By the time we finally made it to our seats, the hype had hit a crescendo. The Pats fans had made the final minutes before the game miserable, as if they secretly knew it was their last chance to crow for a long, long time. The Super Bowl is a weird environment because the crowd is not partisan. About 50% of the fans were Giants (or Colts) fans, 30% were Pats fans and 20% didn't really care. Because the numbers were so split, the stadium never stopped buzzing, but also never hit frenzied levels of noise.
Photo courtesy of Kerry Byrne, ColdHardFootballFacts.com
They've done away with on field introductions in part because I think teams always want to be introduced together. the effect is weird. They play video intros that are soulless, and then the teams charge out as one. At this point, I was so nervous about the game that the other pregame activities like the anthem just became a blur.
Our seats were amazing. It felt like I was watching the All-22 film live. I've never been a big endzone seat guy, but from a strictly intellectual stand point, the angle is fascinating. The endzone is an amazing place to watch routes develop. The single biggest takeaway I had from the game was how beautifully the Patriots offense is constructed. The route combinations were spectacular. Players would be running well covered through a zone and then pop they would just spring wide open. There were several instances with Welker where I almost had to pick my jaw up off the floor at how open he got. I always wondered how they accomplished it, but after watching it from that angle, I can safely say that the Patriots offense is a thing of genius.
I also noted that the press seats suck. I've never been more happy not to have credentials in my life.
If you notice the hint of grey hair in the lower corner of the first photo, that gentleman was wearing an orange Tom Brady jersey. There were a lot of Patriots fans around me, so I spent most of the game loudly disparaging their quarterback without actually being offensive. It's a trait I've mastered through years of practice. After Brady heaved his first pass of the game to no one, I stood up screaming that it was grounding. It actually took the officials a good minute to make the call, and in the meanwhile, the rest of the section was looking at me like I was nuts. Grounding on a deep ball is relatively unusual, but in this case it was an easy call. There was no one within 30 yards of Brady's throw. After the safety was confirmed, I went on a long rant ostensibly to Pat, though actually directed at every Patriots fan within 40 seats of me.
"What a fail! What a foolish throw. Brady should be ashamed of himself for making such a CRITICAL mistake there. That's just embarrassing for him!" It went on and on. It's the perfect technique: the know-it-all ahole. Because there's no actual profanity involved, it's hard to start a fight over it. But at the same time, it's highly annoying because the heckler (me in this case) is clearly trying to flaunt intellectual superiority over you for rooting for such a stupid team (as the Patriots). I confess, I don't go into this mode often, but this was war. Patriots fans had invaded my stadium to celebrate their team and it was my sworn duty to make the game experience as miserable as possible for them.
Like all Indy natives, I spent the week back-slapping the New Englanders and making sure they felt welcome in our humble mid-western town. We spent $700 million on a stadium, and we needed their money. I sold it like everyone else, but it was through clenched teeth. After they spent the hours leading up to the game clowning on everyone in blue, it was game on. Am I proud of my slow burn, Chinese water torture treatment of the Patriot fans? Maybe not. Do I apologize for it? Not a bit. Happy happy nice nice ended at kickoff.
Grey-haired Man traded spots with another guy 6 seats down by the end of the quarter. It's his own fault. An orange Brady jersey is an affront to humanity. Mission accomplished.
The first half was frustrating to say the least. While the safety was one of the highlights of my life, knowing that Giants had let the Pats up off the mat stuck in my craw. New England had the lead, and I was going to be subjugated to Madonna.
I loathe Madonna on all levels. I'm not even going to start that conversation, but just know that on the continuum of 'how people feel about Madonna', I'm way at the one end. I don't want to disparage other people's ideas of art (well, I do want to, but I won't), but Madonna couldn't be less my thing. Her performance was uneven and caused ear bleeding in several parts of the stadium, with only Like a Prayer showing off any melody at all. Still, I was there, so here's a photo and a short video. Then I will move on and try and forget what I saw.
Not that it's easy, because my wife says, "Hey, how was that Madonna concert you went to?" at least twice a day.
Cruel, cruel woman.
Coming soon, the final installment: the second half.
Having the Superbowl in Indy was a great time, and I didn't get to go to the game, fancy parties, or meet celebrities, so this diary added to the experience. When it comes to heckling fans, sometimes they totally have it coming, and sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. It totally depends on how safe I feel. No matter how bad yr team gets beat on the field, a real beating is ALWAYS worse. Anyway, I don't think you were out of line at all. How long were you overseas? And then you finally come home to a new stadium and .... 2-14? Why not kick the "feral pack of Townies" when they're down, if it makes you feel a little better?
