Charlie And The Ticket Factory

Since arriving in College Station, I had been on the search for one thing.

A Golden Ticket.

With September 14th getting closer and closer, I knew that my time was running out. Fast.

I had acquired tickets to the other Texas A&M games through the university. But an Alabama ticket was always one that I had no guarantee of getting because the demand was so high.

For example, Forbes Magazine last week wrote that the A&M-Alabama game was projected to be one of the most expensive and sought after tickets of all time.

Gulp.

Twenty-four hours before the game, tickets on Stubhub were averaging at $863. A pretty big drop in the ocean for a football game in the soaring Texas sun.

However, I hadn’t travelled five thousand miles to miss arguably the biggest sporting occasion in Aggies history and a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Immediately after touching down in Houston over two weeks ago, I decided that I’d try and get peace of mind by getting a ticket to the game as early as possible.

I’d ask people all around if they knew someone with a ‘spare’. That question would always be met with laughs and the same old response: ‘No, good luck with finding one’.

Occasionally, you would get the odd person who’d say that their dad’s brother’s best friend’s fiancée’s new dog may have one. I was at rock bottom.

All was not lost though. Late last week, the ticket God’s looked down favorably on me and I had a message that there could well be light at the end of the tunnel.

I was put in touch with someone that was about 60-70% sure that a ticket would be available.. and not at a wallet-shattering price of $800.

The drawback was I’d have to wait a gruelling 48 hours to find out if the ticket was actually for sale. Being brutally honest, I had no other options – so I was happy to wait it out and hope for the best.

The 48 hours passed. Not a sausage. I began to worry and started cursing myself for wasting 48 hours when I could have been exploring other options. I was close to giving up and had already chosen what sports bar I’d likely watch the game at.

With only two more days until the game, the dude that said he may have a ticket finally got in touch. It was good news.

We quickly arranged to meet in a supermarket parking lot. Not the classiest of places for such an event, but I wasn’t complaining. As long as he had the ticket, it could have been in the middle of Alaska for all I cared.

At our rendezvous, all I knew was that he was going to be wearing a grey t shirt. I had got to the supermarket at the agreed time and waited with bated breath.

A few minutes went by. I got twitchy.

Finally though, I clocked this mysterious grey t shirted ticket seller and hesitantly greeted him. He passed me the ticket, my legs wobbled with joy.

I passed over the cash. If any police were about, they would have probably suspected us for dealing drugs. But no, the only thing we were dealing was sporting euphoria.

I was lucky enough to attend the biggest college football game of 2013 and it certainly lived up to the hype.

The Aggies may have lost, and I may have been surrounded by Alabama fans (the reason it was so cheap) but at least I can say that I was there.

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