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Scenes From MetLife Stadium

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Scenes From MetLife Stadium

This past Sunday, I had the great fortune of taking in a Packers game with my lovely wife. It's rare that we get to spend time together sans-children, let alone out and about with other adults. Unfortunately, some of the "adults" we met on Sunday night could learn some lessons on sportsmanship from our children. Carolyn asked if she could do a guest-post for CHTV on the experience. I thought that was a brilliant idea, so, enjoy...

I love football.  I have to.  It’s the only way my husband will talk to me.  And I was thrilled that we got to go to the game together on Sunday.  It’s the first game we’ve attended together since Favre’s first appearance, pre-season, with the Jets.   Remember THAT ancient history?  I do.  I woke up in the middle of the night; I felt a strange disturbance in the force.  Aaron looked up from his computer and said “Brett’s a Jet”.  I steeled myself for all the crap I was going to take from Jets fans now that they had MY quarterback.

I had to steel myself again this Monday.  When the Packers have a big loss like they did on Sunday against the Giants, I absolutely dread coming into the office.  After the initial team beating I have to mentally prepare myself for the second beat down: a bunch of Giant lovin’ colleagues huddled around the coffee machine just waiting to ambush me with their oh so clever, ripped from the headlines repartee.  “The Pack got sacked”.  Ha ha.  Good one.  Anymore?  “The Packers forgot to PACK their game”.  Really?  That’s not even funny dude.

Mostly though, it’s all harmless fun.  And hey, they're Giants fans.  It’s not like they don’t know defeat in 2012. (Hello Pittsburgh game? Cincinnati game?).  I wish I could say the same for the fans that surrounded us at Met Life Stadium on Sunday.  I’m from London.  I grew up a Chelsea fan.  I know about passionate football supporters, and I know how down and dirty they can get.  In England, fans have their own entrances just to avoid a pesky knife fight with a visiting teams fan base.  I’m sure you’ve heard the stories.

I was always so impressed that it wasn’t like that here, at NFL games.  I sat next to Vikings fans once.  VIKINGS FANS!  At Lambeau!  And they were nice.  And we chatted.  And I admired their hunting gear.  And they shared their hand warmers.  And we won.  And by golly they were STILL nice.  It was like a movie.  Except as an English person watching that movie I’d be all like “this movie is ridiculous, that would never happen”.

Needle scratch across the record, back to reality, Met Life.  Before the game even started we were regaled with drunken cries of “Break that Faggot Rodgers back” and “Packers suck”.  I think our favorite was “You can’t stop the run” every time we stopped the run.  Other Packer fans in our seating area were equally appalled.  We’re Packer fans.  And that is so not the way we roll.  And you know what?  You can take the girl out of South London, but you CANNOT take the South London out of the girl.  Husband made me sit on my hands so that I didn’t shove my complimentary bratwurst into their loud, disgusting mouths before karate chopping them with my copy of Emily Post’s Etiquette (always keep a copy handy) and finishing them off by kicking a cheesehead, Mason Crosby style up their ass.  Go.  Pack.  Go.

It’s football, I know.  We rib each other, we poke fun, we talk smack.  Unless they’re Bills fans, in which case we hug them and say “sssshhhh, sssshhh, sssshhhh” repeatedly, until they dry their eyes and ask for French fries.  In a city that’s recently seen major areas decimated by a storm, it was a very sad reflection on Giants fans generally, that in front of a visiting teams fans they should choose to act like Neanderthals.  And even that is complimentary.  Racist, sexist, homophobic and hell, just downright ridiculous slurs have no place in a football stadium.  It’s football.  Root for your team, poke fun at the losers, but keep your hatred and anger to yourself.  Some of us are trying to watch a game here.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mojo's picture

What sucks is you can't respond to some of their jeers with; "Oh, yeah, when's the last time YOU won the Superbowl."

I can't believe people from Jersey could be loud and disgusting . And why do I visualize you having to pry Aaron out of a headlock at some point.

As far as Aaron not talking to you about anything but football, consider that a good thing.:)

bleedsgreen's picture

This is brilliant, more please!

One quibble, if we did kick the cheesehead "Mason Crosby style," it'd go wide left of their asses.

Chris's picture

This made me laugh pretty hard. So true, and still funny even if it hurts a little bit.

Adam Czech's picture

Behavior at sporting events seems to have regressed a lot in the last five years. Maybe that's just my perception and not reality. That's what I tell myself, anyway.

