The Cost of Getting a Free Jeremy Lin Bobblehead at a Basketball Game

“Free” applied mostly to the bobblehead.

Photo of Jeremy Lin and his friends Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGromm, and Ichiro the plant courtesy of my sisters.

One day this summer, I stood in the pouring rain at Citifield, lining up with actual Mets fans and two out of three of my sisters two hours before first pitch to ensure that we would get a free t-shirt with a picture of Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom. I am not a Mets fan; I am a passionate San Francisco Giants fan when they’re doing anything interesting and a passive observer otherwise. The shirts, however, were fine and when it started pouring even harder in line at Shake Shack, I was grateful to use it to cover my head. I don’t remember much about the baseball game — someone won! I know that much — but I still have the shirt. I will have it for quite some time.

The t-shirt is one thing, but the real primo giveaways are the bobbleheads, the gnomes, the commemorative plates — the kind of detritus that clutter the surfaces of a home, gathering dust. The drive to acquire these items and display them prominently is different of each of us; at least one sister is an actual sports fan, so for her, I get it. Also, we’re all dealing with varying degrees of hoarder tendencies that we’re trying to work through in our own ways. It is for these reasons and many more that when we heard it was Taiwanese Heritage Night at Barclay’s, where the Brooklyn Nets and our play cousin Jeremy Lin play, it was our duty to go.

There was a bobblehead on the line — Jeremy Lin, looking like half the boys I went to high school with, in unfortunate cornrows, dribbling a ball with a smile. Basketball confounds me, though it is the easiest sport to follow, but that didn’t matter. We wanted that bobblehead. We knew it would be free. Still, here’s what it cost me.

$32 for the ticket, Venmo’ed to the sister who purchased it, after a few pointed texts as a reminder. Our seats weren’t quite at the top, but still high enough for me to feel queasy looking over the edge.The game itself was unremarkable, but now that I know a basketball game is basically a pre-tattoo-era Justin Bieber concert, complete with strobe lights and manufactured enthusiasm, I will certainly attend more.

Taiwanese Heritage Night meant a rousing performance from Dwagie, a Taiwanese rapper who did one song entirely in Mandarin, flanked by dancing porcelain dolls and an unsettling Formosan black bear as mascot. Later, on my way to get ice cream, my sister and I found the Formosan black bear and took a photo with him, clutching a sign that said “I Love Taipei” between us.

$13.25 for “dinner,” which consisted of chili cheese fries and the most refreshing Dasani water I have ever tasted.

$11.00 for what I thought was a grapefruit beer(sorry, I’m gross) but was actually a grapefruit flavored malt beverage. It was delicious.

$9.00 for the aforementioned ice cream — something chocolate and vanilla, with caramel and “black lava sea salt,” in a bowl made of waffle cone. I ate the entire waffle cone bowl and it was delicious.

$6.68 for sour strawberry belts, gummy cherries, gummy whales, and a single fun-sized Kit Kat from the pick’n’mix where I got the ice cream.

Total: $71.93

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.