Today's post is about one of my favourite experiences as a fan and one of my favourite stories. Period. I debated whether or not I should post this story, as it does not involve baseball, but again, it is a story about fandom, and about the great stories that arise from being a fan.
As always, I look forward to hearing everyone's stories.
I live in Windsor, Ontario and there are three things that come with the territory; poor air quality, poor economy, and a good OHL team. For the two years of 2009 and 2010, Windsor was blessed with a buzzing atmosphere, not caused by frequent lightning storms, but by two Memorial Cup runs. Games were selling out early and although tickets were affordable, they were scarcely available. As a result, I was often confined to about two games a year, despite living a few blocks from the stadium. So close in fact, that I would hear the result of a victory- blowing vuvuzelas- before the signal reached my TV. But that is not the point of the story, but how, for one day, everything went right.
Sunday morning, March 13, I was awoken by my phone. In my dazed and confused stupor, I answered and was faced with good news; my best friend, Holly, was given free tickets by her step-sister to the game. Three tickets. At first I was hesitant, as Grade 12 homework and charity work was piling up. However, a quick cup of coffee and I was calling my best friend (number 2, chronologically, not overall), Chris, to give him the good news. Plans were set and he was at my house about an hour before game time. We were to meet our friend in a few minutes and began walking to our meeting place. Yet again, the phone rang.
Same person, same voice, grim tone. Her step-sister ended up keeping the tickets. After arguing about other plans, in a futile attempt to salvage the Sunday, she hung up. Silence. After cussing out the sky for several minutes, Chris persuaded me to walk towards the local mall, which happened to be just past the arena. As we approached the arena road, the excitement began to build up in our ears, and each cheer further subjugated us to a self-endorsed misery. We were a part of a large contingent moving towards the arena, and walking in the opposite direction, was a group of young adults, eager to unload a pair of tickets.
After failing to find someone without tickets, they offered them to us. Shock is not an adequate word to describe the emotions. In what would be the last few months I spent with Chris (he moved to Oshawa in the Summer), the following story came to be our defining moment. Ecstatic and joyous, we snatched up the tickets, thanked the unknown men, and skipped off to the arena. We questioned the validity of the tickets but for the moment we were quite content.
Upon successfully infiltrating the arena, we quickly discovered a packed house. From my previous experiences,the arena would often be half-empty, making it easy to scoot up to the front row. Not only were we not able to artificially able to upgrade the seats, we realized our seats were on opposite sides, and that we would not be able to sit together. Trying to find seats together would be difficult as ushers were in place to lead you to your seat. For the first period, we talked with our friends Emily and Sarah, who were concession workers. Chris and I began practicing our story, but little did we realize that one last twist of faith was in store for us.
After watching the remainder of the first period from the standing room available in the restaurant, we ran into another friend, Zack, in the hallways. He had arrived at the arena and since had switched seats to sit with a friend. After telling the story once again, he revealed that he still had his two original tickets. Season-holder tickets. A day that had started with three tickets, had evolved into two tickets and than into two pairs of tickets. For the rest of the game, we sat three rows up and yelled and screamed. Not for the game, but for our fortune. I had updated my Facebook status, "At the Spits game with Chris, what an epic tale of epicness..." It was liked by Holly, and as way of rubbing in our good fortune, Chris and I began a tradition of commenting on the status each month, along the lines of " im still excited :D"
As a fan, I have never experienced any thing quite as exhilarating. It is hard enough to come by one ticket, but to be told three times in one day that you have been given a Spits ticket, was and is still quite hard to fathom.
So, let me know what your greatest experience as a fan was, and, as always, I look forward to reading your stories.