Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LET'S go GI-ants! (Clap clap clapclapclap)

Before I go on to telling the story of this post, I want to tell a little backstory.

Back when I was a bratty college student--you know, the kind who knows everything and isn't afraid to tell you--at the University of Illinois, some major concert tours would come through and play at the Assembly Hall. Because it was university property, students got first crack at the tickets. Rather than forcing us to stand in line all night for the best ones--because that wouldn't exactly be conducive to our studies--we entered a lottery if we wanted tickets, which would then give us a designated time in which we could buy our tickets--at most, four per purchase. Therefore, earlier purchase times=better tickets. So it took just a little luck to get the best seats. I got aced out of good tickets by getting a bad draw a couple of times my first semester, but that was OK since I got to see the concerts, even if it was from nosebleed seats. It was a novelty for a farm kid like me.

In my second semester, Huey Lewis scheduled Champaign on his tour (with Robert Cray opening). Huey Lewis was not a performer I would put on a list of 100 I would have liked to see at the time. In fact, I'm not sure he would make a list of 1,000. To remind you of the decline in the quality of his music at about that time, I suggest you click on the following video:

(Go ahead. Click on it. It should be embarrassing to Huey Lewis, but it's not like reading about Tube snot or seasickness.)

But I had a girlfriend at the time, someone who would be called a "hometown honey" or "HTH" in student lingo and who ironically shares a first name with Mrs. Werbenmanjensen (necessitating that I refer to the former as "Evil (insert Mrs. Werbenmanjensen's name here)" whenever telling a story about her). Not the most free-thinking bulb in the world, Evil What's-Her-Name was somebody who liked whatever music was on the radio. And Huey Lewis was on the radio with the song from above, so therefore she like it. So, dutifully I entered the lottery ... and found myself in the first group of 50 to buy tickets. While the student newspaper where I worked suggested going to see Robert Cray's opening act and hitting the bars early, I found myself in the fourth row for a concert I didn't really want to see that badly.

Never again did I get a good seat through the lottery draw at Assembly Hall, and I began to believe that only once in your life do you get sought-after tickets through a lottery.

Until today.

Football fans may know that the first regular season NFL game will be played outside of North America this November, and it will be at Wembley Stadium in London. Moreover, it will feature the Giants, the favorite of Mrs. W's family (prompting one of Mrs. W's colleagues still living in America to remark, "So Eli Manning will throw the first interception on foreign soil"). We were jazzed about going to see this game, but then we learned a half-million other people were too, and that ticket distribution would be via a lottery. I feared the Huey Lewis Effect would again afflict me.

Until a few days ago, when we wer notified by the NFL that we had won the golden ticket and would be among the first to be able to purchase tickets. And today, I now have confirmation that Mrs. W and I will be among the lucky 90,000 or so to see the game.

By the way, I suspect that the game has probably sold out in the first hour of ticket sales. But don't take that as any indication that American-style football will ever be popular here, given the capacity of British sports columnists to be as dismissive of it as U.S. columnists are of soccer.

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Blogger oldest kid said...

How sad that your lottery wins have to do with Huey Lewis and football! I recall being very excited when I got a good lottery ticket and was able to see Kenny Rogers! Of course, that was a long time ago.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Middle Kid said...

I never got a good lottery ticket at U of I. I ended up going to a better school after that, anyway. One time Mr. MK and I won better tickets at an Oakland A's game after buying the cheapest available tickets. Just my luck, I suppose.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Werbenmanjensen said...

For the record, there is nothing -- NOTHING -- wrong with top 40 music on the radio. Mmmmkay?

6:55 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Werbenmanjensen said...

Check out my new avatar!

7:21 PM  
Blogger Middle Kid said...

Mrs. W, just because you say it doesn't make it true. I like your avatar, for the record.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

Yeah, when's oldest kid gonna get an avatar, anyway?

3:45 AM  
Blogger oldest kid said...

I have to confess that I don't know how to get an avatar. Maybe I should ask my YK, as I'm sure he knows how to do it. Maybe he could design one for me.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

In the interest of blogger ethics, I need to point out that the game is actually Oct. 28, not November, as I stated in the post.

Because, ya know, us bloggers have no ethics.

12:27 PM  

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