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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Diary of a Stadium Staffer

Jon Mael at Gillette Stadium
Jon Mael at Gillette Stadium

 

 

 

I am a hawker at Gillette stadium, which means I am the slightly annoying man who walks up and down the aisles while you’re trying to watch a game shouting “Bud Light!” or “WATER RIGHT HERE!” While the job is fun, it can lead to sticky situations with patrons because it is basically a hawker’s job to be as obnoxious as possible. Here is one of them.

This is an actual story from an actual game.

It’s around 4:45 p.m., midway through the first quarter of a match up between the Patriots and the Jets, and the temperature is an unseasonable 80 degrees. I am selling bottled water in the upper deck and having a grand old time. With the increasing popularity of tailgating, more and more people are extremely drunk in the first quarter, so incidents between fans and stadium staffers that once would’ve been reserved for halftime are now occurring even on the opening drive.

A bald gentleman in his mid-forties waved me over to his seat. He had no intention of purchasing a water bottle – a common ploy from inebriated customers. So when I arrived at his seat, he asked, “Why aren’t you selling Gatorade, ya bum?” I replied with, “How many waters do you want sir?” This didn’t sit well with him, because he said, “If you don’t get out of here right now we’re going to have a serious problem” as he flexed his bicep. I got the hint and fled the section immediately and continued selling my waters.

Around a half hour later, I walked up that section once again and was making plenty of sales. I faintly heard the same customer heckling me much like you would a player with “Gaaaaatoraaaaade, Gaaaaaatoraaaaaade.” I welled up with pride almost immediately, I have never been much of an athlete and getting heckled made me feel as though I were on the field. That sensation went away relatively quickly, and I realized what the man was doing. I yelled over to him, “If you don’t shut up soon, you’re out of here” even though I have no power to kick him out. Luckily for me, he was too drunk to realize this and he was quiet for the time being.

Around 15 minutes later, the same gentleman continued with the Gatorade calls the next time I visited, and after he was done, I looked him right in the face and uttered the best line I’ve ever given at the stadium. I said, “You sir, are the argument for making tailgating illegal in America.” Every fan in the section erupted and I proceeded to sell multiple waters, and one guy just put $3 in my pocket and went away. I felt like a hero, and the man didn’t say another word for the remainder of the game, which the Pats won 30-21.