One of my favorite things about living in NYC is being able to catch a game at Madison Square Garden. New York is a basketball town to its core, so even though I’m not a Knicks fan, the energy at the Garden when the Knicks play always makes for a good time.
So when Jordan told me our friend had a connection to a great pair of tickets on Tuesday night, I was all in.
Before heading to the game, we made a delicious meal, courtesy of Blue Apron. The babysitter arrived early and got Jameson’s bedtime routine started. And the express train arrived shortly after we hit the subway platform. I asked Jordan how we’d managed to get tickets to such a hot game (a regular Knicks game is hard enough, let alone one against OKC), and he said our friend had some connection through his job or something like that. Whatever the case, we knew for sure that these were the makings of a great night.
It’s worth noting that though Jameson was in bed during the game, we got him in the spirit by dressing him in his Knicks gear earlier that day. Can you believe my eight-month-old son has learn the art of smizing?! (That’s “smiling with your eyes.” Really, I just caught him mid-blink, but I think this is hilarious.)
Back to game night…
We met up with our friend who purchased the tickets on our behalf and another person from our group. Two additional friends were at a different entrance and planned to meet us inside. We made our way to the security check point, and I held my ticket gingerly, because it seemed that the stub portion was close to falling off, and the last thing I wanted was drama getting inside.
A few minutes into standing on line and our friend who bought the tickets gets a call from one of the friends at the other entrance. We listen in as our friend answers the call.
“Hey man, what’s up?” [Silence]
“Oh nooooo. Oh my God.”
Now, given my history with tragedy, my mind immediately goes to the worst thought possible. At this point, I’m certain that our friend who is calling has been mugged and left for dead in the streets of Manhattan. I’m not sure how he’s able to use the phone given his mugged state, but I’m convinced nonetheless. We all lean in with a look of longing, waiting to hear what’s happened.
Our friend looks at us and says, “The tickets are counterfeit!”
Phew! That’s good news in my morbid mind. And well, this night just got a whole lot more interesting.
It turns out our friend’s ticket hookup was Craig. And by Craig, I mean Craigslist. And though he’d bought tickets from Craigslist a ton of times before (I mean, I’ve sold tickets a few times on Craigslist myself), on this particular occasion, he got got.
Now here’s the part of this story that I really love: our friend who purchased the tickets obviously feels horrible. And the remaining five of us in the group could have easily been upset or disappointed or condemning. We’d all given our money, the game was starting, and we’re standing outside the Garden ticketless, watching people flood inside.
But instead of being any of those things, we all decided to laugh about it. And let’s be honest — laugh at our friend about it too. We pulled out our tickets and joked about the lousy perforation job, the faded graphics, and the fact that ticket said, “Persented by Chase.” Maaaan, these bootleggers didn’t even bother to spell check.Given that we had a babysitter, Jordan was determined, saying, “We can watch the game at a sports bar, but I’m not going home.” Our friend who’d bought the tickets was determined to get us into the game, so he did his best at the box office and came up with a group of tickets so we could all sit together.
And so we laughed our way to our 300 level seats, joking that we’d be able to reach out and touch the championships flags (and we darn near could, ha!). But while the seats were high up, they were really pretty awesome, because you have direct access to the concessions, and you can stand up and move around without worrying about blocking the view of the person behind you or having to climb over people getting to and from your seat.In addition to laughing until our stomachs hurt, the game, which we thought would be a blowout, ended up being neck and neck and even went into overtime. I darn near lost my voice screaming. All in all, nothing really went as planned, and it was the most fun we’d had in a really long time. And our group of friends was still laughing via text conversation the next morning.
Not as planned, but a really great story.