These fiscally trying times force fans everywhere to make hard decisions with regard to rooting. Your Yankee blood runs deep blue. How do you show it without taking a fourth mortgage? Inspired by rz and YF’s comments about it being “hard and expensive” (cue Michael Scott) to be a Yankee booster, I have compiled a few helpful tips for The Frugal Fan.
1. Don’t buy first-run jerseys. As special as you may have felt to have been sporting the number 45 across your back at your office on opening day in 2005, think how much farther that money would have taken you if you had invested in something with a higher resale value, like crack, or untraceable handguns. Instead, look for factory seconds such as this mint-condition Gary Scheffield Tee. Better yet, take matters into your own hands with your best white undershirt and a blue sharpie.
2. Listen to the game on radio while watching local youth soccer. Sure, watching on a new flat panel with the Extra Innings package is fantastic, and nothing beats being at the game, but for most people we are talking a sum of money that falls somewhere between one and most of a year’s paychecks. This alternative requires a measure of determination and imagination. Wear a long, dark coat and knit cap to fend off the elements, plant yourself in the high corner seat of the bleachers at the closest junior high far away from other spectators, put on your headphones, and listen to the dulcet tones of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. If you stare intently for a long enough duration at the kids on the pitch while tuned to WCBS, you will eventually find yourself magically transported to right field of Yankee Stadium. Consider taking a few pictures as a keepsake of your outing. Curious adults such as coaches, parents, and local law enforcement may come by wondering what you are doing. Don’t let them break your concentration, not even to let them know you are saving money. If they persist, leave quickly saying nothing and find another game.
3. Take up following a new sport. A surprisingly popular and affordable one is spectating seniors as they walk their laps at the mall before the shops open. Go by yourself at first, and learn how to handicap the “loopies”. After your research is done, start inviting friends, bring along a fifth of cheap vodka to pass, and book bets. Now you are making money. For extra fun, get there extra early (I know, it’s hard; think of it like you are going to check out batting practice) and dump a bottle of canola oil on the floor.
These are just a few ideas on how you can be a fan without breaking the bank, and perhaps even net some coin in the process. Good luck with your saving!