THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
My paternal grandma is turning 95 this November. She has had tickets to the Washington Redskins since the early 1960s, when she and my Pop Pop moved to the DC area from Brooklyn. They would go to games every Sunday.
When my Pop Pop passed away in the early 1990s, my grandma kept the tickets and continued going to the games. She loved every moment. Each week during the season, we’d converse about the Redskins game and how we thought they’d do the following week. She is a diehard Redskins fan through and through.
Bleeding Burgundy and Gold
My love for the Redskins obviously came from her. I, too, loved going to the games. The fact that they won two Super Bowls when I was growing up also probably helped grow my love for them. Still to this day, the Redskins are my #1 sports team, as painful as it is for me to admit this at this point.
Recently, my grandma and I had lunch together. She shared that she was going to give the tickets up because she no longer wanted to go to the games.
She indicated that the games weren’t as much fun now that she was older. Between climbing countless stairs to the deteriorating general atmosphere, she thought that the experience had tanked. Plus, she can’t stand the current owner, Daniel Snyder, and president, Bruce Allen, of the team. Since Snyder bought the team in 1999, the Redskins have been one of the worst performing franchises.
So, she asked me if I was interested in purchasing the tickets.
Redskins Football Experience
Honestly, I haven’t been to a Redskins football game since 2004. The Redskins have an awful stadium experience at FedEx Field, in my opinion. They built the stadium far from the Metro to maximize parking revenue, they have horribly overpriced concessions, and since the team has stunk for so long, most of the fans sell their tickets to the opposing team. So it feels like I’m in a visitor in our home stadium. Oh, I forgot to mention the number of belligerent drunk fans at the games who love a good brawl.
This is all in contrast to the Redskins experience at RFK stadium years ago. The Redskins were incredible in the 1980s and early 1990s. The stadium would sway from people jumping up and down and banging on the seats in the stadium. I remember as a little kid thinking that the stadium was going to collapse at any moment as a result. Needless to say, it was always a loud, fun atmosphere. I may have been too young, but I just don’t remember drunk people causing disturbances. Plus, we could also ride the Metro to and from the stadium, which made it very convenient.
I still remember the highlight each summer was when I found out which game I would attend. I was the cool kid in school that got to go to the premiere games. Going to a rivalry game against the Dallas Cowboys always made me a big deal. I remember kids asking me what it is was like in the stadium and how lucky I was. I definitely felt like the big man on campus at times. Those were the days.
So after reminiscing about those glory days, I was really torn about taking the tickets. The cost of the two tickets would cost roughly $2,000 a season. While I can afford it, I wasn’t sure if it would really be worth it. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about the great memories made when I went with my Dad to the games. I immediately thought of my son and wondered how I could create similar memories with him.
The rumor is the Redskins will be moving in the next couple of years to a stadium closer to my house that would be much more accessible. We could easily Metro in and hopefully avoid some of the tailgaters that pregame too hard before the games, although I’m not sure it would help with the belligerent fans.
Even though my son is young, I’d love to start figuring out a fun memory maker. While some of the memories of going to the beach with my family over the years have started to fade, I can still remember every Redskins game that I went to. For that matter, I still remember the section that we sat in.
Over the years, I’ve tried to gravitate away from spending money on material objects and move towards spending money on experiences. I’ve found that while I enjoy getting a new iPhone, it pales in comparison to my experiences touring the Vatican with my wife.
Experiential Over Material
A study from San Francisco State University found that most people know that spending money on experiences will make them happier than material items. But often times, they still choose a new car or new iPhone because they think it’s worth more than the experience in that moment.
“We naturally associate economic value with stuff. I bought this car, it’s worth $8,000,” study researcher Ryan Howell, associate professor of psychology at the SFSU, said in a statement. “We have a hard time estimating the economic value we would place on our memories.”
Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University said, “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”
“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Gilovich. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”
Gilovich went on to say, “We consume experiences directly with other people. And after they’re gone, they’re part of the stories that we tell to one another.”
I still remember shortly after my wife and I were married, we traveled to Europe. It was the first time I had flown outside the Americas, and it was an amazing experience. My wife and I still reminisce over the pictures from the trip scrolling on our Amazon Fire TV. I treasure them as they always make me smile. While I can’t tell you our total spending on that trip, I can tell you that I won’t ever forget it.
Admittedly, our travels plans have slowed since we have had one child and one on the way in October. We do hope to ramp up our travel again in the future so that our children can appreciate and enjoy traveling as well.