A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about that certain refined segment of the American population that has been portrayed in numerous TV commercials; namely, those who get luxury cars with red ribbons in their driveways for Christmas. Surely this must be a rarified and elite group of people, a special collection of moneyed individuals, most of whom I’ve never known.

I’ve since discovered something that makes the above seem rather cheap and chintzy.

Four weeks from this weekend, America and much of the world will be tuned in to the biggest hypefest known to modern man – a huge marketing opportunity disguised as a sporting event, one even more shameless than the Tostitos B(C)S College Football Alleged Championship. Gird your loins, because it’s almost time for the Super Bowl!

Like many of you, I’ve watched more than a few of these championship games. And, like many of you, I’ve often appreciated the quality of the advertising more than the quality of the game itself. (A few years ago, I had turned my gaze away from the TV at the precise moment of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” and missed that game’s highlight.) I have even sometime wondered what it would take to see one of these games in person.

It turns out that the only correct answer is An Amazing Amount of Money. I never would have imagined just how much, however. Remember when ticket scalping was illegal? Some would say that it still is, but only for you and me. If you’re an official ticket reseller like StubHub, or you’re Ticketmaster and want to start your own scalping service called TicketExchange, then ticket scalping is totally legal.

So, keeping that in mind, you really want to go to Super Bowl XLV? So-called “cheap seats” in the upper corner, approximately 4.5 blocks away from the action on the field, are available for the low price of just over $2,000 per ticket. Fear not, o distant observer: the huge HD JumboTrons at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium will let you watch the entire game on their in-house, closed-circuit TV system (sort of like you were watching from home)…

The real Big Spenders will want to spend their Super Experience observing from the comfort and safety of a suite or skybox. That way, a person can eat and drink and watch the game on TV (just like at home) while still actually being there. Get ready for a little sting, however: suite tickets (I’m not making this up) are going in the six-figure range. There’s a single seat in the Hall of Fame Suites going for, and again, I’m not making this up, $587,074.00 (plus the ticket pickup fee of $15.00).

That’s not a misprint. Nearly $600,000 for one ticket to one football game.


I suppose that we as a society should be grateful that people who can afford to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on a football game live amongst the rest of us mere mortals. The infusion of their cash into our economy means that NFL owners can hobnob with politicians who will vote to commit tax dollars to building bigger stadiums… NFL players can afford to have their kids chauffeured to private schools from their homes in gated communities… and that the janitors who clean the stadium restrooms can still earn their $7.25 an hour. Can you hear the trickling?

Turk Coury, 1941-2010
It is with sadness that I note the passing of a local entertainment legend, Thomas D. “Turk” Coury, Jr., who died on Christmas Eve. I first met Turk when I had just arrived in Marathon, some 27 years ago (he and his good friend Dave Scott were the entertainers who drew the big crowds back in the early 1980s and beyond). There are some good musicians and singers out there, but not as many good entertainers. Turk was legendary for his ability to keep an audience entertained and for having as good a time as his crowd did. More than almost anyone I’ve ever known, Turk lived life to its fullest. Turk was a nonstop, 24/7, adrenaline-soaked kick in the pants, and those of us who knew him will always have our stories and our memories.

His energy and joie de vivre still make it impossible for me to think of Turk as gone; I still think he’s spending time entertaining the crowds in his other adopted home state, Alaska, or perhaps near his home in the Berkshires. Turk waged a long battle with cancer, but he never seemed to let it get him down. The last time I saw him, he was in great spirits and still ready to take on the world.

When Dave Scott posted the sad news about Turk on his Facebook page, there were a lot of R.I.P. wishes and messages. I couldn’t help but think that wherever Turk is now, he’s probably not doing a lot of resting. If heaven was short on parties and good times, I think they have a new social director. Party on, Turk.

Turk’s ashes will be scattered by the Kenai River in south central Alaska, the Florida Keys, and in Connecticut.

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