Trade the “Game of Life” for a Real Game: Relax and Release

Sports can be a great release from the stress of the real world.  That is, unless you factor in the use of performance-enhancing drugs, criminal behavior by the athletes, incidents of cheating within the game, labor strife, or other things that mirror some not-so-good features of the game of life.  But putting these things aside you can find some solace and serenity in watching a good ol’ pitchers duel between Major League Baseball teams, a high-scoring football game, an action-packed hockey game, a hotly contested basketball game, etc. 

When thinking about watching games though here are a few “law and life” things to remember:

  • Be careful when attending games and be alert for flying balls, pucks, and other objects.  Click here for information on where liability lies when objects leave the playing surface.
  • Do NOT drink and drive.  It can be quite expensive for you and those that you affect. 
  • Do NOT speed or otherwise violate the traffic laws when driving to and from the games or other sporting-related events even if it is just to watch the game with family or friends.  Click here for information on whether and how to handle a traffic citation/ticket.
  • Be very, very, VERY careful in buying tickets from scalpers or individuals reselling tickets.  The best approach is to purchase your ticket(s) before you arrive at the game.  If you do not do this you may be better off spending your money at the box office.  Purchasing tickets from the “NEED TICKETS” people on the street as you walk to the game can lead to inconsistent results and may make you a real loser on gameday. 
  • Leave the drunkedness and belligerence at home.  It ruins the gameday experience for many and could get you tossed out of the game; possibly arrested.  Steelers v Cowboys...Go Steelers!
  • Watch your step and otherwise be careful.  The mere fact you are injured at a sporting event or on someone else’s property watching a game does not make the property owner automatically liable to compensate you for your injuries.  ADDITIONAL NOTE:  North Carolina has contributory negligence.  Click here for a briefing on what these things mean to you.
  • Take reasonable safety precautions.  Lock your vehicle and keep valuables out of view when you are not with your vehicle.  Check your surroundings.
  • Check your receipts and purchases carefully.  You are a consumer every time you make a purchase so don’t leave your head at home.  Point out any overcharges, mistakes, or other discrepancies at the point of sale if possible.  If this is not possible do it soon thereafter. 
  • Be patient and courteous.  Gameday traffic can be frustrating if you let it but why go down this road (no pun intended)?  If you anticipate traffic leave early but if you are caught in traffic do not panic.  Remember:  a key purpose of you going to the game or to watch the game is to avoid stress.

Enjoy the games and realize it is just entertainment—for you.  Sure the professional athletes get paid ridiculous sums of money to play but none of us spectators do so keep it all in perspective.  I love my Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New York Rangers but at the end of the game I have to get back to my busy life.  College athletes are students so they have to maintain a sense of balance to be well-rounded (and remain eligible to play).  My UNCG Spartans are slated to kick off fall sports in a few short weeks.  

To illustrate my point about relaxing and enjoying the gameday experience some of you may know the picture in this blog post is of me and one of my law school classmates, Isaiah, outside Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas in December 2012.  The picture was taken just before we went inside the mammoth venue to see my Pittsburgh Steelers face off against his Cowboys.  I could have been upset about the fact my luggage was accidentally taken by another traveler when I arrived in Dallas on Saturday night.  Inside was my Steeler jersey and my Steeler cap so I had no gear to wear to the game.  Further, I could have pitched a fit about the fact my Steelers essentially gifted the game to Dallas on a really bad interception thrown by Big Ben.  But why be short-sighted and quick-tempered?  The larger picture was I had a fantastic time with a long-time friend and got to see a part of the country I had never visited before.  Sure my Steelers fought hard yet lost in overtime but the gameday experience was a blast!

Whichever teams you follow be sure to relish the opportunity to enjoy the games and have some safe, clean fun.  Play ball!


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