The 3-11 Seattle Seahawks are basking in the sunshine of their stunning road victory against the 2-12 St. Louis Rams Sunday. But the sunshine is somewhat deceptive, given surface temperatures in the 20s at the team'ês Renton headquarters, and the chilly approaching reality of the team'ês worst season since 1992. Nor does the 23-20 last-tick-kick victory guarantee that the final home game Dec. 21 will be a sell-out.
In fact, the whole notion of 'êsell-out'ê changed here a few years ago when it became legal for ticket holders to barter away their event tickets. Game ducats now are passed along through various owners, sometimes with tickets left unused at game time, meaning something less than a technical 'êsell-out.'ê
Such wasn'êt always the case, as this since-reformed criminal learned the proverbial hard way one Sunday about 20 years ago. My relatives would be out of town when the Hawks met the 49ers at the Kingdome. I dutifully agreed to try to, ahem, hawk their tickets for face value or less. Walking through the north parking lot before game time, I hoisted the pair of tix above my head and was immediately surrounded by a swarm of potential buyers.
Two were particularly earnest. I should have suspected that these guys weren'êt necessarily football fans because neither had any face paint, masks, or ill-fitting Jim Zorn jerseys and both seemed sober. One of them asked me to state that I was offering to sell the tickets. When I obliged I was hauled into a room in the bowels of the Dome and cited for trying to 'êscalp'ê the tickets. In fact, I merely was trying to get back the face value and probably would have settled for even less. Stating that I wasn'êt attempting to profit from my apparent crime brought little sympathy from my humorless captors. A few weeks later I labored to pitch my innocence to a local magistrate, who fined me and told me to go and sin no more.
These, however, are enlightened times. Not only have tickets to the Dec. 21 game with the New York Jets been bouncing around Internet sites for several weeks. Many of the more imaginative sellers are showing admirable savvy as potential impresarios, citing the game as a last-chance occasion to see Mike Holmgren coach at home — as though there were entertainment value to be found in seeing a man hold a play chart over his mouth and glower for three hours. Others are noting how the game promises to bring together for 'êpossibly the last time'ê Holmgren and former protÃ©gÃ© Brett Favre, the Jets quarterback who was with Holmy during both of their glory years in Green Bay.
Online prices have been advertised from as low as $25 to as much as you want to pay. Bargains, relatively speaking, have presented themselves. The four I bought were $65 each even though the face value is $72. Three of the tickets are holiday gifts for friends and, yes, given the team'ês march toward a 3-13 season'ês record, it'ês pretty obvious that they'êre friends I must not like all that much.