City Paper is not for tourists
Sometimes I hate to admit it, but I love college football. I grew up in Nebraska. It was all we had really. So even though I’m old enough to know better, I still spend way too much time obsessing about the Cornhuskers. This Saturday offered ample proof.
The football team was playing the Kansas Jayhawks in a Big 12 North contest. To most casual college girdiron fans, the game had all the sex appeal of a Colgate vs. Furman match-up. Not for me. Fox Sports Net was offering the game via pay-per-view, but as far as I could tell, I couldn’t buy it on Comcast, so I started calling sports bars. I’ve been down this road before. I’ve been told at least three other times that a certain bar would carry the game, so I would dutifully drive there, order a beer and some grease, only to find out that, oh sorry, they don’t have my game after all. It really pisses me off.
On my third attempt to find a viewing spot on Saturday, I got a hold of the Green Turtle, a sports bar in the Verizon Center. The woman on the phone said they would have the game. I asked if she were sure. She said yes; they carry FSN and all its games. I emphasized that this was a pay-per-view game, not a regular FSN game, and I really emphasized that it’s a long way for me to drive there. She told me not to worry; they’ll have it.
The wife (who’s not crazy about these Saturday afternoon time-sucks to begin with) and I hopped into the car, drove down to the Verizon Center, paid $15 to park, and got a seat under one of the many flat screens around the main dining room. It was still 35 minutes before kick-off. We ordered two appetizers (the pork-adillas were surprisingly tasty) and two sandwiches (both as mushy as sponge cake) and waited for the game.
Five minutes before game time, I asked the waitress to turn the channel to the NU-KU game. She was the same woman I spoke to earlier on the phone. She remembered our conversation. She goes to change the channel. Minutes start to tick off. Three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, six minutes. I’m getting anxious. The kick-off has already occured. I catch the waitress’ eye from across the room. She gives me a reassuring look; they’re on it.
A few minutes later, she arrives at our table with the bad news: No game. She feels awful. I make her feel worse by telling her how much we paid for parking. She apologizes a number of times but makes no offer to remove anything from our bill. I’m getting more pissed by the second. She leaves.
She comes back with the bill; the manager has agreed to take off almost exactly $15 worth of food. I am fairly satisfied with their gesture and finally let the waitress off the hook by saying, “It’s all right,” when she apologizes again, though I confess I’m not totally ready to forgive all just yet. I mean, how hard would it have been to check the FSN schedule, particularly after I pressed so hard? After all, I can’t get back the wasted time or the wasted calories. And I never got the chance to watch the Huskers throttle the Jayhawks.