Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Steelers vs. Colts preseason game: August 19, 2012
Saturday night, I had a brief discussion with a crickish brute. I mentioned that me and the woman were going to the Steelers game tomorrow evening. He replied, "That sounds like fun Saf. So when do you think you'll leave the game? I fired back, "Probably early in the 3rd period." Turns out, we left late in the 2nd.
So.... Gigi and I hit up the Steelers home opener preseason game. I've noticed a strange discrepancy in the crowds that show up for the first two meaningless games. The fans just seem stranger, dumber... yinzer if you will. Here's my theory - most of the "esteemed" season ticket holders have little interest in the preseason. So they readily give away their tickets to their weirder friends and relatives. Perhaps it's that neighbor down the street with a broken refrigerator that has sat on the porch for 8 months. Or maybe it's the in-laws you don't really care for. Or maybe it's that "diehard" homely fan who knows all the stats but has never been to the stadium. He just doesn't "get out much."
I guess my point is this. The preseason seems to bring out more of the freakshow element. And of course, they have to purchase everything in sight. Every t-shirt, every ball cap, every Polamalu wig, every Steely McBeam shot glass. This is their Superbowl. Each field goal, each extra point is celebrated with shrieks of joy and reckless towel-whipping enthusiasm. As you might suspect this makes for good people watching. Sensing the joy, I made a sign.
Do not fret. I only made it as a joke. Honestly, it never saw the light of day. We parked in the hood and walked down to the stadium. We did a half-loop around Heinz Field and asked a few people for freebies, but to no avail. On the way back to our standing bench, Gigi saw a pleasant beancounter with a stack. She asked for 2 and he immediately gave them up. No questions asked. POW! With tickets secured, we hung out for a while and absorbed the influx of the fans. Seriously, why do people take such pride in purchasing overpriced season tickets? Shouldn't this be viewed as more an act of defeatism? I'll never understand why people take such pride in giving their money to mega-millionaires.
Wouldn't it be cooler if the pre-game tailgating festivities were more of an open, "bizarre bazaar?"
Think in terms of Istanbul. Chaotic haggling with a formidable level of confusion.
The ticket stubs have a different theme this year.
At first I thought they would be featuring a series of people with physical or mental handicaps. But it was actually part of a contest called "My Pittsburgh Steelers." It's simply Steeler Nation fans with a story... serving in the military abroad, breast cancer survivor, etc. Geared toward anyone enduring some degree of hardship. I like this better than the endless pics of overpaid football heroes and management. They should consider an "all-inclusive Pittsburgh theme" for future tickets. Pittsburgh symphony, the zoo, the Incline, orthodox Jewish synagogue in Squirrel Hill, University of Pitt students fleeing empty building, etc.
We mostly hung out in the pit and watched the game on the widescreen. This gave me an idea. What if a small group of exercise fanatics were to congregate for every game in the back left corner of the Steel Pit? With my expertise in the signage industry, I would construct a lackluster banner. We could call ourselves the "Steel Pit Runners" and watch the game on the monster tv. The idea - a small group of people jogging in place for the entire duration of the game. Allowing for a break at the half and in between each quarter seems reasonable. As the Steelers earn their win, you basically just jogged a marathon. I truly believe this has merit.
A. It's a great way to keep the extremities warm during the cold weather part of the season.
B. Cool promotion of "asymmetric fitness."
C. You're close to the exit in case of a stampede. If you sense a panic, you just run right out the exit.
D. I think it would be a big hit. Would make for a great ESPN story or local sports anecdote.
E. I love how it smacks in the face of conventional norms. Who the hell would pay all that money and not sit in their assigned seat like a normal, model Steelers fan?
The downside - no room for recreational tailgating before the game.
So yeah, we exited as the first half was winding down. Earlier on, I had eyed me up some sealed bottles of Red Hot at one of those condiment stands in the Great Hall. I just had to snag the Red Hot. Everyone was counting on me. Everything depended on it. So I stuffed two bottles in my back jeans pockets.
Red Hot. We Are Red Hot. Oooooh, To The Top, We Are Red Hot! Motley Crue really needs to call it quits.
As you can see, one of the bottles is half full. It's from Gigi's frig. This picture was taken at her house the following morning. She made an exquisite omelet with some kind of hen-dorsed, egg-flipping wafflesque contraption compliments of my favorite aunt... Aunt Esther. Also, there was a side of somewhat mushified (but tasty) home fries.
So you're probably asking, "What the fuck Saf? Why regale us with heroic stories of how you commandeered two bottles of Red Hot? Where's the other fucking bottle, dude?" Excellent query.
On our way back to the car, we encountered two young black teenagers who asked us when the bus was coming. They wanted to get to Perrysville up the road. Gigi thought the buses were done for the night, so we gave "Roman" and I forget the other kid's name a lift. On the way, I bragged about the illegal Red Hot acquisition. The kid pipes up, "Hey, that stuff is my favorite!" So we gave him a bottle as a token gesture of goodwill.
Gigi also ground-scored 11 cents as we exited the stadium.
That put us up for the night... +.11. Think of it as a monetary palindrome. Nice. Back to the Burgh for the MMJ show tonight. I'm completely hooked on these guys. This whole 2012 "curator" series, summer tour is beyond cool. For those unaware with what a real rock concert is, fans can tweet their song suggestions and help design a new set list every night. Their entire musical catalog is at your disposal. Guess which atheist Jew wants to hear Xmas Curtain? This guy. But I don't do the twitter nonsense.