My husband, Matt, and I enjoy going to Ohio State football games (and basketball, volleyball, and baseball, for that matter). He goes to football games once or twice a season and each time it is an event in our house.  Whether the game is home or away, we get to the designated stadium early enough to watch the band make its entry.  We check our seat numbers, double check them and then wait for the big squeeze of all the people in our row.

          Sports arena builders allocate 12 full inches for each individual butt. This means sitting sideways, sitting forward or backward depending on what the person next to you is doing, and sometimes having someone’s leg rest on your own for several hours. We always hope that there’s so much scoring and defense from our team that we spend most of the event standing and cheering. It’s better emotionally and physically!

          Last year my husband and his brother went to a home game. They got there early and within a few minutes were safely ensconced in their double-checked, 12-inch seats. Both of these men are well over six feet tall and while they can fit into those 12 inches, there’s not much room to spare.

          After a little while, a couple came in and, after looking down at their ticket stubs and back up several times, politely inquired of the boys if they were in the right seats. This required them to get up, check their tickets, look at the seat numbers again (for the third time) and verify that yes, they were. Turns out this couple was in the wrong section.

          Meanwhile, seats were filling up and the band was about to enter the stadium. At this time, four large men – according to my husband, they were each the size of a sumo wrestler – came in and sat adjacent to Matt. They were so large and the row was so crowded, that Matt had nowhere to put his right arm. He could hold it straight up in the air or put his arm around the very big man next to him.

          As it turns out, the large man was quite friendly and didn’t mind this at all. It wasn’t his first time at an Ohio State game, and he understood.  Matt took to calling him “Bubba.”

          The game started!  Although this is an outdoor event, watching games is serious business. Just as people don’t clamber in to a play late and climb all over you to get to their seats, common courtesy dictates that if you are late to a game, you wait until there’s a break in the action to crawl over people to get to your seat.

          Right in the middle of a down – not at a time out, or even a squad change – a foursome came in and began to scramble over people. In so doing, they were blocking the view of the game action. This was enough to annoy Matt, but then one of the women turned to him and said, “Are you in the right seats?”  Before he could respond, his brother snarled, “Yes, we are,” and stood up to his full 6 foot, 3 inches to peer at the game over her head.  She continued to stand around, bobbling while she checked her ticket (she was in the row two ahead), and blocking the view.  Finally, Matt could stand it no longer and said, “People, get here on time.”

          She looked aghast and her husband asked her what Matt had said. She responded, “He said we should get here on time.”  Her husband glanced back and saw Matt, with his arm around his new friend Bubba, and decided it wasn’t an issue.  He sat down, the girl sat down, and there were no further problems for Matt watching the game.

          So now, whenever anything annoys either of us, we simply sigh and say, “People, get here on time!” It seems to cover any eventuality, time-related or otherwise, at least for us.