It really is all about the Benjamins after all. And the Grants and Jacksons and Hamiltons and Lincolns and even the Washingtons. Especially the Washingtons. I was watching the first preseason game for my favorite professional football team the other night. The Denver Broncos were playing in San Francisco, and it had occurred to me at some point to buy a pair of tickets and go on out to the stadium at Candlestick Point with my son. These would be the tickets to an exhibition game. One that does not count. Just a chance to see professional football players doing their job up close and personal. Well, sort of close. The cheap seats run about sixty dollars. I tried to reconcile this by remembering the wad of cash that I have thrown at Bruce Springsteen tickets over the years.
Then it struck me: They don't show most of Bruce's concerts live on TV. And when Bruce plays, everybody wins. I would not have that guarantee with the Broncos and Forty-Niners. Right behind that came a wave of jealousy that reached a peak with this question: "How many of the people on that field are millionaires, in part, because of the money that I am willing to plunk down for the opportunity to watch them play a game?"
The simple answer was a lot. And I know that Bruce Springsteen is a millionaire because of the money that I have plunked down over the years to watch him sing and play guitar. And the rest of his band. But now the economy of the United States and that of my own household has caused me to make some hard choices. I won't give up watching football. It's too much of a vicarious thrill that I can't simply let it go, but I probably won't be paying for the "cheap seats." I will still probably find a way to rationalize spending ridiculous amounts of money on Springsteen tickets because I choose to.
I know this might make me a shallow person. Or a fair-weather fan. But I look at it this way: The Denver Broncos have won one playoff game in the past ten years. Last year Bruce played the Super Bowl.