I think the neanderthals know that they hold all the power. Most "normal" fans are too nice to say anything to the obnoxious ones and don't want to tattle to security. Punching them in the face will just land you in jail.

Just be thankful that you don't live in Minnesota and have to endure the oh-so-clever "Why do you cheer for the FUDGE PACKERS?!?!?" quips.

bkshimada's picture

I agree. I went to the Packers-Chargers game last year and while the Chargers fans weren't like the Giants fans Carolyn described, they were also still pretty bad as well. Drunk, rude, and full of bad language. But also agree it's not just the NFL. Look at what happened with Brian Stow and the Dodgers/Giants. In general, I prefer the college game atmosphere. For the NFL, I prefer watching the games at home.

Rebecca's picture

I find "fudge Packers" to be more offensively homophobic than faggot. They're both horrible and anti-gay, but the FP insult just drives down to my core.

I've had to educate people on facebook that no matter how much they hate the Packers, gay slurs are NEVER acceptable. I appreciate it when straight people agree with me.

Thanks, Mrs. Nagler.

Jeff's picture

I've begun responding to the Fudge Packer comments with a remark about how good fudge is and ask if they don't like fudge. I love it, and so I am appreciative of those that pack it. Without fudge packers, we would always have to go to fresh 'fudgeries,' and I'm sure we're all too busy to do that.

Andrew's picture

"Because I like to cheer for winners."

Jayme Snowden's picture

"Behavior at sporting events seems to have regressed a lot in the last five years."

YES!

When I lived in San Francisco, I went to see the Packers there. Drove there by myself. Walked into stadium by myself. Found my two friends (one a Packers fan, one a Niners fan) at our seats. Packers won. And I walked back to my car by myself. I never once felt threatened or put out. The worst I heard all day when walking by a tailgate - and it wasn't directed at me, was just shouted in general - "We're ready to grate some cheese today!"

Now, people are being stabbed, shot, and beaten horrifically at the same stadium.

Mrs Nagler's picture

I've heard a couple of comments about me being "too sensitive". Trust me, its true. Often I can be too sensitive. I'm certainly very sensitive about racist comments. And homophobic ones. And worse still, downright flipping stupid ones. So if that makes me too sensitive, then guilty as charged. I thought that getting rid of the old stadium might also eliminate the "get yer tits out" mentality. How naive of me.

Jayme Snowden's picture

I get that as well and it makes me smdh.

Apparently when a slur is said, its my fault for not liking it and not the bigoted person for saying it.

Chris's picture

Well done, Mrs Nagler. Feel free to drop us a few lines now and again. I really enjoyed your perspective.

Mrs Nagler's picture

Thanks Much!

The poster formerly known as Bearmeat's picture

Yes. This was outstanding. I will share with my wife - she has said the EXACT same things to me while in visiting stadiums before!

Bercovici's picture

Hear, hear. Haven't been to a Giants game but I've been to Met Life for a Jets-Packers game and those fans are obnoxious. Not so much violent or threatening as just boorish and stupidly proud of it. It was the kind of reception I was expecting to get in Philadelphia when we traveled there for the 2010 playoff game, but Philly's legendarily vicious fans were actually quite mild (one isolated but scary punching incident and a flicked cigarette aside). One Eagles guy told us he was being nice to us specifically because we were Packer fans and he remembered how friendly everyone was to him when he attended a game at Lambeau. EAT THAT, FANS OF THE OTHER 31.

A-rodges Mustache's picture

That the game I went to in Philly too. I was expecting much worse but the fans expected to lose that day. AT least that is what they told us. I did bring my former arena league playin buddy who is 6'2 280. IM sure that helped. The worst part about that game was the cold. I had chest pains from being hunched over shivering. That and walking to the car afterwords. The snowballs fell from the sky like scud missiles.

Justin Block's picture

Growing up as a Packer fan in NJ/NYC, I've dealt with Giants fans all my life. They're relentless, idiotic, and offensive.

At last years Packers-Giants game at MetLife, I was racially abused on the train ride back to Secaucus from MetLife. A group of drunk Giants fans, upset at their loss, decided to pick on me (I was dressed in full Packers attire). "Chink" and "Pikachu" (the Pokemon) were directed at me, since I'm Asian.

I just pretended like they weren't even there, and eventually a few Packer fans on the train told them to simply, "shut the fuck up."

