It’s a well known fact in my family that when I attend a professional sporting event in person, I don’t always come away with the best feelings afterwards. I had a friend tell me once that the thing they liked best about going to a stadium event was that they could watch all the people. Well then, they would have loved coming with me on Sunday because there were a lot of people to watch!
First of all, I have to say that I was at the home stadium of the only professional football team that I watch–the Minnesota Vikings. I watch them because my husband does, and I will admit that he is more into the game than I am.
That leaves me doing the people watching. I watch them cheer, I watch them fall apart, I watch them do that Skol thing, where they all look like a bunch of trained monkeys responding to their Pavlov trigger–the big drum. What I watch people at these games do the most, unfortunately, is drink, some of them to the point where I really hope they aren’t driving home!
At this point, it is important for me to admit that I am not overly-tolerant of an intoxicated individual in a public setting. I always wish they would save that fun for the bars, but with beer flowing like water from so many different places in the stadium, a person with enough money and stamina can get pretty lubricated at a football game.
However, this game did not have an over-amount of intoxicated people, unless you count the individual sitting directly behind me screaming “Boo” as loud as he could, using his rolled-up program to try and amplify the noise. He only stopped this screaming to wet his whistle on yet another beverage. I was given to understand from his extremely loud rantings that the opposing team “sucked”, the entire coaching staff from both sides “sucked”, and in particular, the referees sucked and had apparently done something quite unnatural with their mothers.
I was distracted from his antics (not really) by the three gentleman sitting two rows down. They were also enjoying the liquid refreshments offered at the game which apparently must have stiffened their knees because they never sat down. So all of us behind them also got to stand up and the expensive seats we had paid good money for stood empty for much of the game.
These gentlemen got the best video of anyone at the stadium when two of them held up their phones and videoed the third one, who on a dare, ran down to the front row seats to try and make time with one of the cheerleaders, a young woman who was not excited about being distracted from her job. The two videographers probably didn’t particularly good film as they were laughing until the tears ran down their faces, while they stood up, blocking the view of the running, passing and scoring that was taking place on the field, from the rest of us. I doubt that prevented the video from going online as soon as they were sober enough to get home, however.
A gentleman, whom I admire greatly, finally did ask them to sit down and he did it so much more graciously than I would have. They were most apologetic and complied immediately. And they stayed in their seats for nearly three minutes.
With our view of the game at least temporarily unobstructed, we got to watch some excellent plays from both teams and I amused myself by contemplating all of the different methods by which I might permanently attach the screamer’s program to his body, but I never tried any of them out because I didn’t really want to be arrested.
After a while, I even got into the whole “Skol” clap, that is, until I managed to jab the fellow next to me in the eye. He was probably wondering just how many beverages I had had, but he was kind enough not to punch me for at least temporarily fouling up his eyesight!
The game turned out well, with the Vikings pulling out the win with a very exciting finish in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. We all high-fived each other–yes, we even high-fived the drunks–and the whole afternoon had a rosy, after-win glow to it.
On the way down the street towards the parking garages, I may have witnessed the best thing of the whole day and I don’t think the gentleman who did it was anything but clear-headed. A mass of purple was on the corner waiting for the light to change, when one gentleman wearing the light blue of the opposing team walked bravely into the crowd. He exchanged glances with a few of the silent, purple-clad hometown fans, grinned the biggest grin ever, pumped his fist in the air and declared, “Skol Vikings!” There was a man who correctly read his audience and responded accordingly. Skol, Vikings, you won the game!