Sports Fan

Sports Fan

My neighbor Donna is a true football fan. She’ll watch the home team Cardinals by herself, yelling and screaming. When we walk our dogs in the mornings, she wants to discuss plays and critique the coach’s strategies. I don’t do football. I don’t like it, I don’t understand it, and I don’t want to learn about it. Guys smashing into each other and getting hurt is not my kind of game. Of course I went to my sons’ games when they played. Luckily two of three dropped out of the sport before high school. One son played during his freshmen year but recognized the idiocy of politics in the sport. He was the best kicker and receiver, but didn’t play much on the freshman team because another guy was the brother of the star of the varsity team. Thank goodness!

Baseball is okay but not my favorite. When the Diamondbacks franchise started up, husband #2 bought four season tickets in the upper deck. He took me a few times. It was mostly boring because I don’t get the inner workings of the sport. I liked it because it was three or four hours when my husband or sons couldn’t avoid a conversation. I got a lot of information during those games! And I got to see the World Series when we won. I had to buy my own tickets for one of the home games to take my son. Husband #2 was taking a client. I found out months later it was his girlfriend. So the shine is off that sport.

What I LOVE is basketball. I’m tall and in pre Title IX times, I played some intramural basketball in junior high school in the days when the guards couldn’t cross the center line. The game is fast and you can seeoin the faces of the team members whether they’re playing with heart. I went to my high school games and college games. When I moved to Phoenix many years ago, I lived for a time downtown, not far from the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, where the Suns played. I went to games occasionally. I loved it. When I married husband #2, we went a little more. Then the Suns got hot. I was a principal of a primary school at the time and seized on the community enthusiasm to build spirit and morale at my school. We created and solved Suns math problems. We wrote letters to the players about specific plays in games. The school counselor had season tickets and we went to some games together. And I got season tickets. My first pair were for the 1993 playoffs and I was in the last row of the upper deck and I loved it. I upgraded myself to “club seats” for an exorbitant $75 a ticket to get into the lower deck.

Fate smiled upon me. My husband’s golfing buddy, an original Suns season ticket holder, had an extra seat for the entire season he was willing to sell me. My husband figured I was nuts enough to go to the games by myself. In the first row!

It was a bit hard to sell the seat when I couldn’t go. Going alone was a harbinger of my single life to come. But I loved it. I got to see just how huge Shaq was. By the middle of that first season I noticed that different people from out of town sat next to me. I found out that the seat was owned by a ticket broker. I went to his office and we agreed to trade tickets so we each had a pair for half of the games. That began the golden age of my sports fan career. My husband rarely wanted to go. My older boys weren’t into it and had their own activities. My friends were not interested and also didn’t have the hundred dollars for the ticket. So I took my youngest son, who was six. The players would come over and talk to him and sign his shirt or cap or give him their used sweatbands. It was a great parent-child activity. Of course I had to be willing to leave in the middle of a game even when the score was tied, but that didn’t happen very often. My son developed a love of basketball and still plays pickup games. And I could sell the games I didn’t want to attend.

When I got divorced, I kept the tickets for a year. The Suns started playing poorly and the ticket broker told me he was not renewing. I’d never be able to sell my one ticket, so I gave it up. The school counselor and I were still friends, and she agreed to share her tickets. I’ve been there in the good times and the ugly times for the Suns. Sometimes I have to beg people to go with me. I thought if I listed my season tickets as an asset on I’d get some dates to the games. A few times that worked out, but mostly men had ticket envy but wanted to buy them form me to take their own dates. Phooey!

Two years ago we took on a third person to share the tickets. We now have seats in row 12. But finances are different. This is the last year I’ll have the tickets. I’ll have to buy individual games next year. I’ve been priced out due to competing interests for my fixed income. Phooey!

I’m still a fan. Go Suns!

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