Joe Paterno Memorial Service Ticket Scalpers Are a Disgrace

Joe PaternoSo, what's the worst thing you've ever seen happen at a funeral? Did your uncle ignore the family agreement to skip the eulogy and jump behind the podium to crack jokes? Did the aunties fight over the money? I'd keep going, but frankly, I can't think of a much worse example of where society's headed than what's going down at former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno's public memorial service today.

People were trying to make a quick buck by selling tickets to the show on eBay. Greedy bastards might actually be more despicable than the protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church who love nothing more than to show up at funerals and annoy grieving people (I said almost).


It's a little weird to think about tickets to a funeral anyway, but I suppose with a public figure who's this big a deal, it happens. I live in a small town, and my childhood church was one of the bigger churches in town. When someone "big" died, folks were known to move the services there regardless of their denomination just to fit people in.

That's more or less what happened in State College, Pennsylvania. The tickets were being handed out for free by the university to ensure there would be enough space in the 16,000-seat Bryce Jordan Center for the mourners.

And it took -- get this -- a few minutes for the freebies to show up on eBay. It takes me longer than that to get my computer started up, distract myself from checking Pinterest, make my way through Facebook messages, and actually open up my eBay profile.

This shouldn't be blamed on the auction site, by the way; they can't control everything that goes up on the site, and they were classy enough to take the listings down as soon as they were notified ... but not before someone paid $500 for one ticket and bidding on a second had rocketed to $98,100, while yet another was going for $80,000 (that seller planned to use the cash on her daughter's wedding).

Imagine, $98,000 for tickets to a man's memorial service. MEMORIAL SERVICE. As in a man is dead. As in his wife and kids and grandkids are all wearing black, and people are crying ... and you get the picture.

Joe Paterno was certainly a polarizing figure, but no family deserves to have their loved one's funeral treated with such callous disregard. If this doesn't show the worst of society, I don't know what does.

What's the worst thing you've ever seen go down at a funeral or memorial service?


Image via jkahnpsu/Flickr

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