Sunday, January 13, 2013

Musical Chairs

We are less than two weeks away from leaving for Omaha and the US National Championships, and I received my tickets in the mail yesterday. We actually ordered them some time ago, but I kept adding to the order for family members who are now attending. 

It was exciting to see the Ticketmaster envelope in my mailbox. It's always exciting to see tickets arrive. The process of ordering tickets, however, is always a challenge. 

No. We don't get free tickets. Like everyone else, we have to pay for our seats. Yes. We do get credentials for US Nationals (one comp and the other at a substantial fee) that allow us in the door, along with access to seats in the nosebleed sections they can't sell. By the way, that's better than what we get for international competitions where the only benefit to a credential for a chaperon is a bus pass. 

Don't stare at your computer; I'm NOT joking!

But that is all beside the point - at least the point I'm making in this blog. 

When I ordered the seats for the men's short program and freeskate in Omaha (I don't get all-event tix for Nationals because the credential does get me in the door so I can watch the other competitions while making the rounds with friends in the concourse), I realized there is yet-another strange superstition I adhere to: Sitting in what is usually called a "Lutz corner."  

This seemingly odd tradition began years ago - probably at the 2002 LA Nationals. I am a person who abhors sitting 
1) in a front row 
2) in the middle so I feel like I'm watching a tennis match
3) being in camera line at big competitions. 
I thought I was alone in this quirky behavior, but NO; it is relatively common among skating parents to find that "comfort zone" place where you can see but it is a bit more difficult to be seen. For many of us, those seats are in the Lutz corner. 

That being said, I've known parents who paced the hallways, hidden behind curtains or spent competition times throwing up in the bathroom. I'm not one of those. All I want is my seat in a Lutz corner.

Why, you ask, do I want to sit there? 

It's relatively simple: Besides being somewhat anonymous (except for the "GO ALEXANDER" thing), it gives me a clear view-plane.  I'm not looking back and forth like some demented bobble-head doll; I can survey the territory; check out my domain; feel "at one" with the ice. Reality - I can get to the bathroom faster at the ends because it usually isn't as crowded.  These are tricks of the trade I've learned over the years.

Several times, I have had to sit in the middle because no other seats were available. I HATED IT! Like so many superstitions, when I was forced into something other than one of the available corner sections, the planets were not aligned. The world felt off axis. It was just not right. Call it Karma or whatever, but those were times of not-so-great skates, too. Negative Juju? Perhaps. Bad Chi? Maybe. Whatever the reason, it just didn't work out well. The latest example would be Nice where I was dead center at the end of the ice. Now, given the view plane that shouldn't have been an issue. However, somehow it just didn't "feel" quite right. I was next to a very nice Japanese lady and her mom. I tried out my newest phrase, which they didn't understand. That should have been a hint right there. I didn't heed the warnings and move; I stuck it out in that awkward seat and in that awkward moment when I realized I could have easily moved into the next section down, placing myself in perfect alignment with the skating planet. Lesson learned. 

For Omaha, I ordered seats as soon as individual tickets went on sale. Yes - Lutz corner. I'm ordering tickets for Boston, too. For that one, I may have to order all-event since they are  selling fast. So be it. I want my Lutz corner and I'm not willing to play musical chairs when we only have one more E Ticket coupon left for the 2014 season and we know it's going to be the ride of our lives. 
Meanwhile, look for me in the corner. I should be easy to find. Just listen for that booming voice yelling "GO ALEXANDER!!!"  It's a sure way to know where I am! 


  1. After watching for the "Go Alexander!" for years, it was fun to see it close up at Skate America in WA this fall. My daughters and I enjoyed this insight on choosing a seat. Best wishes to Jeremy at Nationals from the Dix family fans.

  2. Thanks! Now you know where we "live." Hope to see you again soon.