Several dozen otherwise normal adult human beings waited for several hours in a Phoenix grocery store Wednesday night for an opportunity to meet and score an autograph from utterly unremarkable Suns second-year forward Josh Jackson. The deal, arranged through the team, had it that fans who showed up and bought a 12-pack of the event sponsor’s beer would receive two tickets to the upcoming Suns home game against the dreary Pelicans, scheduled for Friday night.
Listen. Far be it from me to tell someone what to do with their evenings. Let’s just acknowledge, though, that a Friday night Pelicans-Suns game is extremely grim entertainment, and Josh Jackson is very butt, and hanging around a grocery store for one or both of those “prizes” is not the very best use of your time. Hilariously, there were four of these beer-for-tickets events, stretched between February 9 and February 27, and the Jackson meet-and-greet scheduled Wednesday night was apparently the grand finale. In fact, Suns fans could fast track their meeting with Jackson by attending all three of the earlier events. You hate to even imagine such a person walking among us.
But the truth is there are such people, and there they apparently were, lined up at a Fry’s Food Stores location at 6:30 on Wednesday night, 12-packs in tow. Unfortunately for these poor, poor souls, Jackson apparently had something better to do, and blew off the event, stranding interim co-general manager James Jones with a crowd of angry Suns fans:
Jones, in a conciliatory gesture, slapped down a corporate card and paid for all those 12-packs, which according to a Reddit thread from a confused bystander created quite a surreal scene:
Not a basketball fan but WTF just happened. I got to Fry’s and there is a line outside the store and not a single parking spot. There was some debacle I guess they were late and so the Suns?? Paid for free beer for everybody... everyone is grabbing 12 packs and going to the register for “beer only”. Yea free Heineken and Dos Eqis [sic]. I only got a snippet of info while I was checking out, so I went back in and went to get my free beer and I was told they closed the tab already. The place looked like a house party with everyone varying around their case of beer. What a cluster
Twitter user Foshasta Jones, who attended the Wednesday night no-show, tells Deadspin the assembled fans were told they’ll still get the tickets and the autograph, although the latter will have to come via the mail:
Because Josh Jackson didn’t show up the interim GM James Jones came out and had the community staff take contact info of everyone lined up and said we would be given tickets to an upcoming game, have an autograph mailed to us and he bought everyone over 21 a 12 pack of beer. I’m calling it even. Turns out Josh went to Fogo De Chao. I can’t blame the guy, I’ve bailed on events too in order to get the meat sweats.
If you go to the store for a Josh Jackson autograph and instead walk away with free beer, you did not come out even. You came out ahead! Enjoy your good fortune.