GO JETS!

Today is one of the most exciting days in New York Football history. I am a lifelong Giants fan. My father had Giants season tickets for years and years, before the new Corporate Stadium was built. When he appraised me that he was getting rid of the tickets, I was stunned.

We had premium seats: Mezzanine. About the 37 yard line, behind the Giants bench. If there was weather, we were covered. Even the wind didn’t seem to fuss too much with that location. It was windy, just about 25 mph less than on the field. I remember going there when the seats were $40.00, maybe $45.00. I remember $55.00. Then I remember it creeping up over the years. I think they were $95.00 just a few years ago. $115.00 just last season.

“You can’t get rid of the tickets, Dad!”

This proclamation peeled no skin off my teeth. It wasn’t my expense. My part was simply to go to the games and enjoy the seats. I did such an amazing job at this – over a tremendously long period of time – I just couldn’t believe my father was firing me. I had the perfect ass for those seats.

“There is a PSL,” my father told me. “What is a PSL?” I asked. “A Personal Seat License.” He said. “They are really building up the value of the PSL.”

We had 4 seats. Years ago, when no one would go to the game, the seats would be empty. In the past few years all that changed, and dad sold the seats. He was only out the cost of the games the family attended. Rising prices had been offset by the ability to sell any unused tickets. The PSL was a real slap in the face for Jet and Giant ticket holders. This wake up call was comparable to being dropped into an ice fishing hole from REM sleep.

“How much is the PSL?” I asked. I had to know what we were talking about. I was determined to find a way to keep those tickets. “$15,000.00 per ticket,” dad said. “whaaaat?” I said, mulling over and grappling with the significance and value of my attendance at these games. “Every season?” I asked, not fully understanding the concept. “No,” he said, “It is a one time fee. You own the right to those seats, and when you buy the tickets, you purchase the right to sell them. If they go up in value, you stand to make a profit. That is how they have hyped this thing, anyway.”

‘Okay, okay.’ I thought. ‘I need to figure this out.’ That is $60,000.00 for our seats. We could turn a profit, but I need to figure out how to hold onto them first, then worry about the rest, later.

“The seats have gone up too.” Dad added. “How much?” I asked, knowing that a 30-50% increase was likely going to come in the package. “$500.00 per seat.”

Suddenly, my brain burst open. This produced an oozing of words into the phone:

“Dad, you can’t sell the seats.” I said.

I knew he heard me the first time. I was hearing him, but had no capacity for comprehension. I would have to sit on this one for a few days in order to secure the tickets, but the future was bleak. This is like being in the Panhandle of Florida, with an enormous hurricane 150 miles out. Dad was doing what any reasonable man would do: He was getting out of there, and finding the shores of safety far, far away. I would arrive at this decision, but not before the winds began howling louder.

“So that is 8 games, every year, plus 60k?” I said, thinking out loud. Thinking Out Loud is an annoying habit I inherited from him. When people visit the Daley household, my father and I can get awfully flustered as the guests simply start conversing with our thoughts. On the one hand this is convenient. Dad answered my thought which, having made it’s way out my throat without thinking, was now airborne and responding to his thoughts: “The problem is, they sell you the 2 preseason games, which nobody wants to go to, and are impossible to sell,” he thought. As Dad’s thoughts reached into my eardrums, I said, “4 tickets at $500.00 per ticket is $2000.00 Per Game. 10 games at this price is $20,000.00 per year.

“That’s FUCKING CRAZY!” I screamed. Or perhaps I just thought it.

The Giants were telling us – season ticket holders for well over a quarter century – that we needed to shell out 60 thousand dollars. This was merely a downpayment. This gives us the privilege of spending 20,000.00 per year, every year. Nothing else comes with it. That is it, down to brass tacks.

Why not just buy available tickets at 10 grand per game, and go twice a year? That saves 60 thousand dollars, and relieves you of the responsibility for losing money every year. I finally knew my quest was over when I came to this realization: If Dad paid the PSL, and said ‘the tickets are yours,’ I would say, “I don’t want them!” Season Tickets – at this price point – hold very little value. They are a liability.

Does the Giant Brass think their ticket holders are desperately trying to find more ways to spend money?

In 1986, Dad got tickets to the Super Bowl in Pasadena. He and my mother sat close to the field. I sat with Jim Windhorst at the back of the stadium, in the corner of the endzone. I stood up the entire game. I was happy when the volume of the crowd corresponded with the blue uniforms congregating in the end zone. Every once in a while I see a play from this game on TV. I used to gloat about being there. Now I just watch, having never seen the plays.

Having season tickets was great. I can say without blinking: It was a very good run.

If the Jets win today, they will be headed to the Super Bowl. The last time that happened, Joe Namath was the quarterback. Many people don’t know who he is, others only know the legend of Joe Willie Namath. The Jets looked really good the last 2 weeks. Mark Sanchez doesn’t have the stats of an elite quarterback, but he makes enough plays at the right time to win games.

