On Sunday, I went to see the NY Giants play the Dallas Cowboys at Giants Stadium, a critical mid-season game in which the the G-Men sadly suffered a crushing defeat. I was present courtesy of Doug Cohen whose friend scored him some sweet seats but was himself unable to go; so I was the lucky beneficiary of Doug’s friend’s misfortune. And I was able to enjoy the game merely for what it was, as, being an Oakland Raiders fan, I had no horse in the race. I would have liked to see the Giants win though, being a New Jersey boy; I do tend to root for them as a backup team, and since they’re in the NFC their wins and losses don’t often affect the Raiders, so it’s rarely a conflict of interest (whereas I can’t root for the damn dirty Jets).
The seats, as I said, were excellent. You can see how excellent from these crappy photos I took with my cell phone. These were taken from my seat, and being a crappy cell phone camera, no zooming was involved. That’s how close we were. (Click the image for a larger version of the photo.) As you can see, we were on the goal line, so our seats were inferior to a good sideline seat, but as far as goal line tickets go, you couldn’t get much better. Though a group of superfans did have better tickets than us (i.e., they were in the row ahead of us, row 1), and one of them pretty much refused to sit down the entire game, so that was a bit annoying. (I call them superfans because they were wearing these canvas vests with GIANTS spelled out on them. This is not to be confused with uberfans, which are the crazy bastards who paint the letters on their chests, even in frigid weather.)
It was a lot of fun watching the game live; I’ve been to several NBA games and a few MLB games live–I’ve even been to an NHL game, and I don’t even like hockey–but this was my first NFL game. Overall, I was a bit disappointed in the experience, mainly because televised football has spoiled me with all of its great camera angles. I expect I would have a different reaction if I watched the game from a good sideline seat, since that would more closely match the experience of watching on TV. The main problem is that watching from the goal line makes it hard to see what’s going on unless the teams are down in the red zone.
Speaking of the red zone, one of the funny things about being at the game is how Giants management are able to sneak advertisements into the game. There’s an official Giants everything, from the official soft drink of the Giants (Diet Pepsi) to (and I shit you not) the official ketchup of the Giants (Heinz). The reason red zone reminded me of this is because there was definitely some advertisement tied into the red zone (might have been the ketchup, actually, which would make sense), but man, it was kind of ridiculous. You know the funniest thing about it though? Those roaming vendors who walk around the stadium trying to sell you food and beverages were selling soda, but not one of them actually had Diet Pepsi, which was odd, since, you know, it’s the official soft drink of the Giants.
Because the stadium grounds is undergoing some construction, there was limited stadium parking, so I had to park at a satellite lot several miles down the road, along with probably thousands of other fans. We were transported to and from the stadium via shuttle busses (good old fashioned cheesewagon school busses, actually). Going to the stadium wasn’t bad, but going back to the lot after the game? Man, what a nightmare that was, filled with awful, dystopic imagery. If you need inspiration for a dystopic setting, going to a major sporting event like that would get you a nice glimpse of what it might be like. Long queues full of surly people, confusion and anger in the air, members of opposing factions eyeing each other with full-on hatred…
But, other than that, I had a lot of fun. If you’d like to see what happened in the game, here’s a recap.