A few weeks ago some blogger put out a call for ticket stubs. I had other things going on, so I missed out on the fun, but then God intervened. Last week, as you may have heard, Milwaukee was struck with a massive rainstorm, getting dumped with up to eight inches of rain in two hours in places. While this news may not have made it to your neck of the woods, you still might have seen the SUV that got sucked into the sinkhole.
In any case, my home's basement got a little bit of water in it, nothing major, but just enough to get rid of some of the junk that had been in storage down there. While most of what got thrown away was indeed junk, there were a few things I was glad to save. Among them was an envelope that held just about every ticket stub from every event from 2000 to some point in 2006. Highlights from this envelope will comprise future entries of "Stubs & Bubs," but today's featured ticket comes from a time just a bit earlier.
Before we get too deep into this thing, let me introduce my muse for this feature, Reginald Cousins, better known to his associates as "Bubbles," or, simply, "Bubs." Now that he's clean, he'll assist me in assigning a score to each ticket stub based on its attributes in three categories: Visual Appearance, Historical Significance, and Event Uniqueness. The subscores for each category will never be revealed, but a total score on a five-point scale will be assigned.
I'm not sure I'll be able to scrounge up a ticket from further in the past than this, but let's not hang our heads just yet. In a different part of the basement, I was able to rescue this very important ticket stub from 1997. It's survived, by conservative count, nine different residences since the event. Behold... a ticket from the 1997 A-League Championship game between the Milwaukee Rampage and the Carolina Dyanmo.
This event is more important to me than you might realize. First of all, it was the first title game I had the chance to attend, and it became the first championship for a professional Milwaukee-based sports team since the Bucks in 1971. That's a long time coming. Sure, it was a second-division league, but we got to raise the cup. The Rampage (now defunct) defeated the Dynamo in a shootout following a 1-1 finish. The scene was electric as our goalkeeper, Carmine Isacco, parried away the final shot to win it for the Rampage. Fans were allowed to rush the field to congratulate the players, and fellow blogger Big Dunc kept his head enough to save some grass from the field of play. That's what you see in the corner near the ticket.
Oh, and you know the advertising signage that surrounds most pro soccer fields? Well, I may or may not have absconded with a massive, 12'x'3'-ish Umbro banner following the game. I mean, you loot after your team wins, right?
Below is the reverse side of the ticket, signed by a few of the champion Rampage players. The only one I recognize offhand is the one at far right, forward Dan Stebbins, an integral part of the club's late-season surge. He also went to the same high school as I did, probably about ten years earlier. Baller.
Perhaps Big Dunc can fill in a couple of those other names?
As long as we're talking soccer here, I also managed to save this US Soccer postcard/cachet thing I got sometime around World Cup '94. It's numbered 15894/30,000, which seems like a huge print run for something now, but this was made at a time when almost nothing was serially numbered. I'm thinking, like, Donruss Elite and not much else.
The player selection is 75% spot-on, with Jones, Lalas, and Meola being the stars of their respective positions, but Tom Dooley??? His citizenship status was sketchy, being born and living most of his life in Germany, but he had an American father. Ultimately, John Harkes or Eric Wynalda would have made a better choice for that last spot on this card.
Well, it's time to give the ticket a score. What do you say, Bubs?
Dang, four syringes and a junkie! Yeah, I guess it was a pretty important game, and the game-used grass is a nice touch.
See you all later for future installments of Stubs & Bubs.