Niagara Gazette — Imagine going to the Super Bowl without a ticket and ending up in a choice seat — at no cost — only because you managed to scare the would-be scalper.
That’s exactly what happened some years ago when a fan from Niagara Falls had his heart set on attending the game. Standing outside the sold-out stadium that day, the local resident soon spotted the brisk action between buyers and sellers. As always, there was a heavy presence of the plainclothes security force but that virtually no impact on the swift trading.
One young scalper in particular seemed nervous about the hectic pace, perhaps because he was a novice at the underhanded business.
That’s when the guy from the Falls — a bartender from a popular restaurant — confronted the scalper with an ID card bearing a striking resemblance to a sheriff’s badge. The story goes the scalper broke out in a sweat, sure that he had been busted, He started pleading his weak and defenseless case to the scruffy ‘undercover deputy.’ Armed with only the fake ID, the impersonator took the young man aside, read him the riot act and assured him that no charges would be pressed if he simply surrendered the ticket.
The scalper, of course, was elated to be off the hook (that he was never really on). And the guy with the fake ID? He got to see all the action for free.
A related note on scams, the New York Post reported Friday that federal agencies had seized phony sports merchandise valued at more than $21.6 million. Some $360,000 worth of those items came from the New York area within the past 60 days. Police also arrested two men who allegedly who produced phony Super Bowl tickets sold on line and then shipped by FedEx. A word to the wise: no matter how authentic the tickets look, they won’t get you into the stadium.
END OF AN ERA: Pat Simon, 84, who operated the popular Simon’s Restaurant on Bridge Street, Niagara Falls, Ont., for more than 50 years, died Friday (Jan. 31, 2014) at St. Catharines General Hospital. Pat and his wife, Rose, operated the restaurant, a short walk from the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, for a half-century. Until it closed last year, it was favorite place for politicians, business owners, Canada Customs’ employees, tourism operators, and bus drivers. The regular customers quickly learned that Pat had a deep interest in Niagara Falls, Ont., history. Simon also was known as a kind and caring person in the community. He was the brother of the late John V. Simon of Lewiston, a longtime attorney.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The late Pete Seeger, who spurred interest in folk music for generations and championed major causes like protecting the environment, performed at Artpark twice during his illustrious career. Maureen Kellick, public relations director at the entertainment and cultural center in Lewiston, noted that Seeger was on stage for the theater’s 10th anniversary celebration in August 1984 and in July 1989, when he teamed up with Arlo Guthrie.
TRIVIA QUIZ: (Answer to Thursday question) Former Buffalo Bills’ running back Marshawn Lynch faced a possible $100 fine for refusing to talking to the media. The rule is imposed by the National Football League. Lynch, now with the Seattle Seahawks, apparently has avoided the fine since he showed up at the media day prior to the Super Bowl game today at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Lynch, who didn’t always walk the straight line when he played for Bills, is a crowd favorite at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Prediction: Seattle 27, Denver 24.Contact Reporter Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.