Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When MSG Hospitality Is Not So Hospitable

Derek over at the Battle of New York shared a disturbing tale today of some fellow Garden Faithful getting the heave ho during last night's debacle:
A couple of MSG security guards played the role of Scrooge ejecting three spectators who donned Ranger jerseys and sat in the last row.

The reason was that they were not “properly seated.”

This is far from the first time that the security guards have overreacted during a game. During games you regularly see two guys arguing in the crowd - perhaps over words or spilled beer - and 25 security guards come rushing over as if Osama Bin Laden was spotted in the crowd. Don't get me wrong, there are some decent guards (usually off duty cops) who do what they have to to keep order and that is it. But the majority of the green jackets around the Garden come across as hired thugs just looking for an excuse to flex the little power given to them. They blow things out of proportion while doing it, creating an even larger spectacle that often takes focus away from the game. It is ridiculous and it creates even more dangerous situations.

While I have mostly avoided such situations, I also have a bone to pick with the red coats - the ushers. The ones down by the expensive seats have been around forever and will manhandle you if you are in the seat of the proper ticketholder - during warm-ups! I have no problem with moving, just have some courtesy and ask. Courtesy is also lacking with the ushers up in the 300s. Several times this season, in their attempts to curry favour and earn a dollar or two of a tip, they are showing people to their seats while play is going on. As I am near an aisle, they block my view and I voice my dissent - politely (at first) and never with blue language. On one occasion I pointed out that the usher should know better and was told "go f--k yourself." Wow, what courtesy. Last season I had another usher who stood a foot in front of me figuring out where row M was (my part of the section only goes up to L) and, after I said he should know better, threaten to throw me out or kick my ass - I was allowed to choose. I chose to point out that there were dozens of witnesses and he should go back to doing his job. He did.

My point is that while there are some fantastic Garden staffers making life better for us customers - from the hot dog guy who makes his way around the 300s ("C'mon guys, who's hungry??) to the beer girls at the rock n' roll bar downstairs (Let's go Range-asssssss!!!!) - but there are a good number of those who need to be replaced. We spend a lot, a LOT of money at the Garden and get very little (few giveaways, fewer deals and right now, disappointing effort from the players). The least they could do is treat us nicely and offer a modicum of respect.

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