This year, however, it was different. Fans in my section were nice to me throughout, and I had some intelligent, fun conversations with a few about the game. Friendly banter. As I was leaving the game, an elder Giants fan behind me even said, "Have a good night," in a very sincere tone.

Maturity reigns.

Mrs Nagler's picture

Absolutely agree, the older fans are different. Had one or two in our section that were so sweet, and clearly embarrassed by these drunken fools. I'm sorry that happened to you. Its disgusting behavior. Hat tip to the Packer fans for standing up to them!

JerseyAl's picture

That's an important distinction. The majority of Giants fans are on the more mature side, having had their season tickets for decades. Every Giants fan I know has been nothing but respectful to me. Hell, we basically invaded a Giant's tailgate with a few dozen Packers fans and were welcomed with open arms, even by those who had no idea who we were.

Unfortunately, the twenty-something drunken assholes are the ones that garner all the attention, which then reflect poorly on the rest of us from NY/NJ. I'm sorry you had to have some by you.

Other than a few discount double-check jokes, I didn't have a single Giants fan say anything bad to me before, during or after the game. The Giants fans I knew at the tailgate all have commented to me how nice the Packers fans were and what a pleasure it was talking to them.

I guess I'm kind of defending Giants fans here... Most Giants fans are angels compared to Jets fans. The assholes run rampant there.

Thanks for sharing your perspective.

A-rodges Mustache's picture

Mrs Nagler...
Nice to meet you. I have had the pleasure of attending packer games at Soldier field, Metlife, Fedex, the Linc, and raymond james. By FAR the worst "Fans" I have encountered were in DC. I nearly got into a brawl with the entire row I was sitting in and was told that Green bay is a worse place to live than Iraq!!
But a close second was my experience at metlife last year. I sat in a section FULL of one entire mob family. It was hiddious(much like my spelling). Even the children where allowed to curse and use foul language while at the game. After a few beers I started to get offended by some of the comments and had a few choice things to say. At which point one of the older members of the family curously dissapeared. when he returned he had a member of security with him and the security guy told me to come with him. He then informed me that I was being ejected from the game for mmultiple complaints!! WHAT THE HELL??? This is not "packer people". So I told him that I had to go back and get my brother in law and my stuff from the seat. IN reality I was about to go back and kick off a brawl of my own. I could see that the family had banded togther in typical mob fashion to conspire against me. I was heated and about to blow my lid. I mean I was in section 107, 3 rows from the field and I was being ejected as the result of being berated and deciding to return fire. I felt like I was the second guy to dive on the pile and get the 15 yard penalty. Luckily for me there was a nice giant fan couple sitting in the section next to me who pulled the guard aside on the way back in and stood up for me. SO the usher moved me to a better seat:). I WAS 3rd row at about the 10 yard line and got moved to the 50! It was a nice turn of events. Other fans around the country are not all like this. Even in NY one of the fans in the section I was sitting in saw me at the half and bought me a beer and gave me a hug for the trouble. (Made me feel like crap for wanting to start a brawl) Hell, I even got a pretty good ribbing in chi-town but it was all in good fun. Fans just need to realize that THEY are ruining the fan experience at the game. I have 2 young girls and I may never take them to a game anywhere other than Lambeau. Fans need to Be more polite to others polite. I mean after all the players and coaches can shake hands at the 50 after the game but we have to act like neandrethals in the stands? its a game people!

Mrs Nagler's picture

We have 3 daughters, and I certainly thought about them alot during this game because you know, we are a football family and I could NEVER ever consider bringing them to a game at Met Life. Conversely I had a friend drive to Lambeau for a Giants game (he's a Giants fan) and told me how AWESOME the Packer fans were/are. He said he was blown away by how kind they were, how they invited him to tailgate etc. Amazing. One of many reasons I love the Packers: their fans!

CSS's picture

This:

".....before karate chopping them with my copy of Emily Post’s Etiquette (always keep a copy handy)....."

is fantastic. Can't say I anticipated ever reading that line on this blog. What is the proper etiquette for such a task? You should really add a chapter, details are critical.

