Sunday Mornings with Rania: We See Orange, They See Green

Over the last few months, we have seen Houston brought to its knees yet rise up again. We have shared stories of hope after tragedy and have literally carried each other out of the depths of some of our scariest times. Our collective resilience became a story that captured the nation.

But while all that was going on, there was another story of triumph brewing in our city, one that sneaked up on us and unfolded slowly, game after game. It's a story of a team made up of players who didn't inherit a legacy of championships, but each came to the field with a fighting spirit. It's the story of a team who saw their time on the field as representing their coaches and their craft but also as representing their city during a unique time of hope. It's a team that recognized that the viewers who tuned in did so with tired eyes and sore hands.

It's a story of a team that ran every ball and played each inning with a determination to give excitement back to those who love them and those they love. And as win after win moved our team up through the ranks, today, our Houston Astros are going into game four of the World Series with a 2 to 1 lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It's fair to say, whether you are historically a fan or not, the Astros have us all proudly seeing orange. This is our story, our team, our championship and, my goodness, we all want to bask in the glory.

As with all things though, a beautiful scenario filled with hope and emotion creates an opportunity for criminals seeing green. Please keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Astros have sold out of their set price tickets, so you now must go to a secondary market. Always use a reputable merchant like Stub Hub, Vivid, Seat Geek and Houston Ticket Store. Avoid sites like Craigslist.
  • Make sure you look at ticket prices AND processing fees.
  • Worried about the cost? If you are ready and willing, you can sometimes go on these secondary merchant sites and purchase a game day ticket immediately after the game has begun. Prices may fall slightly after the first pitch.
  • Avoid sellers that ask you to pay now but pick up your tickets later or the day of the event. A legitimate seller should send you your tickets electronically, right away.
  • Avoid purchasing tickets from a random ticket seller outside the stadium, especially where cash is exchanged. That said, if you want to go that route, ask the seller to walk you to the gate and stand with you until your ticket is scanned. If it's the real deal, they won't mind.
  • Most tickets are printed PDFs so beware of copies. Only the first person to show the PDF printed ticket will get in, that means the remaining purchasers will be at a total loss (not attending the game and usually out of whatever money they paid for their fake tickets). If you have purchased fraudulent tickets, call the HPD non-emergency number to report the incident at 713-884-3131 or file a police report.
  • Best practice is to use a credit card and keep a copy of a receipt when purchasing tickets. That said, only enter your billing information into secured sites that begin with https://. Beware of identity theft from unsecured online sites or calling strangers/entities unknown to you but who ask for your credit and billing information over the phone.
  • Buy merchandise from an established retail store, especially autographed items or items that need authentication. Counterfeiters thrive during these times. Look for inferior quality, loose stitching or off-center logos. Also, be suspicious of odd places of sale, for example, a random parking lot kiosk.
  • Remember to lock your cars and hide any items of value when you are parking your car at the venue where you are watching the game; this means, be weary of items you leave in your car while you valet as well.
  • Have fun at the game but be responsible and gracious. In the excitement, there is no need to insult, injure or risk the lives of others due to erratic behavior or drinking. Fans exiting the stadiums also have to deal with fans leaving area restaurants and bars. It's an exciting time, let's all enjoy it wisely and safely.

Houston is a city that continues to amaze me . . . with its changing skyline, unique character, growing personality and unbreakable resilience, we have layers upon layers that make us exceptional. No matter what happens moving forward, we are already a city undoubtedly known for beating the odds triumphantly, with grace and class. Enjoy this time with family and friends, building memories and cheering our team on. It's no wonder we are all #HoustonStrong and #HoustonProud! Go Astros!

About the author

Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Houston