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Monday, March 18, 2013

The Bandwagon Fan and The Elusive Opening Day Ticket

Can I just say before I officially begin this post that I have been torn on this particular subject for a few years now...

Side A:  Why the hell do I have to enter a drawing for the "opportunity" to buy Opening Day tickets when 70% of these clowns have NO idea who Charlie Hough is?*

Side B:  It really is great to see so many fans at the park...tailgating even!  I never thought I'd see the day; so glad everyone is finally catching on!

*Don't give me the "I know Pudge/Gonzo/Nolan Ryan" crap.  It's damn near impossible to have lived in the DFW Metroplex during the last 15 - 25 years and not know them.  Even bringing up this argument almost automatically disqualifies you from the discussion.  Fans, not to be mistaken for people that happen to live in DFW, FANS know random players like Charlie Hough and Oddibe McDowell.

OK...let's begin.

Official attendance at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was 3,460,280 for the 2012 season.  It was 2,244,616 for the 1993 season.  Two side notes on the 1993 season:  1.  The Rangers finished 10 games over .500 that year; 2nd in the West.  2.  That was the final season at Arlington Stadium.



I picked 1993 just to demonstrate that even buoyed by Arlington Stadium's swan song AND a decent team to watch, attendance was still 1.2 MILLION off the 2012 pace.  And for anyone that would like to make the requisite "The population of DFW has grown X amount since 1993" argument, I present this to you:

The attendance during the 2009 season at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was 2,156,016.

That's right.  Even lower than that last year in Arlington Stadium.  And just one year before the Rangers began their historic franchise turnaround.

I provided all of these numbers just to prove that this bandwagon has been jumped...about a million times.  Not that you needed all of that to prove the obvious, I'm just very thorough.  (Thank you BaseballReference.com)

So what's the problem?  Why doesn't "Side B" work?

I'll tell you why.  Because almost 100% of those new million or so "fans" exist because they like a winner, not the Rangers, and not even baseball.  So now we've got people (I'm throwing Leo in here too) asking us questions like "So, what happens if we win?", "How many games do we have to win to go to the World Series?" and my personal favorite, "Is there a Rangers game tonight/this Friday (maybe we should go)?".

It's a 162 game season, there is almost always a game "tonight"...and Friday?  Really?  Come on.

And it's those same people asking "Are we in the playoffs?" that we fans are fighting for tickets.  Opening Day tickets.  Playoff tickets.  "Premier Game" tickets.  (I hate the "premier game", btw)  And then some jackass like Cliff Lee wants to make a snide comment about wanting to play for a team whose fans don't need the scoreboard to know when to clap.

I don't need the scoreboard, jerk!  But, I also wasn't going to pay $400 to sit in the 300 section either.  That price tag is courtesy of Joe Bandwagon who thinks Mike Napoli is the best catcher of all time.

Now I'm not saying you have to know every draft pick since 1972 or even remember Benji Gil to get a ticket.  I'm just saying that there should be some preferential treatment for those of us that can answer a few questions...like a baseball fan Wonderlic to be taken before purchasing tickets:

  1. Who made the final out of Kenny Rogers' perfect game?
  2. What's the best trade in Texas Rangers history?
  3. Explain the infield fly rule.
Ok, maybe question three is too harsh.  But, you see where I'm going with this.

Ah well, maybe this is wishful thinking.  I guess I'll just enjoy the atmosphere the Rangers' winning ways have created.  Check it out:



2010 ALDS...a sea of Ranger Red.  Glorious.

A Rangers win > Game Tickets.

12 days.

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