I Want My Quarter Back


I Want My Quarter Back

Every headline I read lately that has to do with parking also has to do with football. It’s just that time of year. My husband’s college football-watching habits have escalated to excessive proportions, and he has resorted to promising our bored children he will buy them ice cream if his team wins. They still don’t have an interest in the game itself, but they are pretty invested in the outcome.
Apparently, that’s enough for him, poor man.
I only ever watch football, live or on television, for the food. I can say that about a lot of activities, including weddings, baby showers, baseball games and campouts, but definitely football.
My spouse tries to involve me in the game by narrating plays and offering background details on the coach, uniforms, strategy and statistics. It’s really sweet, but so misguided.
He tells me the rules, and I tell him, “I know what a touchback is, I just don’t care.” Then he tells me the life story of the tight end on the opposing team. I ask him to name my favorite flower, and then he stops talking.
It’s not all bad; he enjoys a good plate of shredded beef nachos with homemade salsa, and so do I. Even if I’m not a great fan, I am a terrific caterer, and I like to think that makes up for my lack of enthusiasm over the quarterback’s passing totals.
Most of the football headlines I’m seeing fall under the following categories: Parking is too expensive; too scarce; too disorganized; too hard to find; and, my favorite, taken over by tailgaters. Enjoy a few samples:

Pregame adjustments: ‘Ole Miss’ limiting game-day parking
The Clarion-Ledger
Last year, parking desperation led to total parking anarchy, and the solution at “Ole Miss,” in Oxford, was to allow only those who live in residence halls and those with season parking passes to park on-campus during games. The flower beds can’t take another year like last year.

Pre-paid parking at Sun Life Stadium sold out ahead of Miami-Florida game
Sun Sentinel
Pre-paid parking is the only way to go for big games at this stadium in Miami Gardens, FL, which is home field for the NFL Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami Hurricanes. Without it, you’re going to pay extra and park farther away.

Street parking restricted for Husky Stadium football games in Seattle
It’s your basic move to control the crowds. At the University of Washington, fans are directed to plan ahead for parking and make do with the Seattle Department of Transportation’s added restrictions on game-day parking along city streets.

2013 Florida Tech Football ‘Tailgating Guide’
A six-page document released by Florida Tech’s Athletics Department shares the rules and regulations of tailgating at the school’s Melbourne campus. Specifically, guests are welcome to gather in designated areas, where they are free to drink (except for keg beverages) and cook out, but not over an open flame. Concessions will be available and activities for children provided. Seems fair.

UA permit holders asked to park elsewhere during
football games
Daily Wildcat.com
The University of Arizona, at Tucson, Parking and Transportation Services is asking zone-specific permit holders not to use their designated parking zones during football games. This one seems a little dodgy, as well as unenforceable. I don’t think the Supreme Court will be needed to rule on the indefensibility of this policy.
 It’s tradition: Wolfpack’s tailgating faithful like to hit parking lot at halftime
(Raleigh, NC) NewsObserver.com
Apparently, the NC State University Wolfpack nation likes tailgating better than the football games. This story quotes NCSU Football Coach Dave Doeren practically begging fans to be in their seats at Carter-Finley Stadium In Raleigh “at the start of the third quarter and to stay put through the end of the game.”
Fans are given “pass outs” that allow them to leave the stadium at halftime and return anytime they want. So, many head out for another round or sit in their cars with the AC on to cool off. I guess the parking lot has more to offer than the football team.
Other popular themes about football and parking include people mad about parking, residents mad about football fan parking, people mad about parking prices, and stadiums mad about tailgaters trashing their parking lots.
What I say to them is, “Have some nachos – it’s all part of the game, folks. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

Melissa Bean Sterzick is Parking Today’s proofreader, occasional writer and amateur parker. She can be reached at Melissa@parkingtoday.com.


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Melissa Bean Sterzick
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