KJ (owlmoose) wrote,
KJ
owlmoose

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Foray into enemy territory

Something that I have long wanted to do is attended a professional football game. I'm not so much a huge football fan now, but I grew up watching NFL games with my dad every Sunday; it's a fond memory, and I learned how to understand and appreciate the sport. S and I have been talking about getting to a game for years. And today, we finally did it. Her parents were out visiting for her birthday; her dad is a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan; the Steelers were also here, playing the Raiders. And so, we went.

Now, I am also a Steelers fan. My dad is from Pittsburgh, so I was raised Steelers. (I was also raised Pirates, and if Pittsburgh had a basketball team I'm sure I would have been raised in that tradition as well. The Pirates didn't stick; they are a secondary team for me now, at best. But for whatever reason, I never really transferred my loyalty to the 49ers like I did the SF Giants.) The Raiders and the Steelers are old and bitter rivals. So it really was like sneaking behind enemy lines, especially as I don't own any Steelers gear, so I was visiting incognito.

Anyway, it was entertaining, and educational. Even with years and years of watching the sport, nothing prepared me for just how loud it was going to be. Especially when the Steelers had the ball. Home field advantage? Not a myth. It was loud and it was non-stop. Much noisier than a baseball game. Baseball fans can get loud but the roar dies down much more often. It's engrossing, but not condusive to getting over a mild headache. The game itself was entertaining. Not technically good football -- the Raiders' offense is painfully bad; the Steelers are more capable but they made a lot of stupid mistakes that ultimately cost them the game -- but fun to watch. Close to the end, and the Steelers even almost pulled it out with a towering pass that got caught at literally the last second, four feet from the end zone... and then the receiver was tackled, game over.

I doubt that I will make my way to football games as often as I do baseball (if nothing else, the price tag is much steeper: I could have gone to four baseball games with what I paid for this one event), but I'm really glad I went.
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