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.