saturday, september 3, 2005 shall be known as "emily's day of sports". lured by the offer of a free ticket, the opportunity to hang out with my friend joshua, and the awareness that i probably wasn't going to get any schoolwork done anyway, i went to the pirates/cubs game during the day. i don't do this intentionally, but i always end up finding arbitrary reasons to cheer for the opposing team when i've gone to pirates games. today i decided (and announced) at the beginning of the game that i wanted the cubs to win. and win they did, by a score of 9-5. there was a pretty impressive contingent of cubs fans at the game, which seemed a little odd, until it occurred to me that those cubs fans were also notre dame fans, and were in town for the pitt/ND game later that night.
and all of us cubs/notre dame fans were happily 2-0 for the day!
notre dame's defense made me nervous early on, allowing pitt to score with way too much ease, but as the game progressed, it was obvious that pitt was outmatched. ND has a new coach -- Charlie Weis (former assistant coach for the Pats and the Giants). i liked ty willingham, and wished that notre dame would have given him more of a chance, but it's not up to me (maybe they'll listen when i start making alumni donations? no?). and in ways that i'm unable to do for, oh, say, american presidents, i will support the notre dame football coaching staff wholeheartedly (well, except for bob davie, whom i never really understood).
i love college football! i love notre dame football! i got chills when the irish took the field to warm up, that glorious sea of gold helmets sparkling in the stadium lights! i got all wistful when the notre dame band played its usual game numbers. i swelled with alumni pride at the clusters of ND fans scattered throughout the stands.
i, however, was in the pitt student section, an experience so horrible that it caused me to leave at halftime, even though my team was way way up and pretty much certain to win. i must add, though, that i was wearing a notre dame t-shirt. but under no circumstances was i an obnoxious fan. i cheered for my team. that's about it. now, with that said, here are the reasons why i left:
1. i can only be called "asshole" a certain number of times before i start to get a little annoyed.
2. some kid behind me yelled at the irish guard (the tall guys in full traditional irish regalia who march alongside the ND band -- they used to be functional crowd control, now they're largely decorative), "nice kilt, fag!" i turned around and looked at the kid and said, "you've got to be fucking kidding me." he looked back at me, dumbfounded, and said, "what?" he didn't get it. at all.
3. way too many kids saying to me, "get out of the pitt student section -- you don't belong here." to which i responded, because i am a brat, "i'm a pitt student. wanna see my ID?"
4. when ND did something well, kids would turn around to me and tell me to go home. to which i would respond, because i am a brat, "i don't even play on the team."
5. by the middle of the second quarter, the students all started SITTING! you would NEVER see this in the notre dame student section. at least, not in my day. we would stand for the entire game, even if we were getting our asses handed to us. we would stand and we would cheer and we would be good sports. we didn't assault the sexuality of the other team, we didn't threaten to fight supporters of the other team who may have found their way into our student section. we didn't throw shit. we didn't turn into whiney little titty babies and start saying that our own team sucked.
6. a fight -- an actual fistfight -- broke out on the deck above where we were sitting. that's just retarded.
7. i swear these kids don't even understand the rules of football! penalties would be called against pitt, legitimate penalties, and the students would start chanting "bullshit". dude, that's how the game is played! come ON!
yeah, i should have known better. i really should have known better. i've experienced the pitt student section at a pitt/ND game before (in november of 1999, at the last game in pitt stadium, with my friend dave). i recall less-than-fondly a group of frat boys behind us at that game who kept yelling that "notre dame is a bunch of homos". "homos"??? who the hell calls anyone a "homo" anymore? calling someone a "turdface" is funnier. i mean, come on! of course, during that game, dave and i had somehow managed to smuggle in a flask and drank ourselves stupid so we would be numb to the pain. i called dave on my way home from the game last night. he was sympathetic to my frustrations (he was an ND alum, pitt grad student in that student section, too).
i was truly in a hostile environment at the game. i'm 28 years old and hardly a threat. and yet i was geniunely nervous a few times that i was going to get involved over my head in some sort of snafu. i don't think i'll ever go to another pitt game in the student section. it was just too icky-fratboy-alcoholic-stateschool-ignorantmotherfuckers for my liking. i like football. i enjoy watching football games. i've had my days in student sections. time to bid adieu to that phase of life.
but most importantly, notre dame spanked pitt, 42-21
! i've got high hopes for brady quinn. i'm impressed with darius walker. i'm psyched for this season! remember friends, this isn't just football -- it's notre dame football!
oh, and we saw dan marino walking with an entourage through the parking lot at heinz field. he looked good. a little too george-hamilton-tanned, but good. too bad his team lost.