Published September 17, 2013
Gary Yates, a lifelong Tennessee Volunteers fan living in Denver, purchased four tickets to Saturday's SEC tilt between the Vols and the Florida Gators. After his 27 year-old stepdaughter, Jessica Flanagan, had her date for the game bail on her, Yates was left with an extra $150 ticket on his hands.
Most in Yates' situation would probably just try to resell the spare ticket to recover some cash -- perhaps back on StubHub, where Yates originally purchased the seat. But Yates, an airline pilot, had a better idea: He'd give away the ticket for free on Craigslist in exchange for a replacement date for Flanagan.
And so late Monday night, the ad below was born :
The ad reads:
1 Free ticket for the Tennessee-Florida Football game this Saturday (cost to me, $150) on the 40 for the right gentleman. You must be an attractive, professional, single well educated gentleman, with a good sense of humor, 25-33. You also must not be threatened by an attractive, professional, single well educated lady, (as she is). If you do not qualify, please pass this ad to a friend.
The fine print: I lied! (Sorry...not totally free). Your cost will be a modest dinner, drinks and delightful conversation with her before or after the game.
P.S. (Being a Tennessee Vols fan is not required but is highly desirable)
Only those that respond with pictures and resume will be considered! Be creative!
When reached by FOXSports.com Tuesday, Yates confirmed that the ad is 100 percent legit. He says his family, including his wife Brenda, is flying down for the game -- and also using the trip to check on a retirement home they're building in Punta Gorda. The "winner" of the ad will sit with him, Brenda and Jessica at the game.
Apparently the Craigslist community isn't taking it as a prank, either, because Yates says he's been flooded with feedback in the hours since his ad was posted.
"My mailbox is full," Yates said. "I've had a couple of lighthearted responses, one of them was hilarious, but yeah, it's been mostly serious responses -- I would guess, I don't know, 30 or 40, and that's just this morning."
In fact, Yates said the feedback has caught him off-guard to the point that he doesn't even know how he's going to pick a winner yet.
"We're doing this on the fly, so I'll have to discuss that with Jessica," Yates said. "Since we're getting the responses we have, I would think maybe, if the participants are willing, we could bring it down to a final four and make that decision at the game -- but I don't know if it's fair to do that to the guys.
"I don't know, if she decides that she finds one and says, 'This is the one,' maybe we'll just end it there."
And for those who think it's creepy, just know, Yates ran the idea by Flanagan before he posted the ad and she loved it, even providing one of the photos that's used in the listing.
"I OKed it with her first," Yates said. "I wouldn't do something like that without her permission."