Penn State Horror Story: Football Tickets

I’m going to be a senior this year. That alone is a terrifying thought, but never as terrifying as the idea of getting up at seven a.m. on a weekday to go onto a fan-frenzy website called Ticketmaster, and wait for that little digital clock to turn to 7:00 a.m.


As I said before, I’m a senior, so I’ve been around this block a couple of times. I’ve woken up by myself at six fifty, gotten my account ready, and quickly checked out with no stress. Ironically because I was always so prepared for stuff like this, I never was scared from not getting tickets. I even woke up early once to buy my boyfriend’s tickets because he had worked late the day before. 


But then…this year came. This horrible year.


Let me preface by saying this: I was used to the queue system at this point. I had waited in-line for Travis Scott and Jonas Brother tickets twice in a queue very similar, so I didn’t think waiting in a queue was going to be too bad. But then, I woke up the day before to call my boyfriend at seven, asking him if he got tickets. 

…and he didn’t. 


You need to understand how much this affected me. I consider PSU football as part of the foundation of our relationship. One of our first dates was literally going to a football game together. He’s the reason why I’m so obsessed with football now. So after hearing this, my heart shattered into a million tiny pieces. Later on in the day, he told me he got a deal for all of the major games there from one of the other students, but it still annoyed me. 


He told me that in the morning he waited in-line like everyone, but when he got to the actual page where he could buy tickets, nothing popped up. Not a buy page, not a window, nothing. And don’t tell me it’s because “tickets sold out.” He got his turn to buy tickets at about 7:10. Senior tickets sold out in a half hour. There was still plenty of time.


But the technical difficulties got the best of him, and he missed out. From there, I realized that this was serious, and I needed to wake up with my game face on the next day. 

Although my graduation date is 2020, I’m still technically a junior by half a credit, so my sale date was the day after his. I woke up at six thirty, and ran downstairs with my laptop, and sat at my parent’s desktop computer in front of me. I turned both of them on, waiting ever so patiently for that little bubble to disappear as the computers loaded, before logging onto Ticketmaster in three separate browsers: Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.


I was really counting on Chrome. I had been using that for the past three years and have had no issues, so I had running on both of my computers. Safari was sort of a ‘meh’ choice, but I still wanted it there as a backup. Same as Internet Explorer. It’s the slowest out of all of them and I knew it probably wouldn’t work, but I still took a shot. 


I sat there, waiting until a little blue button appeared that said “Join the Queue.” I clicked join on all of my computers and everything worked except for one: Chrome on my MacBook. No matter how many times I pressed join, it would not budge. So I just said “F*** it, I’m going to focus on the rest.” 


Fifteen minutes go by, and then the queue appears. Although I was in line at exactly 6:45, it still said 2000+ people in front of me on every single browser. I sighed and rubbed my head to stop the incoming headache, before sitting down and waiting, my phone in hands to text my boyfriend who had just woken up. 


Finally, after about ten minutes, my turn comes on Safari first. I do the security questions and get through…and then the same page my boyfriend had the day before popped up. I freaked out and refreshed the page, but nothing appeared. No buy window, no pop-up, nothing. I took a deep breath and looked back to the computer in front of me. “It’s okay. This I why I have back-ups.”


My turn comes from the Chrome on my parent’s computer. I do the security questions, and everything comes up as usual. I put in my PSU ID and click ‘buy.’ A smile starts to appear on my face as I realize this is going much better than I thought it was going to. 


And then the message “We’re sorry, but we’re unable to process this transaction on this computer,” appears on my screen. 


I nearly screamed. I refreshed, tried again, and same message. I refreshed again, tried it again, and the same message, no matter what. At this point, I’m feeling the hope I had before draining out of me like the water after a shower. If it said it wasn’t working on my computer, then that meant Internet Explorer wouldn’t work either, and the two browsers I had on my laptop weren’t even allowing me to buy tickets. I was screwed. 


I start to try frantically figuring out what I could do. Maybe I could call the Ticketmaster people, or maybe the athletic department at my school. But then, before I could think of a plan to end my existence due to no PSU football tickets, I hear a little jingle from the computer. My glossed-over eyes from my unshed tears snap back to the screen, and I see that finally, my queue on the Internet Explorer browser was up, and I was next. 


My hands shakily do the security questions, knowing that this probably won’t work considering the computer literally told me it wouldn’t be able to process the order. I get in, type my PSU ID out, and click “Buy Tickets.” I placed my head in my hands, waiting for that unfortunate message to pop up, basically giving my PSU heart the middle finger…until it didn’t. 


It led me to the next page. 

I stared at it in shock, before quickly moving my fingers as fast as I could. I filled out my payment info, pressed all the little check boxes I need, and then clicked “Confirm Payment.” My eyes stare at the little loading circle, trying to be as patient as I possibly could, hoping, praying that this would work. 


And then, the promised sign of happiness popped up on my screen. “The Tickets Are Yours! PSU Football – Junior Season Tickets.”


I fell out of my chair, shaking from the anxiety trip I just had and the fact that Internet Explorer, of all things, saved my fall semester. Who would have known that the slowest browser probably known to us now would be the one thing that would ensure my weekends of fun in my senior year? 


I ran upstairs to tell my mom (who is also a PSU fan) and she couldn’t believe how hysterically happy I was, but let me tell you, in all my years of PSU football, I have never been more stressed. In fact, I would rather have those five minutes of panic back then that long queue and browsers that don’t work with the new system. 


As much as I love Penn State - and the football team is a big part of that - I’m glad this was my last student ticket purchase if this is how it’s going to be for the future Penn Stater’s. To the rest that must keep buying tickets, I salute you and wish you good luck in next year’s sale and the heart attacks that will come along with it. 


At least I can still get my chicken basket this year, that’s all that really matters to me.