A few days ago, sports blog Deadspin ran a piece by Katie Baker entitled “Tell Me How My Class Tastes: Scenes From The Worst NFL Draft Party Ever” that’s ostensibly about one generations-long New York Jets fan’s trip to a draft party he was invited to out in the Meadowlands. Naturally, this did not go well. At all. So poorly, in fact, that the piece eventually emerges as a story about the perceived class differences in the fans of New York teams, and how New York teams treat those fans in kind.
Mind you, this was after
(A) The pseudonymous fan in question had to downgrade his season tickets because the expense of keeping his previous seats at the price of a “license” to buy the same ones at the new stadium was too much to bear at +$10,000 a ticket.
(B) The new tickets he got — thought to have been doled out via seniority by the Jets — actually were regardless of his seniority, even though his family had tickets when the Jets were playing at Shea Stadium in 1964. He was grouped in with everyone who got their tickets from 1977, the last date the Jets started looking at records.
and (C) An error had caused the Jets to issue and then retract an invite to a VIP party to said loyal, longtime season-ticket-holding fans. Via the Newark Star-Ledger:
The Star-Ledger obtained a copy of the email, which, in part, read: “We apologize for the inconvenience and miscommunication, the previous VIP NFL Draft Day invitation was only intended for our Club Seat Holders in the New Jets Stadium. To our Club Seat Holders, please watch for another updated invitation coming soon.”
Gerald T. Grimm, a self-proclaimed “paying ticket holder since 1964,” responded to the mea culpa with this: “Thanks for another insulting slight by your elitist snob attitude. So sorry that I’m ONLY a season ticket holder, you know, ‘the little people.’ You are truly despicable.”
But it only gets worse. Because once said lifelong fans arrive to the party at the Meadowlands, what do they get?
“What we got was something that looked like a concrete cave… It was a wind tunnel, basically outside, with $9 beers.” Adding insult to injury was a nearby escalator, guarded by a fleet of team personnel, escorting PSL-holder guests up to the fancier — and free-er — VIP lounge. And then there were the sales reps. “You couldn’t walk five feet without tripping over one of them,” said Jeff’s buddy, whom we’ll refer to as Sean. “All they were interested in doing was selling more seats. It was the fucking men’s warehouse in there.” (Jeff had his own smarmy descriptors: “They looked like 27 year old young male clones that you always see at Enterprise Rent-A-Car or from a scene in Boiler Room,” he said.)
So of course, one of them sneaks over to the Giants side. And what does he get?
I’m blown away. The spread is better, and then there’s a full bar in the middle. Absolutely everything on the Giants side is free. On top of that, besides an info table, I didn’t see one ticket rep on the Giants side.
It gets so much worse. Especially when you consider that the Jets and the Jets’ fans often take an underdog approach to themselves as the second-class team to the New York Giants. The entire thing is very sad, and very much worth a read, especially when put into the simple perspective of: Here are hard-working people, placing family-sentiment value on capitalistic enterprises who in the end, most often, for the most part, could give anything but a shit about them.