With a heightened sense of trepidation in the air, Gigi and I hit the Steelers/Ravens game Sunday night. She was optimistic but I surmised our potential to score free tickets at about a 50/50 shot. We took our spot on the very wobbly, but historic bench outside Gate A. Every time I stand on that thing, I feel inclined to sing the Beach Boys. And sure enough, Gigi will quietly sing along in a muted, guarded tone...
For those unfamiliar with the bench scene, there are two of them. I prefer the bench closer to the Art Rooney statue. I've named this particular bench, "Bench A-2." The view from the other one was obstructed by a mobile dumpster. That bench is appropriately named "Bench A-1." Next time I'm down there, I'll bring a marker and christen the damn things.
Assigning naming rights to a bench or scribbling the word "cum" on a dumpster could be construed as a little less dramatic... but you get the drift.
Well, we stood on that bench for about 25 minutes to no avail. All of a sudden, there was a whirlwind of activity. A man saw our sign and prepared to hand us a free print-out ticket. Just as we were thanking him, this dude came out of nowhere and placed two tickets in my hand. He-Bang! He Bang!
The mysterious philanthropist bolted off in the distance before I could properly express my gratitude. For a game of this magnitude, that was just way too fucking easy.
So we milled around for a bit and headed in just after the Steelers put up their first (and only) touchdown. At halftime, there was a fantastic tribute to some hall-of-famers.
Incredibly cool. Well, except for the fans on the 200 level who always scurry inside to the heated lounge area. Fucking babies! What an embarrassment. Then again, you glance over to the main exit area and there are hoards of people streaming out of the stadium. For the love of Allah, the score is 10-7 and it's the best regular season grudge match of the year. And it's a nationally televised night game. And it's only half-time. Just what is it about these people? I swear to god, they just don't do this in other NFL cities.
It got me to thinking. Someone needs to do a sped-up time lapse video of everyone exiting the stadium from halftime onward. Show the bodies in fast forward and run a real-time counter. It would make for some fascinating discussion. After all, Steeler Nation is comprised of the greatest fans in the world. Yeah... right.
I know... I know... Saf, why are you so obsessed with the behavioral habits and movement of the crowd? Well, it's just one of those deals. Do not fear. I'm not going to say it. Suffice to say...
The other highlight of the evening...
Gig saw 2 "tickets" sitting on top of an orange barrel outside Stage AE. They looked like this...
At first glance, they seemed like some kind of matchmaking promotional material for a dating website. I threw them in my pocket and didn't give it much thought.
Rummaging through my pockets the next morning, I made a closer examination. These fugazi tickets are actually a marketing tool for a brand new company based out of Pittsburgh. getthehookup.com is a GPS mobile based app that connects last minute buyers and sellers in a twitter based chat room setting. Really, it's no big thang. It's just the greatest moment in the history of the techno-scalping revolution. And this app has other wide-ranging possibilities. What if some youthful, aspiring yinzer needs a shot of Jagermeister? What if some tailgaters are running dangerously low on Yuengling (the Pittsburgh equivalent of gasoline)? What if someone wants to unload 100 unofficially merchandised Steelers hemp key chains at a reduced cost? What if a bum/street person (with an iphone) wants your leftover black'n'gold lobster ravioli from Jerome Bettis Grill? Well, you'd find out that it has been removed from the menu.
I've already exchanged emails with the guy who created the website (Levi Benson). I think we're going to hook up in the near future. This could be interesting.