||[Dec. 18th, 2007|06:19 am]
So, last night I went to my first ever pro football game, at the Metrodome here in Minneapolis. I was accompanied by the inestimable Mr. Jeff, and we had an enjoyable evening cheering on our team, the Minnesota Vikings. What follows is my observations about the experience, most of which do not have to do with football so much as the environment around it. |
The most important thing to note about the experience is that it is CROWDED. As the display mentioned at some point late in the game, this was the 105th consecutive sellout for a Vikings game. This means there were 60,000 people in attendance, not to mention all the hangers on, vendors, etc. This also meant that there were thousands of extra vehicles on the roads around game time, which intersected with the end of the evening rush to create nasty traffic. Still, it could have been worse. I was warned that it got very loud in the Dome, and it was actually quite tolerable throughout.
I'm glad I arranged parking at work ahead of time. The cheapest price we saw for a spot was $15. Of course, my inability to navigate downtown was exposed, and because of the traffic Jeff and I spent rather more time stuck in the car than we would have liked.
The Metrodome upper deck is definitely designed for skinny people. The concrete steps up to our section were steep and narrow, and were handling several hundred people.
It was remarkable how small the field looked from where we were. I've sat at high school games before, so I did have some sense of the optical illusion, but it was really hard to shake throughout the game. This also extended to the players, who looked about the same size as everybody else on the field. The notable exception to this was the Bears' star linebacker, Brian Urlacher. I could tell he was built like a beast.
For example, I don't think the punts and kickoffs reached eye level with me. Everything looked like a shank until it landed inside the 5.
I hadn't expected to there to be so many non-players that spend time on the field during a game. Cheerleaders, the color team, guests, etc.
One thing that many people have lamented when attending football games are the "TV timeouts". I didn't find them that bad, mostly because there was so much to see that 30 seconds passed pretty quickly.
There are plenty of gorgeous women that attend football games, and I am not just talking about the cheerleaders.
Jeff and I were in the minority in that we were wearing street clothes and not the team colors, with the jersey being by far the most popular piece of team attire.
It was heartening to see the diversity of players represented on the jerseys. While obviously our rookie star running back was the favorite, I saw jerseys for almost all of the starters just from what I could see.
While I understand the marketing niche, it still strikes me as silly to have jerseys in petite sizes. And it's just wrong when they are also pink.
While I understand rooting for your team, the Bears fans that were in front of us were obnoxious about it. Your team isn't playing for anything, guys. keep your heads on.
By far the most popular vendor? the beer guy. He sells it in plastic bottles and takes the cap off before passing it down the aisle. And as we discovered on the way out, it's good they are plastic 'cause there would be a lot of broken glass on the ground, otherwise.
While I understand some people really want to be on the jumbotron, there is such a thing as trying too hard.
Man, does having a star RB bring the crowd into it. Whenever they thought (our) Adrian Peterson had an opening for a big play, they started leaping to their feet. Shame his fancy TD run happened at the endzone I wasn't sitting behind.