You people love J.J. Watt. This is undeniable. You buy his jerseys by the truckload. You bookmark all of his "Mic'd Up" videos and fall asleep to them at night. The man is the center of your universe. If J.J. Watt were a plate full of gravy, you'd sop him with a biscuit.
It's ok, Male Texan Fan, admit it....if you had to allow one athlete to invoke prima noctae on your daughter, not only would you pick J.J. Watt in about 1.2 seconds, but you'd actually pray that he impregnate her with a son. A masculine son. (Wait, I'm mashing up Braveheart and Godfather metaphors now. Pardon me, I'm a mess.)
Further proof of your insatiable love for the NFL's two time Defensive Player of the Year was provided early Saturday morning, when Texan fans, for the second year in a row, crashed the Sugar Land Skeeters' ticket sales server in an effort to secure ducats to Watt's third annual charity softball game.
Watt's first Charity Classic was back in 2013, and at the time, it was a great heat check for just how powerfully J.J. Watt's star had risen in the city. A charity softball game, offense versus defense, in Constellation Field on a Saturday afternoon in early May. How much money can we raise for the J.J. Watt Foundation?
The answer was "over $300,000," and the game was a sellout. That was in Year 1. In Year 2, the game was moved to a Friday night and the ticket selling process streamlined (or so we thought) through the Skeeters ticket selling mechanism, TicketReturn.com. Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. on a Saturday, and just a few minutes later, the website had crashed.
So some Texan fans went to the extreme this year -- sleeping out for tickets, the ultimate sign of respect for the popularity of an event in a day and age where commerce for tickets is done almost exclusively over the web.
— Zachary Abella (@ZSwatt) February 7, 2015
This year, for the non-campers who would still use the web to purchase their entry into the big game, adjustments were made, preparation was tight, and yet still, come this past Saturday.....
Last year you crashed the site, so we were more prepared this year. You crashed it again. Y'all are crazy, thank you. It'll be back shortly.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 7, 2015
Yes, the server crashed again, leading to lots of angry J.J. Watt fans who would now have to go get their Charity Classic tickets on the secondary market (which benefits a charity known as "Slimy Ticket Broker, LLC.") For their part, the Skeeters took ownership of the fiasco Saturday morning with their owner Bob Zlotnik stating (on Facebook):
"Although TicketReturn has taken responsibility for the technical errors that took place. We understand we have the responsibility to manage the JJ Watt Charity Classic at the highest standards. The buck stops here."
TicketReturn.com, in a statement, said the following:
"Ecommerce services at TicketReturn.com (www.ticketreturn.com) were disrupted today, causing interruptions in the sale of tickets for the 2015 J.J. Watt Charity Classic, at the Sugar Land Skeeters Constellation Field, in Sugar Land, TX, and other events nationwide. The service interruptions occurred from 10:03 am ET until approximately 12:45 am ET.
"TicketReturn experienced intermittent problems that delayed response from its online data servers and payment processors today," said Gordon Hirsch, Senior Vice President of Marketing at TicketReturn, LLC. "Customers successfully purchased thousands of tickets, and thousands of other customers were disappointed in their attempts to purchase tickets. We apologize to everyone who was disappointed, particularly the J.J. Watt Foundation, the Sugar Land Skeeters and their supporters.
TicketReturn analysts and technicians were diagnosing the cause of today's problems to ensure continued reliability of service."
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It remains to be seen if Watt and his foundation will keep the game in Constellation Field next year (assuming there is a 4th annual J.J. Watt Charity Classic, and I can't imagine there wouldn't be, as it's a fantastic event). Watt's reportedly made intimations to some in the Texans' organization that he'd love to see if the event could pop a number at Minute Maid Park.
So we'll see if the Skeeters and TicketReturn.com get a chance to break their streak of two consecutive web crashes, an unfortunate February tradition. I suppose if Joe Marciano gets hired as a special teams coach in the NFL again, then anything is possible.
Report: Lions to hire Joe Marciano as special teams coordinator. http://t.co/U9ntnrEKnS
— NFL Media Feed (@NFLMediaFeed) February 8, 2015