Good news/bad news.
The good news is the NBA Finals are upon us, and me and my producer Playboy Marty are in Phoenix to cover the games. The entire city is buzzing now with its first Finals since 1993 and Phoenix hosting its first National Irish Dancing competition in history at the same damn time
Before we get into the bad news, a word about Irish Dancing. There are currently HUNDREDS of young, pale women walking the streets of Phoenix in short shorts with orange legs. For this competition. Pale arms, face, torsos, and DARK ass legs. It’s a sight to see, boy.
Here’s the thing. No one really knows why they tan only their legs.
Apparently, it might have to do with showing off the musculature of their legs? But even Irish Dancers themselves don’t really know.
I talked to some of them, and they couldn’t explain it, but they did it anyway.
But this blog isn’t about half tan Irish Dancers, it’s about the Finals.
So about that bad news … COVID. Yes, Covid fucked everything up, including THIS finals. I’ve covered the NBA Finals for four consecutive years during normal times and it’s always a spectacle. This year, however, the NBA fucked a whole lot of people over. Why?
COVID spacing. They limited the press credentials to what I’ve heard is around 20 people.
I went to the first round this year RIGHT HERE in Phoenix against LA but the Finals are a different beast; the league itself handles credentials versus individual teams. Apparently the Arizona Republic, a dying local newspaper, gets 4 credentials... and the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal gets 3, because hey, newspapers are in such high demand. I personally can’t wait to get my AZ Republic delivered to my front door Wednesday morning so I can read about what happened in last night’s game.
So what’s a girl to do? Figure out an alternative way to get inside of the arena.
And being the girl I am, who is invariably trusting to people who do not deserve it, I almost got scammed. Again.
The first place I checked was the online vendors and the going rate was around $550 for second-level seats. Then a voice inside my head told me to check Craig’s List.
This is when I ran into one Mr. Barry McWilliams (not his real name). Barry was advertising four tickets on the 100 level for $200 a piece. I should point out that I just now checked and the cheapest ticket in that section is around $900.
You KNOW a $200 ticket attracted my attention. Love me a bargain.
So I reached out to Barry McWilliams and let me tell you, I learned one thing about myself.
I am BEGGING to be taken advantage of. Drooling at the opportunity to lose money and be abused for absolutely no reason.
Looking back at the text string, it’s clear I was literally doing everything in my power to make that happen. I was on the phone with a friend who had to practically FORCE me to not send money. I was crying tears of laughter because I just kept saying “I think I should just send it.” Why?
Because I so badly, so desperately, want to believe there are good people out there who will sell me tickets for 20% of market value on game day of a sold out finals. People who are either dumber than me or nicer than me. I always think that the universe will take care of me in the end.
So let me go over the highlights of what was nearly Scamgate Part 2.
I reached out by text to ask if I could get a physical ticket (even I know that’s the easiest way not to get taken). Here is the meat of our exchange:
Reading over these texts, it’s very clear that the story he was pitching doesn’t add up.
When I pressed him about not paying in advance (because I looked up “Ticket Scams” and apparently, this is how they work) he accused ME of trying to scam him. GASLIGHT. Then he sent me a photo of his ID card, demanding I send a copy of my ID in return. GASLIGHT.
Red flag? I pushed RIGHT through it. I wanted that cheap, no dirt cheap ticket.
I even sent him my old blog about being scammed. He responded, “why do people do this to one another?”
For money Barry, lots of money. But I think you already know that.
Then he blinked. He asked for half upfront.
And I had to be held back from sending $100. Again, dirt cheap ticket. I knew there was a 95% chance this was a scam. But that 5% of hope in humanity… It had me VERY close to sending the money JUST TO MAKE 100% SURE it was a scam. Because I walk away from Section 119 row 7 for 200 dollars and have to pay 600 for an entire level up? I will regret that for the rest of my life.
Then Barry dropped his upfront to $80. I still get tingly looking at that. I mean, it’s $80 right? I can stomach that loss right?
He said "It's only 80 dollars for trust"
Again, held back. My friend was on the phone shouting “Do not do this Krick”.
Then Barry comes back, flipping the script on me.
“I've already sold to other people so far. You don't trust people. You are actually stubborn” he texted me, right before dropping his upfront fee to … $60.
OK, this is when I was like “I’m gonna send him the money. I have to send him the money." I knew I was going to blog this. I even told him I was. And again, I wanted to be sure that my instincts were as usual, wrong.
Looking back, it’s clear he knew he had a fish on the line. And he knew I was THIS close to swallowing the bait. I told him I was someone who had been scammed before so he MUST have been salivating at the chance of getting a sucker’s money. But at the last minute, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be scammed twice in 2 years at this company. The shaming would be too much to handle.
Hey, at least I learned two important things from all this. First, I am out there in the streets begging to be taken advantage of. Got to work on that.
And second, I discovered how much a ticket scammer thinks his time is worth. One hour and fifteen minutes of reeling me in … for $60. That’s $48 an hour tax-free.
Nice work if you can get it.
I only uploaded 6 parts of the conversation and boy there were some gems in there but I told him I'd send him the blog when it was finished. Of course, I'll be reporting back from the Suns game in the arena (went on Seatgeek and paid full price) where I’ll be heading RIGHT to those Craigslist seats to see who is actually there. If it's this motherfucker Barry, be ready for a video.