Online Now 821

Column: BCS Title Game Or Bust

Securing a ticket to next month’s BCS National Championship has become merely a pipe dream for most Notre Dame and Alabama fans. According to a recent report in the Sun-Sentinel, which covers South Florida, ticket prices for the Jan. 7 matchup at Sun Life Stadium in Miami are breaking all sort of records, with average cost per ticket expected to surpass the $2,500 folks shelled out three weeks before last year’s Super Bowl.

Officials at StubHub.com said ticket prices should eclipse any other event offered in the history of the site by 25 percent. The average ticket price as of Monday was $1,912. According to the Sun-Sentinel piece, Notre Dame boosters filed more than 100,000 requests for the 17,000 tickets allotted to each program. Roughly 1,000 temporary seats will be added to the Miami Dolphins’ home stadium to boost capacity to around 73,230.

The only thing that might spark more interest in this game is if Led Zeppelin were to perform at halftime.

So what’s a fan to do? The people who spent their hard-earned cash to afford individual regular season tickets to Notre Dame games have no chance of watching the battle versus the Tide for what could be the first Fighting Irish national title since 1988.

Plenty of diehard supporters told me via Twitter that they’d do a number of things to attend the game — all but one person was actually serious:

@theiphonerules: “I would have voted for mitt Romney for #NotreDame BCS tix.”

@MUSK_209: “I am thinking of getting on a Plane. I do not fly!”

@cushman_24 “I was born w/ 1 kidney. W/O doing any research at this point to what a life of dialysis would be like, I might sell my kidney.”

@KyleBiggs: “terrible, unforgivable things.”

@jasonclark28c: “put my parents in a nursing home, kiss every member of the team! Run my best friend over!”

This guy certainly deserves to go, but it’s not going to happen.

@jessezunke: “did 4 deployments in support of OEF/OIF. Fallujah, Haditha, purple heart = field pass. <-not above [playing] this card in this case.”

That’s a card that should never expire.

Of course, some wouldn’t even consider going even if it were possible for them to do so.

@JCCarnz: “Nothing is worth those prices! Smh”

But to others, like Middle Tennessee State University freshman Justin Ware, no amount of money is too much for an experience he’ll never forget. That’s why, when Notre Dame kept winning, Ware told his father, Thomas, that if the Irish made it to the title game, he’d sell his truck to get to Miami.

It’s a nice ride, too, and he’s only had it for four months. Thomas Ware just laughed at his son. That is, until the Irish topped USC in the regular season finale and the 18 year old posted an advertisement on Craigslist.com a couple days later. It can be found here.

Justin and Thomas Ware made an annual trip to South Bend and watched Notre Dame beat BYU.

Anyone interested in a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado? It’s pewter, powered by a 5.4-liter Vortec V8 engine, features 20-inch chrome wheels and an eight-inch touchscreen radio. Justin’s asking $10,000, but he’ll take the best offer (and he’s received a few already).

“All year long we’ve been undefeated,” Ware said. “I promised my dad, ‘If they go the national championship game, I’m going somehow.’ He always thought I was kidding.

When they won the last game against USC, I put my truck up for sale. I’ve had some offers; as soon as I get the one I want it’s gone.”

What his father didn’t know until now is that Justin plans on purchasing two championship game tickets, two round-trip flights and a room for two in Miami.

“I want to get at least $10,000 out of it,” Ware said. “Once I do, I’m going to get his ticket. That’s going to be his Christmas present for about the next three or four years.”

Four years? How about forever?

“Yeah, probably,” Ware admitted. “It is my baby; I probably wash it more than I wash myself.”

The expected cost of the total trip is around $8,000, which would leave Ware a couple grand for a down payment on a new vehicle. But if he were to blow the entire 10 grand, he’s at peace with that.

“I’m not going to lie; if I don’t have a dime leftover after it I will be completely fine,” he said. “But they have to win this game.”

His college buddies think Ware’s nuts; they don’t understand or appreciate the sacrifice for one game.

“They just don’t have any idea how much I love my Irish,” Ware said. “They’re No. 3 on my priority list, second to God and my country.”

Ware lives about a block from campus, so he’s not afraid to get his “lazy butt up and walk every now and then.”

“If that doesn’t work, I’m going to have to start selling a whole bunch more stuff.”

At least ask for a loan from pops; he’s going to owe you.

Already have an account? Sign In