Ticket Apps Just Can’t Provide Memories, Traditions

Nick Brown

November 17, 2023 at 10:59 pm.

When my father, the late Joe Brown, passed away, there was only one item that I wanted to inherit. No, it wasn’t anything of monetary value, an insurance check, the house I grew up in or his old truck – a 1975 International Harvester Travelall.

It was his ticket collection.

His tickets? My siblings scoffed, so without hesitation they were mine.

Nestled in the back of his closet, stuffed into a vintage binocular case were his college football tickets – remnants that my mother probably wondered why he didn’t just throw them away – but to me, they were priceless.

Florida State hosted Southern Miss 42 years ago. My dad never made hotel reservations. A Neil Diamond concert, Florida A&M’s Homecoming and FSU vs. USM made a hotel room in Tallahassee a hot commodity.

Joe Brown found us a room. We were able to see Southern Miss whip Florida State, 58-14. We traveled in the 75 Travelall. We would have probably had an easier time finding a room had we not detoured from Jackson, Ala. to Greenville, Ala., to watch a high school football player that he had heard about. It was Tommy Powell, who eventually signed with Auburn and played for Pat Dye. I think about this trip with my dad and brothers every time I look at the ticket stub.

You just cannot get those memories from an app, a web page or a ticket transfer site. Technology is a great thing – except when it’s not.

Take for instance, when I left my tickets on the front seat of my Jeep in the TJ Ribs parking lot in Baton Rouge. The pregame meal was so great that I forgot my tickets. Driving the wrong way down a one way street to make it back to Tiger Stadium in time for kickoff, I would not have to do that today, unless I left my phone or forgot my password. I wouldn’t have the memories. Still have the ticket though. Yes, I made it by kickoff.

Bear’s 315th win? I have the ticket! Vincent Jackson’s first touchdown was scored against Wake Forest. I have that ticket.

The ticket stub that holds the greatest memory for me was drawn by the late newspaper cartoonist Phil Neal. It was in 1978, Auburn vs. Georgia. (Seems like it was just yesterday!) – I woke up and put on Auburn jersey, No.31 – Fast Freddie Smith from Athens, Ala. and made it for breakfast. It was 200 miles from Jackson to Auburn. My dad said “Demus,” a name he often called me, “you aren’t going; I only have two tickets!”

He always told me he called me Demus after Nicodemus in the Bible. Nicodemus visited Jesus at night and it seemed I never went to bed! Truth be told, he didn’t want to call me Nick because my mom named me Nicholson after her side of the family.

I cried; then I cried some more. He left the room, and it seemed like a lifetime before he came back and said get in the car.

We drove all the way to Auburn and parked. He slammed the door and handed my brother and me two tickets. Somehow we managed to meet up at the car after the game. We did this without a cell phone, without an app or without any technology.

As we made our way home, my Dad said, “Demus, I’m glad you made the trip”

Yes, I still have all three tickets!

You just can’t get this from an app!

(Nick Brown is a radio host on KPCH 99.3 FM in Ruston, La., which is a Lindy’s Football Report network affiliate. He is an instructor at Ruston High School.)