So here we are sitting in the lower level, row 9, at the Super Bowl, and we're doing our best to compete with the Eugene Robinson jokes flying around. Robinson is the Atlanta Falcon player who was arrested for soliciting oral sex in Miami the night before the game, purely for relaxation purposes. Talk about the red zone: 22nd and Biscayne is indeed a nasty area. (Miami New Times is located nearby.) Here's a lesson for tourists: If the woman on the street is not a crack head or a transvestite, she must be an undercover cop. We have Eugene's story to the judge ready and deliver it to some Broncos fans: "Your honor, my car broke down on Biscayne, and I was asking the woman for a tow job."
How does one get pulled into the slime, the swirl, the hype, and the commercialism that surrounds this event? The fault lies with my friend Jimmy Lee from San Francisco, otherwise known as Mr. Ticket. He's one of those glam-seekers who simply must attend these big sports and entertainment events, no matter what the cost.
Friday night found him waiting in line at Liquid in South Beach trying to get in to see k.d. lang and the real Queen of Glam, Cher. The $50 tickets were sold out, of course, but Mr. Ticket was told to wait in the alley, where a toothless man sold him one for $75. For this price he got squeezed by 500 steroid-taking and very sweaty gay men who were whipped into a frenzy by Cher and her extremely loud techno-disco sounds. Yuck. Earlier he was thrilled to witness a confrontation with the Worm (Dennis Rodman) at the NFL players party, where a friend of Jimmy's told Rodman he should play for the Utah Jazz and the Mormon-hating Rodman screamed back, "What, are you crazy?" Apparently so.
Game day found Mr. Ticket doing some soliciting of his own trying to find a ducat to the event. The price had been dropping from $1500 to $1000 for an upper-end zone seat, so he was targeting a price under $700 as we hunted for a scalper out in front of the stadium. Unfortunately it was a buyer's market, with dozens of people holding up signs stating they needed tickets. This made Mr. Ticket nervous, because he was shut out of the last Super Bowl, in San Diego, when prices before game time climbed to $2000, roughly the equivalent of the cost of a new big-screen television and a Stratolounger.
Three hours before kickoff, we met an equally nervous young man who had eight or so tickets that he wanted to scalp. Reselling tickets above face value is illegal. In fact, Mr. Ticket was arrested at the last World Series for entreprenurial enterprise. Using more caution than Robinson, the scalper asked if we were cops, and we in return wanted to know if he was a counterfeiter. With sweat pouring from his brow, the seller says, "No man, I'm a lawyer." Egad, could we trust him? A brief dicker brought the price down to $750, and we bit. Mr. Ticket already had a line on another, cheaper ticket, and that's how we ended up inside.
The game was anticlimatic, and the music provided by the over-the-hill gang (Stevie Wonder, KC and the Sunshine Band, and the always awful Gloria Estefan) was lip-synched. We found pleasure only in Kiss when they sung our motto for the evening, "I wanna rock 'n' roll all night and party every day." The super spectacle is of some national stature and was worthy of our attention and money. Once.
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