A few weeks ago at a friend’s wedding, I was asked by an engaged couple what wedding planning advice I had. Frankly, I was stumped (although I was able to stumble through a few generic answers). I think it was partially because for my wedding I basically handed the reins over to my mom to pick out everything besides the dude, but it’s mostly because I’ve never really been to a wedding and been all that critical. You have a pretty consistent template, and all the details in between have never been catered to me, so why does it matter what I think? As long as the bride and groom are happy, I’d consider it a successful wedding (if you are catering to me, though, free champagne).
With all that being said, when I found out there was a couple getting married on the field before the Broncos-Colts Thursday Night Football game we were going to, I had to raise my eyebrows a touch. Seriously, I’m not judging them on the location, because I would have considered it had I had the means and connections, but couldn’t they have picked a better game? Yikes. Jokes on me, though, since the Colts gave them tickets to the Super Bowl as a wedding gift. It would have been a for sure yes from me, regardless of the game, if I’d known there were Super Bowl tickets involved.
Now that I think of it, maybe that should have been my advice to the engaged couple. Get married at an NFL stadium right before a game. You might get Super Bowl tickets.
It’s oftentimes hard for fans to remember that behind the games we love to attend and watch, professional sports (and I would even argue college sports) are a business. Everyone involved from the owners all the way down to the stadium workers and anyone in between make decisions every day that may not be in the best interest of the fans. Even the athletes aren’t immune to this. I still remember my heartbreak when Jacoby Ellsbury left for the Yankees after the Red Sox 2013 title. But he made the decision that was best for him- he’s got paid way too much to be average to below average, and way more than the Red Sox knew he was worth (apologize for the cheap shots, I may still not be over it).
We got to see some of that heartbreak firsthand during our first night in Indianapolis. It was the first return of Paul George, who had been their superstar for years before demanding a trade. The Pacers begrudgingly obliged and traded him to the Thunder in return for a couple of relatively unproven players: Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. The narrative immediately after the trade was pretty close to unanimous that the Pacers had gotten the short end of the deal, but Oladipo had been a pleasant surprise in his increased role and was thriving in the state where he went to college. The Thunder superstars, on the other hand, hadn’t quite figured out how they could all coexist. Even so, the Indianapolis fans were none too pleased with the man they used to love, and we couldn’t wait to help them show their displeasure!
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.