Pigskin Inferno

You know the story about the Trojan Horse. I don't understand why anyone would base their team's mascot on the big losers of an ancient war, much less use a horse as another mascot.

Anyway, when Thanksgiving hits, you know it's time for the big college football rivalries--Texas and Texas A&M, Florida and Florida State, just to name a few. This week Los Angeles is in the grips of Beat $C Week (or something else if you're rooting for that other team), which brings me to the topic of saving money when it comes to sporting events. There are two camps of people: those who can afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money for tickets to that big game, and those who can't. Either way, there are certain ways of doing things, then there are cheaper ways to get it done. Admittedly, the cheaper ways don't necessarily achieve the same result, but a game is a game is a game, nothing more--this coming from a pretty big sports fan.

A while back, I heard about some fans (of which school, I can't remember) who bought $C season tickets just so they can go to the Rose Bowl game on New Year's Day. Since they're quite a distance away from the regular season action, they used none of the tickets except one. Dude, I get there are some true fans out there, but I can think of a million ways in which that money could be put to a better use. I don't know how well this works, but one backdoor way in which the hard-core fan can get a better shot at tickets than the general population (and perhaps cheaper tickets) is to join that school's alumni association. Believe it or not, some schools don't even require that you be an actual alum; your money is what counts. Oftentimes there's an alumni seating section that's not open to other people, which is why this oddball strategy might work (and I emphasize might). The amount you pay for the membership fee may end up paying for itself, since membership does confer some special benefits outside of the sporting context.

If you can't get the tickets, don't despair. Remember there are other ways to enjoy the action. You can go tailgate and enjoy the company of equally-devoted fans. While I find it silly to spend the whole day outside the stadium only to watch the game on the TV in the back of your truck/car, it's heck of a lot better than spending the boatload of cash it takes to get inside. Besides, you have an endless supply of food and booze without spending even more money and waiting in long lines. Better yet, spend the day on your couch. Food, drink, and bathroom are all yours and readily within reach, and if your team loses, you don't have to endure the heckling from the other guys. Make it a party and have your fellow ticket-less friends over for some raucous fun--make it a potluck to cut down on costs.

No matter whose side you're on, I hope you'll enjoy the last of the college football season!

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