Imagine having celebrities hanging out in the North End during Timbers matches. As if the Timbers Army needed any more publicity, right?
Now imagine those celebrities consisting of the cast of Jersey Shore, The Real World, and current fans of Tosh.0 (yeah…current as in after Daniel Tosh’s recent ‘rape joke’ fiasco).
This actually happened at last night’s game. And guess whose fault it is.
It’s the fault of ticket scalpers!
Last night saw a collection of alpha male types that I’ll refer to as “dude-bro’s” (you might be more familiar with their common name, “douchebags”) assembling in the far upper corner of section 208. What started as four DB’s turned to eight, which turned to 12, and before we knew it, we had approximately 20 of these chuckle-heads sitting together, double-fisting beers well before kickoff was even scheduled.
So how did this group get my attention? Before we get into that, let me state that I don’t claim to be any kind of expert in DB’s (I find Juggalos to be far more fascinating) or security, but I do happen to have a couple small items of note on my resume. At one time in my wild career path, I was the lead bouncer at a nightclub in Los Angeles. Also, I happen to have an OLCC permit, and monitoring behavior induced by alcohol happens to be a major component of that training program.
So when I see a large group of these types getting together, they tend to draw my attention. When all 20-ish of them insist on wearing matching bright yellow or bright orange trucker hats, they identify themselves as a group aching to be noticed. When they aren’t participating in pre-match Timbers chants, they demand my attention. When they subtly-but-noticeably boo our Timbers as they enter the field for pre-match practice, my gut tells me something is up.
However, there was nothing visible at this point that ultimately said “these people are Galaxy fans, get them out of here before something bad goes down.”
That is until one of them removes their shirt to reveal a Sharpie-drawn LA Galaxy logo on his chest, and a mock jersey-style “Beckham” and “23” on his back. NOW WE’RE IN BUSINESS!
(Note: this Sharpie-drawn-on-body thing is worthy of its own blog entry, but my writing priorities are clear this day. I’ll get to you next year, pal.)
Now that we’ve identified a large group of Galaxy fans sitting in the Timbers Army section, which is far, far away from the away fans’ section, we must take evasive action to neutralize this situation. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And at the rate these guys were drinking and escalating their behavior, I woulda bet my entire savings account on some shenanigans going down.
Rather than confront them myself (I may be a big guy, but come on, this is serious, and I’m no dummy), I notified JWF security, as well as a 107ist Board member and the designated TA security rep. Within 15 minutes, the majority of the group was moved to a more appropriate section of the stadium.
So why do I hold ticket scalpers to be responsible for this? These DB’s somehow got their hands on a whole bunch TA section tickets. Throw in the fact that this game against the Galaxy was one of the first to sell out after tickets for the 2012 season went on-sale, and we reveal some form of major flubbery. Either these guys all acquired tickets via an exorbitant sum of money paid to StubHub or on-site scalpers, or somebody (or bodies) in the Timbers Army sold their ticket(s) to this match and didn’t bother to care about whom they sold their tickets to.
This is just one of many reasons why a large faction of the Timbers Army decries the use of ticket scalpers. I understand the need to resell tickets to a match that you can’t attend. You want to get your money back. Nobody will sweat you for that.
However, when you blindly post your tickets for sale on Craig’s List, StubHub, or any number of reseller sites, or sell your tickets to those dirty, filthy scalpers lurking in front on JWF on match days, you are essentially handing over the keys to the Timbers Army’s vehicle, and allowing anyone to jump in for a ride, regardless of their condition and/or intent.
You may be comfortable picking up hitch-hikers on the highway, and if you’re the only one in the car, be my guest. But would you pick one up if your kids, friends, and/or friends’ kids were with you? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
If you need to resell your tickets, sell them to your trusted friends, co-workers, or any number of people who you would trust to represent you. Let them celebrate in the fun we get to have at every match. Don’t let the riff-raff in by selling your tickets to anonymous buyers.
Finally, if you feel the need to call me a narc or tattle-tale by my notifying security about that group of DB’s last night, be my guest. The way I look at it, I had to leave my own well-behaved circle of friends and clean up someone else’s mess. So if you feel that way, you don’t need to thank me, but still…you’re welcome.
8:45 pm UPDATE: judging by some Twitter conversations directed my way, it appears the group in question may have been a bachelor party from Vancouver. Can’t say this is verified in any way, but having a Vancouver-based hockey writer for NBC Sports ask me if I got my “panties in a twist” has to account for something, right?
Regardless of this group’s home base, and if this truly is the case, I stand even stronger by my actions as we don’t need Vancouver fans sitting in the North End, whether they pose as Galaxy fans in jest, or not.
Dear Vancouver, your antics reflect poorly on your beloved country. I guess this is why all the clever things to come out of Canada (Kids In The Hall, Strange Brew, Picnicface, et. al.) originate from the eastern portion of “America’s hat.”
This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the 107ist or the TA.