Post-turkey retirement ruminations
A new homeowner tax break on the horizon?

Hooray for the team

I skipped posting yesterday. Some post-Thanksgiving clean-up, some pre-Christmas preparations, but mostly just vegging out and watching stray college football games on TV. Our school, Texas Tech, had the weekend off, but we wanted to see how the Bowl Championship Series dominoes fell to get an idea of where and against whom the Red Raiders will go bowling. Personally, I think this whole BCS deal is wack. You can definitely count me among those who think BCS is one letter too many.

I miss the classic Rose, Orange, Sugar and Cotton Bowl match-ups, where decades-old rivalries were played out with collegiate enthusiasm. Then enthusiasm for the big bucks replaced tradition and the BCS was born. Of Cotton_bowl_cropped_2course, I still mourn the demise of the Southwest Conference, even though the Red Raiders were perennial Red Faders and never quite made it into the Cotton Bowl as conference champs during my lifetime. In 1939 they got there as champs, but lost to Saint Mary’s of California. They went back post-BCS formation in 1995, losing this time to Southern Cal. College Football News says Tech will make it to the Cotton Bowl for a third time on Jan. 2, 2006, to face Alabama and we’ll find out whether a good offense can defeat a good defense.

If that match-up does hold true, we’re well within driving distance of the game. We probably won’t go, however, for several reasons. First, we’ve yet to buy heavy winter coats, having spent the last six years in South Florida, so unless Santa brings us the appropriate outerwear, we’re not going to be equipped to endure a Dallas January day. Secondly, we’re addicted to TV replays, easily accessible bathrooms and beers that are much lower-priced than those hawked by stadium vendors. Thirdly, a four-hour drive home is a bummer if your team loses. And finally, the cost of special event tickets like Bowl games is outrageous. According to the Cotton Bowl’s Web site, all sideline seating is sold out, but some end zone seating is still available … at $80 a pop. Go Red Raiders, but no thanks!

We possibly could get a better deal (including travel and hotel) if we found a travel agent who puts together sports travel packages. These arrangements, according to the San Francisco Business Times, are becoming increasingly popular among hardcore alumni.

Or if the Tech-’Bama gridiron battle doesn’t turn out to be as popular as the schools and BCS officials hope, we might even could pick up a pair of tickets a bit cheaper in the parking lot from someone who bought too many ducats. I confess; we’ve bought scalper tickets before, but it was a World Series game so we happily overpaid then for the in-stadium viewing privilege. 

There’s one other way to get a price break on sporting event tickets … wait for it … you know it’s coming … write off part of the cost on your tax return. Of course, this only applies if you use the tickets to entertain a business client. I’m working for myself now, but I don’t think I could or want to try to convince an IRS auditor that taking my husband to our alma mater’s football game was a necessary business expense. So come Jan. 2, we’ll just crank up the fireplace, hunker down on our couch and sing “Fight, Raiders, Fight” after every touchdown from the comfort of our den.


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