Editor’s note: Stephen is a life-long Houstonian and avid weather-geek. He grew up fascinated with the wild Houston weather and loves writing about the processes that create it and its impacts on the area. You can find him on twitter @stephenuzick
By STEPHEN UZICK
I know I am usually the weather guy around here but believe it or not I am also into sports. A shocker right? Last night I was at the Rockets game which was both frustrating and entertaining with the Rockets overall playing poorly but still managing a win. I’m not here to break down the game though, I’ll leave that to others. What I do want to share are some musings from my experience in the stands which, like the game itself, was frustrating and entertaining.
Not So Flashy
Flash Seats bills itself as being the fast and easy way to get through ticketing lines. The Flash Seats website even says that it eliminates the need for paper tickets. Yet despite having Flash Seats tickets on a phone, somehow last night I along with many other fans were delayed at the entry gate for a good 5 minutes because of paper. I’ve used Flash Seats many times before at the games and knew they printed out a ticket after scanning my phone but I never really thought twice about it until last night. When I arrived at the entrance there were two attendants scanning tickets. As we approached the front of our line the attendant serving the other line stopped scanning tickets and began fumbling with the small printer hooked to his waist. He had a paper jam. I thought to myself “good thing we’re not in that line.” When we got to the front of our line the attendant scanned my sister-in-law’s phone and the printer began spitting out our tickets. But after printing the first of 4 tickets the machine stopped. It was out of paper. Our attendant then ran off to find another roll of paper all while the poor guy scanning the other line is still trying to get his printer to work. After about five minutes of waiting and no one getting through at all the attendant finally returned and printed out our tickets. So much for going digital to speed things up.
Take Your Seat
As Fred and A.J. have mentioned before – one of the great annoyances of attending a game at the stadium is people getting up and down all throughout the game. Standing up to let others out of your row is a constant of every sporting event but last night took it to a whole new level. I am convinced all of the tickets in my row must have been given out to participants in an overactive bladder clinical trial. After the third time I had to get up to let someone out within the first six minutes of the first quarter I started keeping a tally on my phone. I even thought that once the fourth quarter started with the score being close everyone would take their seats for the duration. Wrong. In the last few minutes of the game when the score was close people were still getting up to get out of our row – in the middle of play no less. At the end of the game my tally stood (ha, pun fully intended) at a mind boggling 22. I think next time I go to a game I am going to bring a pair of crutches with me and just tell people they have to go the other way.
Take Someone Else’s Seat
Buying tickets in the nosebleeds and sneaking down to sit in the lower levels is standard sporting event practice. I get it – I’ve done it. However last night I saw it taken to a different level. During halftime a couple of guys came down and sat in empty seats a couple of rows in front of me. When the rightful seat owners (who had been sitting there the whole game, but got up for halftime) returned these guys tried to act like they were supposed to be sitting there. After an uncomfortable exchange they finally got up and scavenged some empty seats elsewhere. Who tries to claim empty seats at halftime? That has got to be the worst time to do it as most everyone has gotten up. There is a certain etiquette to claiming seats that aren’t yours. Do it at a time when most people are seated and for goodness sake don’t be a jerk if the seat owner comes back, admit defeat and get up.
Free Stuff Frenzy
I love watching how crazy people get during the T-shirt toss. Most of the time people can’t even be bothered to stand up for a great play, but when Clutch comes out with the T-shirt cannon all rules of civilized society break down. During the playoffs free shirts are already on every seat in the stadium, however when it’s time for the T-shirt toss everyone – who mind you are already wearing their free T-shirt – is willing to tackle a small child to get the shirts tossed into the stands. Odds are after the game none of those shirts will be worn again (unless it is one of those Clutch City shirts from a couple of years ago, those were awesome).
Gratuitous Weather Information
Since this post was so sportsy I thought I’d throw in a little weather. I hope you enjoyed the weather this past weekend – in all likelihood that is the last time it will be that comfortable outside until around Halloween.