[Editor's note: Eric L. is a Wizards fan, season ticket holder and a faithful reader of Truth About It.net ... and he's caught in a conundrum over whether to renew his season tickets for next season or not. Ted Leonsis, upon officially taking over ownership of the team, said:
"Full season ticket holders are the lifeblood of our company. And I will tell you that we need more full season ticket holders for the Washington Wizards. I will personally drive our full season ticket holders to games. I’ll mow lawns, I’ll wash cars. We are in this together. And while I can’t promise championships, I can sincerely and honestly tell you that what is in our control is making the game experience, the value and the way we treat our customers, the best in the plans."
As is evident, Eric's decision is crucial for all parties involved. So, read below what Eric has to say on the matter and help him decide via the poll at the bottom of this post. -Kyle W.]
Are you all in? (again?)
I am a 400-level season ticket holder; a passionate, if albeit, middle-class 30(ish) male who is old enough to remember Coach Wes Unseld leading the Bullets at the Capital Centre, but young enough to marvel at the progress and potential of John Wall. I’m a fan’s fan — I cheer the great plays, quietly pump my fist, and point out on-court observations like I’m Sam Cassell’s second assistant. I wear my season ticket lanyard over my Arenas Zephyrs Swingman Jersey (heavily discounted at retailers all over the DMV) and trudge up the escalators by the Gallery Place entrance to my home in 419. I have to remember my glasses or sometimes I feel like I’m watching the ’96 Pistons (white/slate blue is a real killer far away).
My support of the 2010-11 Washington Wizards has been received with ample curiosity by friends (why the Wizards?) and with great sympathy from coworkers (are you bored?). I’ve gotten amazing support from my loving girlfriend, who stands idly by while I carry out this this 41 game affair a few nights a week for six months.
Everyone at Monumental Sports and the Washington Wizards have been outstanding this year, and access to the players, coaches and scouts has never been greater. Off the court I feel very much a part of the rebuilding process that is happening here in Washington, as I’ve received the glossy 2011-12 renewal packet, featuring amped-up photos of Nick Young, John Wall, and JaVale McGee. Celebrations of great moments in franchise history adorn the inside pages — the promise of new uniforms for next year have me excited already. Increasingly, the ticket office is calling and the emails have been arriving…
Still, I have to ask myself: is a season ticket for the 2011-12 Washington professional basketball Wizards worth it?
41 games is a long commitment. Kiss Cams and Dance Cams are endless. Watching Andray Blatche make a Burrito at Chipotle every game is awful. I will have heard 41 different renditions of the National Anthem by the time the season is over. Sitting next to (insert opposing team) fans every game feels almost embarrassing. (“So you are here, for like, EVERY game?,” they ask.)
The whole experience is humbling. Sometimes I feel like I ebb and flow during the season like the players do. I show up to the arena and see how it’s working with my new teammates, giving daps and hugs to old friends when they have a road game in town. Every Washington Wizard I’ve met this season has been traded or waived. Every Wizard I liked from last year’s squad (including the Ghosts of Big Three and DeShawn Stevenson) were traded or signed elsewhere. I go to the Wizards website and I’m greeted with promos advertising the talents of Yi and Trevor Booker. It’s exhausting watching them lose game after game, waiting for the red-to-orange line metro train thinking about if only Nick got his shot going earlier or Andray stayed home in the post … driving home from the Vienna Metro I listen to Glenn Consor on the radio comfort the masses (masses?) of Wizard fans calling in, offering complex solutions to winning (like rebounding, passing, and shooting).
I wake up the next day and see I have another email update from the Wizards. I tap my finger on the keyboard, asking myself if I want to go through this all over again next season…
In a very un-LeBron like manner, what should I do?