Every great quarterback eventually acquires statistical superiority. Along that road, they need only amass victories. Mark Sanchez is a winner, and this Jets team is quite spirited. I am more excited than I would be if the Giants were in it right now. That is because I have had the good fortune of smelling the bouquet, and tasting success. The Jets haven’t been there since the early 70’s. They have worked hard, and they deserve it.

GO JETS!

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Faith & Love

Let’s kill the mother f***er who has the gall to love us.

I was pushed into Catholicism – at 7:30 AM mind you – from a very early age. I was forced into St. Mary’s Catholic School on North Street in Greenwich, against my will. That lasted one semester. After a brief hiatus at GHS, I was in college and free from the confines of organized religion. I was not to return until age 37, when I met Father Gene, and subsequently got married in a Catholic Church. Father Gene re-established my faith, and even made me feel good about Catholicism. He retired a few months ago, and I am struggling with my religion, once again. The Catholic Church is so full of scandal that it is hard to feel any sort of loyalty to it.

But my loyalty is not to the Church. It is to the faith. I share my faith in Jesus with my wife, Taryn. I share my religion and faith with my daughter, (though my wife insists our beliefs are really Protestant.) Father Gene believes the semantics don’t matter.

Protecting priests who sodomize children has transcended the church: this is Catholic Legend. This is Sickness in Motion. This practice is so far removed from The Message, it reams the sphincter of Christian consciousness. The covert sexual conduct of Priests – and the Church protecting them – is not indicative of The Faith.

I have faith in Christ, and I attend Catholic service. My attendance does not make me a supporter of these actions. Paying taxes is not the manifestation of my support for the government’s actions, or their use of the funds garnished from my labor. There is a marked difference, though: Unless you regard jail time as a valid option, taxes are not optional. Church attendance is. So sue me.

A Jihad is not right, but neither is bombing those who are wrong. Warring factions are always – without exception – misinformed. The Jihadi might claim to be ‘warriors of God’, but misinterpretation of The Word can be found almost anywhere. The back of cereal boxes isn’t worthy of worship. Contributing to the demise of mankind isn’t what God had in mind.

“If what Jesus said was good, what can it matter if he was God or not?” -Kurt Vonnegut

‘Love your neighbor’, is hard to resist. But Jesus didn’t stop there. Jesus implores us to love our enemies. While we can’t expect such conduct to come easily to our mortal minds, this is what he asked of us.

Perhaps Jesus doesn’t understand the circumstances. Maybe it isn’t the right tact. We need to seek out, mutilate, and destroy our enemies! When the US levied missiles on hallowed ground, hatred fueled the fire.

Fighting love is a bit more daunting. The more you fight the more you lose. Eventually the walls of resistance always come down. It is just not possible to hate love forever. As my wife said: “The problem with hatred is that it ruins you.” Whenever we hate the haters we become our own worst enemy. It is like we have become suicide bombers of our own psyche.

At the root of any conflict is an internal struggle. Whenever you engage in conflict, you become conflicted. However, once grounded in your beliefs, the power of conflict evaporates like mist in the summer sun.

I recently watched a movie (available on Netflix) which was titled, ‘Lord save us from your followers’. I agree with the basic premise wholeheartedly. Followers mostly muddy up the message.

War is nothing less than a constant kindling of conflict. Peace is insupportable within these parameters. Supporting our troops became synonymous with supporting the war, early on. Oddly, there are many who want to defeat our ‘enemies’ so badly, they will pray for Jesus to give us the strength to drain them of their lifeblood.

Alas, Jesus never got the memo.

We are separated from our enemies through consciousness, and nothing more. Try as you might, you will never overcome that basic fact. When hatred reigns, you lose. That is why loving your enemies is the only possibility for resolution. Retribution never creates resolution. Even if you are victorious in battle, you have lost the best part of yourself.

Our political system is fatally flawed. It interferes with itself too much. Both parties try desperately to out duel the other. During a campaign run there is no scraping the bottom of the barrel. Political runs are good ol’ American Ugliness at it’s finest.

I have never been a believer in UFOs, at least insofar as spaceships from another planet are concerned. My reasoning is simple: Why are they only in the air? Why don’t they land? Still, if there is life on another planet – which creates ships able to cross galaxies – one thing is for certain: They are peaceful. They have managed to become an advanced civilization for one reason and one reason only. They did not destroy themselves. That could never happen on the little blue ball we inhabit unless we change our ideology.

We need to be warriors of peace, first and foremost. Perhaps Our Government needs to ask: What will bring us closer to peace? Only when peace is the goal do you ask the questions which resolve in peace. If peace is not the goal, we need to overhaul our government. We must insist on peace. It is the only resolution which will sustain our lives – not just for the moment – but for generations to come. The Mystery doesn’t lie in the White House.

Bruce Cockburn said: “You can’t be attached to the outcome of your efforts. Chances are you won’t live to see it, even if there is an outcome.”

Jesus died on the cross, saying “Forgive them Father, they know not what they’ve done.”

Love always wins, whether we are around to see it or not.