September 19, 2003

Enough Ticket Line Whining

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This is the last article The Sun will print concerning the “controversy” of the hockey ticket line. You have my word … and my word is stronger than oak. For all you Jerry Maguire enthusiasts — and there are just too many to count — that doesn’t mean much (watch the movie). But anyway, I hope this will put an end to the mindless diatribes polluting this fine publication’s pages since the Big Day a week ago.

Controversy Racks Ivy League Campus as Some Students are Denied Hockey Tickets

A Campus Mourns, A Student Body Erupts

Was it really that serious? Though these hypothetical headlines never appeared in The Sun, they might as well have. And they’re fairly indicative of the emotional drama that took place after the events surrounding the hockey ticket line last weekend.

In fact, The Sun isn’t the only publication guilty of over-dramatizing the situation. Many voices on campus were consumed by the “controversy” and the sad part is that this seems to be a yearly phenomenon.

For each of my four years here at Cornell, the cycle has been all too predictable. Throughout the spring, everybody voices their opinions on how the hockey line should be run. Then fall rolls around, the system fumbles worse than Kurt Warner on opening Sunday, and Gene Nighman ’81 is hung from the clock tower in effigy.

So who’s to blame? My guess: Who cares?

This is not an issue that threatens national security. It’s not even an issue that threatens Barton Hall security. It’s just not that serious. Kids want tickets and they’ll do anything to get them. Ever seen a Ticketmaster the day before Dave Matthews Summer Tour tickets go on sale? People just don’t care.

And neither should you.

If the stoner down the hall wants to sleep in his own filth for four days behind Alumni Fields, let the man breathe. It’s not up to anyone else to say what kind of priorities people should have.

It certainly isn’t Nighman’s job to hold students’ hands for a week and make sure they go to class instead of hawk for tickets. I think a Cornell sports insider — sounds so official doesn’t it? — put it best.

“Gene’s job is essentially to sell out Lynah Rink and he seems to have a pretty good knack for doing that,” my “contact” said.

I think that’s the best way to look at the whole Nighman issue. The guy’s job is to sell tickets. Period. He doesn’t have to ensure the academic integrity of ever member of the Faithful for an entire week. Do people really go to classes here anyway?

Then there are the issues relating to the infamous line cutters, the people who slept out and didn’t get tickets, and the people who showed up at 4:00 p.m. on Friday expecting to get a number.

To the line cutters: Way to ruin a good time, morons. It’s not nice to cut, which is wisdom that dates back all the way to, what, first grade? Get in the back of the line and know your role.

To the people who slept out: Nice work. Getting tickets for anything in high demand should be predicated upon sleeping in a makeshift tent in crappy weather. It’s one of the finest traditions in all of American pop culture. Our forefathers slept in line for the Mayflower, our parents slept out for Beatles tickets, and gall-dangit, we should have to sleep out for Cornell men’s hockey tickets. To the filth-lovers of East Hill, I congratulate you. You are the true patriots.

And finally, to the people who showed up at 4:00 p.m. on Friday expecting to quietly join the crowd: What were you thinking? Were you people really serious or were you playing some sort of Devil’s advocate role? You should all be taken into Lynah and hit at full speed by Greg Hornby. I’d make sure he let you know just how mistaken you were. Showing up at 4:00 p.m. on hockey ticket line day is like expecting your PMP to be there once you leave for the bathroom. It just isn’t good science.

All in all, the entire issue enrages me. If I were Nighman, I’d do the most American thing possible: call off the entire system and just let people work it out on their own. The craziest fans are always in the front row of a Kiss concert because they slept out for six months before the tickets went on sale. If people want to sit in the student section, make them learn a little something about the fine art of camping.

To sleep out is to show your fanaticism. It’s an institutional reality and I think it’ll allay the death threats Nighman must endure every September.

So, to my friend who called me at 5:00 p.m. last Friday saying, “Dude everything’s ruined, it’s all gone to Hell, Nighman is going to get shot, students are rioting, …” this article should explain why I never called you back. I just couldn’t add my voice to the controversy.

It would’ve been un-American of me.

Archived article by Scott Jones