Erinne's picture

This makes me rethink my goal. I recently set a life goal to see the Packers play at every NFL stadium. My experience in St. Louis of this year was beyond positive, but partly due to the masses of cheeseheads in attendance! It felt almost like a home game. I got spoiled attending games at Lambeau, and enjoying the comraderie that games there entail. I'm looking forward to some venues (Metrodome before it's demolished for one, I grew up attending baseball games at that venue but have never seen a football game in the 'marshmellow') and dreading others. I've heard so many horror stories now about Packer fans attending games at Soldier Field that I almost want to try to get last min tix to the game on the 16th to get that over with. Judging by the behavior of Bears fans here (I live in Illinois) when I wear my Packer gear out, the game isn't going to be a pleasant experience unless I luck out and get a group of decent people to sit with. It's a shame really. I can smack talk and rib back and forth with the best of them, but I don't get snide and disrespectful. I'd never throw a racial or gay slur that is for sure! I read about the behavior of some Texans fans at the Houston game and was appalled as well. There are kids at these games, but how long are football games going to remain (if they even still are) a family friendly event?!

LOVED this by the way!! Etiquette has gone right out the window.

dullgeek's picture

Holy crap! Reading this piece changed after the sentence, "I'm from London." It's like all of the sudden I can't read it without imagining it being read with an English accent.

And I can't seem to turn it off. That's just weird.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

LMAO, I kinda got the same thing, but I dug it. It's like we're getting refined or some shnit brah!

AndrewInAtlanta's picture

So, I came to Cheesehead TV some time ago because I found a blogger who thought #4 was turning into an ass as much as I did (Nagler). But now I see the other Nagler is even more talented than the first one! More please :)

woodson4president's picture

I went to Philly game ..season opener 2010 (yeahhh sb season) and the fans were very rude,but not as bad as Pitt. I was walking through the crowd at the Pitt preseason game a few yrs back and I got my Cheesehead slapped off my head and the worst part was....it was a woman. After that....wasn't a big fan. Loved beating them in sb45!

leo's picture

I live in Argentina (I’m sure you’ve heard the stories) so I know about passionate football supporters, and I know how down and dirty they can get. Down here people die every year in fubol related incidents.It is nice to know Packer fans aren't like that. Please don't let violence ruin fotball.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Mad props She-Nag!

GBP 4 LIFE

WisconsInExile's picture

I've been to Packer games at quite a few stadiums, but I have to give Atlanta a hat tip. Friendly fans that are passionate about their team. Some scattered good natured, and courteous, ribbing. Even during/after the 2010 playoff game, (what was left of) the crowd kept their composure. Only one crazy drunken idiot in the two Packer games I've attended there, and the fans kept him in check until the police cuffed him.

Jack's picture

Great piece of writing, trenchant and funny, too. I think Cheesehead TV needs to sign Mrs. Nagler on as a regular contributor.

I had a similar experience at the Giants-Packers game in the Meadowlands last year. A whole posse of drunk, obnoxious Giants fans harassed us the whole damn game. It was very uncomfortable. At least we won; I can only imagine how much worse it would've been if the result had been similar to Sunday's drubbing.

Soldier Field is pretty bad, too. After one game, Bears fans threw partially full beer cans at our car as we exited the parking lot.

Chris's picture

It all depends on luck. In every stadium you can get lucky and get into an area of nice fans as much as near the seats of some idiots. Sure the chances of running into idiots might be a bit higher at some places than others, but there are nice people everywhere. The problem is that one bad guy can ruin it for a whole section.

I am from Germany and attended 3 random games on my vacation earlier this year (non-Packers games though) and sat in areas where fans of both teams sat happily right to each other. No bad things happened all around. And I enjoyed it so much more than visiting a "football" match over here (the one with the round ball, you know), where supporters of the visiting team are forced into one small area of the stadium (for their safety).

I hope that you still consider going to see a Packers away game, Ms Nagler, because the next time you could just end up sitting in the right section.

Franklin Hillside's picture

I enjoyed reading this. Thank you, Carolyn.

Becky's picture

I went to the game at MetLife last December with some NYC-area friends, and we were shouted down by a cluster of rude, crude Giants fans behind us whenever we cheered for the Packers. Their behavior seemed to reflect the cold, sterile feel of the stadium itself, which gave me the creeps, frankly.

The only other away games I've been to were at San Diego (very nice, mellow fans), Minnesota (not too bad, although the Metrodome was a nightmare), and Chicago (never again).

Anyway, thanks to Carolyn Nagler for her very enjoyable post. (P.S. My maternal grandmother was 100% English and she was the kindest, most decent human being I have ever known.)

cameron b's picture

Very good writing! loved it!

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