In other words, this blog has managed to be a decent mirror of my life. I've complained about work and people who annoy me, I've mentioned news articles or issues that have caught my attention, I've reviewed books and noted the birthdays of some authors, and I've poked fun of my cat, Serena the Slovenly.
On with the tradition.
Since I've just finished complaining about work, I'll pick as the news item of the day the ever-increasing price of Penn State football tickets. While it's true that I'm no football fan and haven't been up to see a game in years, I can still remember how those football weekends felt in Happy Valley, back when I was one of the many dorm denizens. In those days, every student could buy a season football pass for about $35. Don't quote me on that, but I remember that it was a price that did not cause anyone alarm. We'd show up with our IDs and tickets, sit in our designated student seating area, and cheer on our team. The Nittany Lion Mascot would visit, and we might get to pass him up over our heads. We'd throw marshmallows at each other, do the wave, and sing silly songs. I remember one time when I sat in the end zone to be part of the card section, but we'd all had so much beer before the game that no one was able to sit in the correct seat or flip his or her card at the correct time, but we had fun anyway. Meanwhile, the rest of the stadium got to puzzle over what in the name of H. Bryce Jordan we were tryin' to do, anyway.
Yes, we tailgated, and underage drinking did happen. The first time I ever got drunk was my first Penn State game of my freshman year, and I can still remember how the ground slanted to the left as I made my way into the stadium. During the next four years, I was to meet many people who had had a tough time deciding on which school to attend, and this choice was often helped along by those nifty Nittany Lion student tickets. For me, it was just an added perk, because I really liked Happy Valley, but for some, football season was the highlight of the year, something they planned their lives around.
This year, student season tickets cost $247 dollars, and they are now stored on the student ID cards (that part is an improvement). Students must pre-register for the sale. They also needed to have a Ticketmaster account for both pre-registration and the actual sale, along with their student ID number and a valid credit card. Life without PCs was so much easier. At this price, I wouldn't buy a season ticket unless I really thought I'd go and enjoy ALL the games.
Penn State Alumni spend even more time and money on Penn State games, since they must buy season tickets (it's impossible to buy single game tickets anymore)(but there's always a bloody scalper) and must also be Nittany Lion Club members. Well, starting in 2011, the giving level of these club members will be increased for those who want to retain their current spending level for tickets! It's a seat license charge, and those ticket holders who decline to pay it will be moved to less desirable parts of the stadium. Where would that be? The upperclass student section! That's right--fewer seats for the current students, who should be able to enjoy those fleeting, precious four years of having fun in Beaver Stadium.(Visit PennLive for sticker shock).
This seems like a wildly inappropriate time for such greed. The players are still being exploited, and the schedule won't get any more interesting. It's hard to imagine what is going to motivate ticket holders to spend between $100 and $600 more per season ticket, depending on where they are.
Predictions? Just how much will it take to make such merriment prohibitive? After all, it's so much more comfortable at home or in a bar. It seems to me that a fan would get more bang for the buck with a the huge-screen TV and the channels that go with it. Gee, the fallout of this seat licensing policy could be more interesting than the games. Well--that's not saying much, this season.