Welcome to My Nightmare

Dave Brandon woke up in a cold sweat.  Was it real?  Did it really happen?  Yes, he had ignored Sailboat Bill‘s crowning moment of stupid heresy and scheduled Appalachian State for a redux. Yes, he too went for the seemingly easy dollars of a 1-AA cupcake school as a 2014 home opponent, without even looking at whether the cupcake was made from glass shards and live piranhas – like Appy State last time (2007).

But that was for sure in real life.  This felt different.  Dave felt like he was seeing glorious Michigan Stadium through the eyes of some random fan.  It looked different, too – there was a crescent  tier of upper deck seating down one side line and around one end zone, like a larger, less ugly Soldier Field. The tier entirely shaded the original bowl underneath; the luxury sky boxes were gone. Dave’s heart skipped a beat at seeing that, then he somehow realized that the preferred seat licenses fees must have been increased to compensate for those lost dollars. The new upper tier seats undoubtedly included a solar premium surcharge on both the PSLs and the dynamically priced single game tickets.

Now Dave would have an extra 50,000 screaming Michigan fans to fleece, their pockets bursting with $.  Time to bump water up to $10 a bottle, and re-ban seat cushions (in favor of selling a 6″ x 9″ sheet of anti terrorist bubble wrap seat cushion – $12 each when you buy two).  All these dollars coming in.  Dave started to feel stirrings, uh, down there.  It’s was the strip club business model***, legitimized by the Michigan “Wow” factor.

***If a customer leaves with even $1 in their pocket, you failed, and heads will roll. As it were.

The surging suddenly died, like he had accidentally imagined his ex-wife naked and slathered in flour.  The game was underway, but there was no TV coverage.

“Oh heavens!  How can I maximize brand penetration by monopolizing the media footprint to oversaturation minus 1 without at least BTN coverage,” he thought, while trying to drown out the piped-in generic RAWK music the focus groups had settled on.

Then, it got worse.  Dave (as this generic fan) surveyed the stands.  There were probably 10 or 20 thousand people there watching the game.

Karma:  Even worse Dave, they’re trying to move to better seats without paying the $100 relocation convenience fee.
Dave: The Horror, the horror.
MGoBlog: No, Appy State is the Horror.
Dave:  WTF?  Did we finally reach “peak 0il surcharge”?  Did greed force a move on the demand curve from Supply minus 1 to Supply+130,000?  Did we accidentally switch the regular turkey legs with golden goose legs and not notice we killed it?   Naah, must just be MDOT fucking up the roads to get here and not telling anybody.  Or the finale of “Pants off Dance off” or something and TiVo is offline.

Dave was suddenly relieved that there were no TV cameras after all.  Officially, Michigan had filled the stadium for EVERY home game since 1975 or so.  (Just pretend that 1987 Minnesota did not happen.  Or the Rich Rodriguez years.) For his own use with Mistress Wanda and her rods of obedience, he wanted to document this low attendance phenomenon.  He reached for his camera, but it wasn’t there, thanks to the new 0.1″ or shorter limit on camera lenses.

He reached for his phone and snuck down to the lower bowl.  The aisle doors were locked.  And, he did not have the right ticket to even look through the glass if security noticed him.

“Dammit.  I wish I was me in this vision. Rules are for customers; I am a visionary.”

So, it was off to the end zone seats, slinking along the rows, jumping from section to section, rather than walking the concourse and risking a confrontation with a ticket checker.  Once there, he pulled out his Michigan (R) branded special edition Samsung BFG9000, the official phone of the Wolverines, and the only phone immune to the EMP emitters placed throughout the stadium to discourage bloggers and other fee-avoiding criminals.

Any other use of this telecast or of any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the AD’s consent, is prohibited. ”  We take that shit seriously. – Dave Brandon

Dave whipped out the bfg and logged into @DollarDave on Instagram.  He clicked the shutter.  Instead of a realtime picture of the nearly empty stadium, the phone opened up a googlemaps bird’s-eye view of an empty stadium in winter.  Dave pounded the camera on a bench to teach it to respect the process.  The image updated to a google map shot of a full stadium.  Instead of this sunny August day, with the team beating down a weaker opponent, it was some gray november rainy slopfest of a game.

No matter.  Dave had seized control of all the images broadcast from the stadium with haterware and electronic hobgoblins. He had managed the brand messaging like Gene Simmons  on Celebrity Apprentice.  He could defeat those goddamn bloggers, and preserve the lie of full stadiums and happy, if penniless, fans.  After all, without “(officially licensed) pics, it didn’t happen.”

Then Dave woke up, and started brainstorming the next “Wow” factor.  Dancing robot wolverines?  A M-shaped ferris wheel?  How much could we charge?  Fantasizing about the dollar bills pouring into the vault, Dave was now Scrooge McDuck.  He dove into the treasure, as he again drifted off to sleep, grateful that the horrific vision of fan revolt and empty stadiums was probably just the bad dream aftereffects of too many official Michigan corn dogs last night.

Or was it…

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