Friday, February 10, 2006

Steelers game #1

In honor of the Steelers winning the Superbowl, I have decided to post my experiences from every game I attended this year. This was the first time I hit all the regular season games. The only game I missed was the 2nd pre-season game against Miami. I think I had a limo gig at Starlake, or something similar. It was a gripping season of football and each game had its own strange vibe.

Danno and I hit the first pre-season game of the year since the Eagles were playing. Some of you might recall that the last time we went to a pre-season Pittsburgh/Philly game, I got rear-ended in the Fort Pitt tunnel by the original Cunting Whore. That's pretty much irrelevant, but it does provide a nice backdrop for what would occur this time. We avoided the overpriced parking and opted for a spot on the street above PNC Park near the Children's Hospital. We packed up a to-go bag and tok it to the streets. On our way to the stadium I was summoned over by a black city cop standing on the curb between gold lots 1 & 2. This would prove to be my initial encounter with him. I walked over and casually said, "Hey, what's up?" He promptly explained that the city of Pittsburgh has an open container law and demanded to see my license. I was in a mild state of shock. I asked him, "When did this new non-tailgating policy go into effect?" He seemed uninterested and directed me over to his female partner who had just finished writing a citation. Still astonished at what was transpiring, I asked her the same question and she rudely threatened to "take me downtown." At this point I just decided to shut the hell up. She issued me the open-container ticket and I mumbled a sarcastic thank you. Meanwhile, Danno was observing the whole incident from a safe distance. Suddenly a large group walked by chanting "Here we go Steelers, here we go." Most of them were hoisting beers in the air. I asked her, "What about them?" but she was totally disinterested. Apparently I was the better target - Jew, isolated, unshaven, and so on. After the ordeal, we walked into the Gold Lot 1 and there was a group of people sitting around moping and disgusted. They too had been caught up in this revenue enhancement sting operation.
Anyway, we had a relatively decent time at the game. We snagged tickets for 10 bucks a piece and sat in the 500 level. There was a strange anti-bandwagon female "fan" who sat in front of us. She was wearing a Philly jersey - I think it was a Donovan McNabb one. Danno and her talked for a little bit. Strangely enough, when the Steelers took an early convincing lead, she removed the McNabb jersey, and much to our mutual chagrin, she was wearing a Steelers shirt underneath. She had literally changed sides in a split second. I'd never seen such a drastic change-up. Some kind of anti-inverted bandwagon approach to fandom. We tried to explain the error of her ways but she didn't want to hear it - A lot like the 2 cops who co-issued me the open container ticket.
Anyway, most of the night I bitched about the fine. I was so pissed off that I decided to write a blurb about it on the wimp. It would later turn into a poll and I would eventually pay the fine, although I did include a rather terse letter to their superior. Not that it would matter, or would it?


Here is the orgininal post from the wimp. Don't be surpised if the specific details are different. It has been several months.

Something out of the ordinary happened to me last night. I went golfing with Danno in Cannonsburg and hit the Steelers/Eagles game at Heinz Field. Anyway, after soundly defeating Danno, we proceeded up to the stadium. Parking at the Carnegie Science Center lot was a whopping $35.00 and all the main lots were pre-sold. So I ventured beyond PNC and parked on the street for free. As we walked to the stadium we passed a police officer who was writing a citation to a semi-homeless black dude for an open container violation. The cop motioned toward me and told me to "come over here". I complied and walked over. Then he called over to a female cop who immediately asked me for my drivers license. I was kind of surprised but handed it to her. She explained that it was illegal to have an open container on the city streets. Keep in mind, there are people drinking everywhere, all around us - some on the street, some in the lot. I asked her why they singled me out and she said that "things could get much worse if you continue acting belligerent." I explained, while smiling that I was not being belligerent - I just wanted to know when this new selective no-tailgating policy had gone into effect. She wandered off to her police van and started writing the ticket. Then, she handed me back my license and the ticket and said I was free to go.

The reason I'm mentioning this whole incident is because I am going to let my fellow wimpers decide whether or not I will pay this fine. How's that for Democracy? You get to vote. I have 10 days to pay the fine or throw it in the garbage. Keep in mind, I could conceivably get a warrant in Pennsylvania although I'm not entirely sure they can issue a warrant for an open container violation. Here are some other specs on the incident which might help sway your vote.

I was with Danno at the time. Danno also had an open container but they went after me and he escaped underneath the radar. I was carrying a clear Ikea plastic bag with 3 more Miller Lites in addition to the open one. The first cop had me dump the can and then said I could take the bag of beers with me after it was all over.
The female cop never asked me to sign the ticket. She also didn't write down my social security number - never asked for it . She also didn't specify the amount of the fine, although it says "if no fine is specifed, remit a check or m.o. for $50.00." My address listed on the ticket is my old place in North Puke, not my current residence. 34 Eagle Ave instead of 45 Ridgewood.
The drivers license # is correct.
The comment area on the ticket reads "Actor had an open container of Miller Lite on a city street". No other comments were made. Not quite sure why I was referred to as an "actor".

That pretty much sums it up. I encountered a few other people who had also just been given tickets. They were more noticeably distraught than me. Personally, I think I got caught up in some ill-designed revenue enhancement sting outside the stadium. I also think that nothing will happen if I don't pay the fine ($50.00). I think they were just randomly issuing as many tickets as they can and then hope for the best.

The only cool thing about this whole crappy incident is that you guys control my destiny. If you have some old grudge, here's a great opportunity to get back at me - make him pay the fine. Ironically, even more sinister, would be to vote "no way" and secretly hope I get a bench warrant. Anyway, I'll sum it up with "vote or die." It's now in your hands.

and the poll results turned out like this...

Should our brother Saf pay the fine?

Yes. Make the fool Jew part with his money.
[ 5 ]

No. Fuck da police!
[ 3 ]

Who gives a shit about Saf?
[ 2 ]

Fight it in court, preferably Judge Judy
[ 2 ]

Total Votes : 12

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