER brought an Eagles fan, Cowgirls fan, or Giants fan to a game to see their team play. When I got married, I gave my groomsmen their choice of games to go to with me. One of my buddies was a Cowgirls fan and we simply agreed that he wasn't going to go with me to any games. NONE. When I was single and poor (as opposed to now, when I am married and poor), I really struggled to pay for my tickets one year. I had a very good friend who stepped up to help me with the dough so I could stroke the check to the Redskins. He was from New York and was a hardcore Giants fan. The inevitable question came: "I assume I will be joining you for the Giants' game this season?" I couldn't answer him. I just opened up my checkbook and wrote him a check for his money back--post-dated for two months down the road of course.
That is me though. I guess I just care about the universe, and balance. I don't expect everyone to share my zeal on this subject. But I think I know the HH community now after 7 months on the scene, and my hope is that the majority of you agree with me. It is not only irresponsible to give/sell your tickets to fans of the opposing teams, it is unacceptable. Home field advantage is on the line. My blood pressure is on the line. The balance of the freaking universe is on the line.
Do the right thing.
Image via cdn0.sbnation.com