Aug 24 / Rob

Friday Ramblings: Tickets, Tailgating, & Starting QBs

The NCAA held it’s special presale for FCS National Championship tickets Thursday morning. You might not know because apparently the email with the special code wasn’t ever delivered to plenty of people who registered weeks ago to receive it. The sale kicked off promptly at 11:00 a.m. EST. The email I received announcing it was time-stamped 10:40 a.m. I’d complain about it being late, but I didn’t even register to receive it this year. So, yeah, terrific process NCAA.

I did receive the code though. So I decided to login and see if I could scoop up tickets now, instead of potentially relying on Duke Club Priority Points down the road. The experience was less than stellar. First of all, the website froze. Repeatedly. As a reminder, it’s 2018. And as much as we love FCS Football, the demand for tickets isn’t exactly Hamilton-esque. I studied CIS back when COBOL was a requirement, but even I know that Frisco ticket demand shouldn’t bring a server to its knees.

Anyway, the hits kept on coming even after the website un-froze (melted?). I was able to get all the way to the point where I had to select seats. Yes, you read that right. I had to select seats. Instead of providing a “best available” option like every other online ticketing outlet has done since about 1998, I had to select my seats like I was fighting for an exit row on Delta.

If you’re confused as to why I’m describing what sounds like a convenient little feature, as a major nuisance, it’s because it didn’t work. At all. First, the website froze, because of course it did. Then, the simple act of holding the mouse while blood pumped through my veins apparently caused it to move enough to select another seat for me. Not a huge deal, except for the fact that the seat wasn’t immediately adjacent to my first one, so it set off virtual alarms. “Danger! Danger! Danger! You have selected orphaned seats. You’re breaking the system! Danger! Danger! Danger!” Maybe I don’t remember the exact content of the error message, but I remember that it was nearly impossible to cancel. I did cancel it eventually. And I managed to finally navigate Satan’s gift to UX design well enough to remove the orphaned seats, and finally select seats next to each other. So all is well that ends well. Except it didn’t end there. I clicked “checkout” and got the most needlessly glib error message I’ve ever received, “Oops. Other fans got your seats before you did.” So after the help desk at work replaced my computer that inexplicably had a hole in it the size of my right foot, I logged back in. And repeated the same process 4 or 5 more times. But it finally worked. So I’ve got Frisco tickets. Which is nice. Maybe the NCAA should get out of the ticket game and stick to things it does best, like screwing mid-major out of March Madness and handing out sham punishments to P5 programs.

In other news, the JMU QB battle rages on, but a few other CAA teams have named starters. Over in the lesser ‘burg, Jimmye Laycock named true sophomore Shon Mitchell the starter before the Tribe’s season opener against Bucknell. Mitchell started 3 games for the 2017 William & Mary Tribe team as a freshman. He didn’t look great, but that’s probably because he was starting for the 2017 William & Mary Tribe team. He’s crazy talented though and the prospect of him developing as a 3 year starter, has to make Tribe fans excited. He’s got as much upside as any Tribe football player, sorry, I mean “Tribe student athlete” as I can recall. He threw for 11,380 yards in high school. That’s not a typo. It is a Virginia state high school record.

And up in Newark, Danny “Punchable Face” Rocco named Pat Kehoe the starting QB. Kehoe is a redshirt junior who’s been the Blue Chickens 3rd stringer the past 2 seasons. He beat out J.P. Caruso (no relation to the Karate Kid) who started 6 games last year after transferring from Appy State, and Boston College transfer Darius Wade. We have no love for the Chickens, but there’s something kind of awesome about seeing a kid grind it out and eventually win a job like that.

Finally, JMU announced changes for gameday parking for the upcoming season. Godwin field being paved is the big headline, but the school also moved the student tailgate lot. Students will no longer be tailgating in the Upper Convo. Instead, the student tailgating section will be the R1 lot, by the old baseball stadium. Here’s the kicker though. Nobody will be allowed to enter the lot without a ticket to the game. Which is a bit of a change. On one hand, it kind of kills the party a bit,which is a complete bummer. On the other hand (my middle aged man hand), it kind of kills the part a bit, which is a completely rational and expected response after a few bad apples ruined things by reportedly throwing full cans of beer at innocent people who happened to walk about a bunch of over-served youngs who can’t handle their booze and probably had zero interest in JMU football to begin with. JMU has a history of “over-correcting” to make a point, and it’s likely that’s what happening here. Hopefully, the students and school find a happy medium where football loving ticketed students can be joined by their classmates who are more interested in the social element than the actual game. Until then though, expect a much more low key student tailgate section. Or expect a bunch more random students roaming through the alumni lots.


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  1. Mike in OHio / Aug 25 2018

    Looking forward to the start of the season next weekend. I only get to about 3 games a year and obviously do a more low key tailgate so big changes to tailgating rules don’t affect me too much, but I think the rule of having to have a ticket to the game to get into the student tailgate lot stinks. What’s wrong with just going to party a little bit even if one is not going to the game? And moving the student tailgate to a lot by the old baseball field also seems like an attempt to diminish it. typical college administrators’ response to a problem that was really minor. Nothing great about students or whomever was in their lot throwing beers at people just walking by but it probably did not take these measures to correct it. Go Dukes.

  2. Crysta / Aug 25 2018

    Sadly, the email telling me it was on came into my email at 10:50am Mountain Time. Which is…less than helpful. So when I logged in with my fancy code, I had two seats I could choose, both of which were handicapped seats and both (if I were that kind of person to choose handicapped accessible seats when I’m not in fact in need of them… … …) were refusing to be clicked on. I even refreshed and tried again. No dice.


  3. Rob / Aug 28 2018

    Yeah, Mike I think the school over-corrected with the student tailgate situation. They could have taken control of some of the craziness, without completely excluding students who want to socialize, but not go to the game.

  4. 2004 Duke / Aug 28 2018

    I really don’t like the fact that our first game is in 4 days and there isn’t a clear QB1.

  5. Rob / Aug 28 2018

    Same. Was really hoping one guy would take control and be getting all the first team reps by now.

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