Saturday, December 13, 2008
A Random Note... But Noteworthy
Although this is way off topic from this blog, being a staff member I feel I have the right to make this post. I think you will enjoy this post. It is comical, it is adventurous, it is torture, it is awesome.
As I am sure you can tell from the picture above, this post probably has something to do with the Rose Bowl and that is indeed correct. If you do not know, I am a Freshman at Penn State so the 95th Rose Bowl game being played on January 1, certainly applies to me.
So after 2 paragraphs of saying literally nothing, I will now get to my story.
It was a cold Thursday afternoon when I picked up Penn State's student newspaper called the "Daily Collegian." It told me that on Saturday, Rose Bowl tickets would be sold. However, in the past, Penn State has done very poor with its ticketing distribution due to camp out rules being violated and then Penn State not caring at all that the rules were violated. So the Collegian told me the athletic department was doing something smarter. Tickets would go on sale Saturday at 8am however the location of the ticket sale would not be made public until 6:30am on Saturday. This would prevent camp outs and make it fair for everyone to get tickets. They were also concerned about health issues and did not want people camping out for weeks in 20 degree weather. Do not worry however, because the health issue comes up a little later on again.
So my alarm goes off at 5:55am and by 6:10 I am all ready to go. All I have to do is wait until 6:30am, refresh the Penn State sports homepage and find out the location of the ticket sale. So at 6:30 it tells me that the location is the Bryce Jordan Center. My friend and I then dart out of his room, through the doors and outside. We are sprinting down the road along with hundreds of other Penn State Students. Upperclassmen were speeding down the street as the running students cut in front of them to get across the street. Yes, I would consider this a health issue. But do not worry, there is more health concern later on. So it is about 6:40 and the line is already in a big loop around the outside of the Bryce Jordan center. Everyone is in a nice organized straight line in front of the ticket window in many layers.
So, remember how I talked about health and cold? Well one genius from the Bryce Jordan Center decides that they are going to actually sell the tickets inside in a ticket center and have people wait inside. Penn State unfortunately thinks this is a perfect world. In a perfect world, people would stay in line and walk in the door. Well that is not how the world works. They decided to open 2 standard size doors both of which were separated by a closed door in the middle. Well of course the 2 doors opened and the hundreds of students (it was at least hundreds) just made a mad dash towards the doors. Now anyone who is a living person knows that you probably cannot fit more than 2 people in a doorway no matter what the size of the two people are. When there are hundreds of students trying to get into 2 doors you have something similar to what we know in America as Black Friday. When this occurs with all college students who are still drunk or hungover from the night that just ended maybe 3 hours before this whole debacle, we have what we know around the world as war. So there was pushing and shoving and organs being flipped, turned, and transported to all different parts of the body. At one point my feet were lifted off of the ground and the large crowd just carried me to the door. Some people were smashed up against the glass window next to the door.
Well after a little while every thing was settled (at least somewhat). Of course people did not have the same spot in line but I would say for the most part it was pretty close. So at this point we are all burning in our 50 sweatshirts and knit caps and there is still a good hour to go before the ticket sale. So people are just sitting and chilling on the Bryce Jordan Center floor until 8am.
At 8am the ticket door opens and for some reason, instead of people being normal and staying in line and just waiting for their turn, there is another mad dash. People sprint all over and get out of line. Now the difference between inside and outside are the walls. Once you are up against a wall, you cannot move anymore. As you may have learned at one point in science class, it is very hard for 2 solid objects to pass through each other. Especially, a human and a wall. So now people are squished together wall to wall, there is absolutely no line and nobody can move.
Every 15-20 minutes people would constantly push as the line moved forward. The hundreds of different body odors from all the people as well as the alcohol was not pleasant. People continued to push and shove like some kind of animals. Police were there and they just kept saying "form a line." Yeah ok, form a line. Maybe we can just magically poof into one since none of us can move! People were rubbing up against each other, holding on to their friends so they would not lost them. I was not that lucky. After about 30 minutes, my friend was gone. He was behind me on the complete other side of the scramble and I had no idea where he was. Well, that's the way life works. So I am all by myself, I cannot breathe, my heart is in my spine, my spleen is in my throat and it was just a huge mess. If I had to describe this debacle in 2 words.... "Gigantic Orgie."
One girl with bad asthma passed out. That's right. Someone passed out because of a ticket sale! It is good Penn State is concerned with the health of their students.
They were letting people into the ticket room about 10 at a time and people were trying to get through that door from all different directions. A cop was there though making sure it was orderly.
After being only 4 feet from the door for roughly 30 minutes, I finally got inside and all my organs were put back into place.
I got up to the ticket window and I did in fact receive a Rose Bowl ticket. It all turned out well in the end.
Keep in mind though, had we not moved inside everything would have run smoothly. People were in line in front of a ticket window and people would have just walked up to the window in a line and the next person would go. It was all nice and smooth until we moved inside.
But the bottom line is, I will be going to the Rose Bowl and I thought I should share my story. And do not worry, I am sitting close to my friend anyway. He is 1 row in front of me (despite getting his ticket after me) and 5 seats over. That is not bad and maybe someone will switch.
And for the hell of it, below is a picture of the ticket. Isn't it nice?
Mark Elliot Wishnia
SportsTalkNY Blog Team