September 12, 2003

Keys to Surviving the Ticket Line

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At Cornell, as is the case in the other Ivies, athletics takes a back seat to academics. Well, actually, it’s not even in the back seat, it’s in an entirely different area code (which is quite ironic considering that the Ivy League was first founded as an athletic conference). But for one weekend, sports is the talk of the town. Nothing is more important, be it sleep, hygiene, or studying.

That’s because this is hockey ticket line weekend.

Today’s the biggest day of the year in Cornell athletics. Heck, I would argue it’s the most important day of the calendar year for the entire University. This afternoon and early evening, hundreds upon hundreds of students will march up to Bartels Hall and stand, sit, or squat in line for a chance to purchase men’s hockey season tickets. 

There’s nothing at Cornell like the hockey line. Sure, people get excited about the Cornell-Harvard hockey game at Lynah (which by the way will be in the first week of December), but even that pales in comparison. The game is but a mere three periods. The line, well, that’s an entire weekend. Actually, it’s more than just a weekend. Students at Cornell don’t just walk up the Hill and get in line — you simply can’t. Everyone’s got their little group and their little plan.

Throughout the week, I’ve heard people around campus with the same types of conversations: 

Joe Schmoe: “Hey, are you getting hockey tickets this year?”

Billy Bob: “Hell yeah.”

Joe: “What time are you getting there?”

Billy: “4:45 on Friday, and I’m going with 10 other people. We’ve got an entire rotation schedule set up.” 

Trust me, there are plenty of these 10-person rotations in place. And 4:45 in the afternoon? That would be an exception, not the norm. Yeah, the guidelines and “rules” prohibit students from forming lines before then, but any upperclassman will tell you that those “rules” haven’t necessarily been enforced in the past. 

Some students will undoubtedly say, “It’s just a sport, and I’m not even a hockey fan. What’s the fuss over guys with sticks skating around?” 

I know the feeling, because I was one of those ignorant fools. I’m from California, and we don’t do hockey. 

But do you know what bonds the Cornell student body more than anything else? Take a guess. 

The fact of the matter is, more people care more about this hockey ticket line than they do about any other issue on campus. Sure, a lot of students and faculty are up in arms over the impending visit of Cynthia McKinney. But I don’t hear excited conversations about that controversy … it’s been all hockey, even though we’re well over a month away from the start of the season. 

For many students, the hockey ticket line and the home games during the season are the only times that they truly feel like they’re part of a larger community. Sure, it’s great to join small clubs, or even big ones for that matter. But nothing raises school morale more than sitting in the stands and raining boos and taunts at other teams, while cheering your own carnelian and white clad classmates. 

So to all the freshmen out there, I urge you to buy tickets. Each game is cheaper than a movie ticket, you’ll have much more fun, and believe me, it’s the best purchase you’ll ever make while at Cornell. While the University overcharges us on virtually everything, be it books, tuition, meal plan … (that’s reserved for another column), hockey tickets are a steal.

Just please, please bring the following items for your welfare and for those around you:

1. Cell phone to order DP Dough.

2. Sleeping bag.

3. Playstation and television.

4. Books, in the unlikely event that you’ll study.

and last but not least…

5. Deodorant — trust me, you’ll need it!

Enjoy the line.

Alex Ip is the Sun Sports Editor. In Your Cup will appear every other Friday this semester. Alex can be contacted at aci2@cornell.edu.

Archived article by Alex Ip