I've been a die hard Colts fan since 99. I was always a basketball guy and just didn't have an interest in football. It was the playoff loss to the Titans that made me aware that I was a Colts fan. It was the first time I felt heart broken watching a football game. Living outside of Chicago most of my friends are Bears fans. One of my good friends scored playoff ticks for the Bears Vs the Eagles. I don't recall the year but it was the last game in the old Soldier Field. Even though I could care less about either teams when my friend asked me to go, I couldn't say no. We sat next to a husband and wife couple who were from Philly. After about a quarter of listening to a couple drunk homers harrasing the couple I finally said something. I don't remember exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of "If you two don't shut the F up I'm going to come over there and do it for you". It worked. They shut up. They weren't just ruining the game for that couple, they were ruining it for me as well. They weren't just making themselves look stupid, I felt they were making the city look stupid. The couple must have thanked me a hundred times by the end of the game. I was starting to think they were going to ask me for an escort they seemed so gratefull. They told me how rude Philly fans can be at home and said they had never seen a Philly fan stick up for a visiting fan. That made me proud. I felt like I represented the city and fan base well. I've wondered at times if because of what I did maybe some visiting fan was saved by that same couple. Kinda like a pay it forward. I guess we all have are own way of dealing with things, but I never understood why people feel the need to be such douche bags to people who happen to like a different team. Not to sound too sappy but I think the world would be a better place if we tried to see the things we have in common with others, rather than the obvious differences.
Fabulous work, Nate (you loudly ridiculing Brady in the perfect manner, that is). Good to know that when Brady Epic Fail is involved, the world has you to stick it to Patriots fans. That safety will be an ever better memory now that I can picture the disgusted faces of all those Pats fans in agony around you.
Well done, Nate. The know-it-all-ahole is one of the best characters to be with opposing fans around. Though I've found I can't do this when the wife goes with me. She's a great football fan, but thinks that is a bit over the top and embarrassing. Perfect use when you have a good wing man who understands the point of shooting down and shaming the ignorant opponent fan!
Nate, thanks for defending OUR HOUSE! Thanks for representing all those who wanted to be there to boo the Pats but had to do so from bars & living rooms! I would have done the same!!!!
The percentages of fans seemed a lot more skewed on TV. The most startling to me was in the introductions when the teams ran onto the field. When the Giants did it, the whole stadium just seemed buzzed. When the Pats entered, I couldn't hear any cheers, and actually heard loud, audible boos.
To me, it seemed like 80/20 for the Giants. A lot of that 80 might have been neutrals though.
"Patriots fans had invaded my stadium to celebrate their team and it was my sworn duty to make the game experience as miserable as possible for them."
This. This. This a thousand times over. My brother and I went to the Pats/Colts game in '09 (I believe it was) for the infamous "4th and 2" game. I spent at least an hour after the game running up to every Pats fan I saw on the street, and immediately falling onto the ground holding my throat while making choking sounds. Am I proud of it? No. Wait, yes I am. Very proud. Was it immature? Absolutely. Welcome to my world.
The point is that I wanted to beat into their thick skulls that they are not welcome in our house.
If the CA community has tickets at their disposal, you may have just guaranteed yourself a ticket to every single away Colts game. Who would not want you on their side for that type of heckling? That was just classic.
But I don't get the orange Brady jersey -- what was the significance/purpose of the orange?
@Peyton for President Thank you for expressing your opinion.
I never pick on visiting fans first. I'm happy to let people sit quietly and enjoy the game. No one gets attacked because they wear the wrong colors.
However, when people come to my team's stadium and intentionally try to ruin the experience for the home fans, I go after them. I'm not violent. I'm not profane. I do let them know that they are not welcome to disrupt the game for other people. I embarrass and humiliate them for daring to come into our building and be poor guests.
Everyone has fun in different ways. My idea of fun is to watch the game in peace. If I'm not allowed to do so, I will take it out the perpetrators.
Happy happy nice nice is fine as long as everyone is playing by the same rules.
@ninpojames My brother and I were at the "4th & 2" game. He ran the downtown streets of Indy giving high-fives & higs to more than 20,000 people. We both had no voices for the next three days. OH, WHAT A NITE!!!
@ninpojames That's the thing. I don't act that way at road games at all. I respect the fact that visiting fans annoy the home town crowd. They pay good money to the game and shouldn't have to deal with annoying visiting fans. So I stay quiet.
At home, in the Luke, it's a whole different ball game.
"Hey! Look at me! I'm a fackin Tawm Braaady fan. I got a wicked hahd on fah that mahtha facka!"
Thats the significance
@Nate Dunlevy So home fans pay good money to go to the games, but visiting fans who probably paid 2-3 times face value for their tickets, had to travel and pay for a hotel don't? I'm thinking it probably has more to do with the fact you'd get your ass whipped for acting that way at a visiting stadium.
@Lineback Utter brilliance.
Well, if you have to be crazy, you should at least be sure to throw in a Hitler reference!
@Nate Dunlevy You are completely distorting your post before I told you to go fuck yourself. It is in black and white. You should go back and read it. Like usual it was incredibly smug, insulting, and full of assumptions, but like usual your ego blinds you from that. I didn't personally insult you until the last line and that was to prove a point and let you know you crossed a line. It really doesn't matter. This convo is losing it's flavor. I was laughing my ass off last night and even this morning, but this is starting to get boring. What exactly are we arguing about again? Who is a worse person? Who started it? We could go on and on forever and I think we would both have the same view as we do right now. I think you're a complete douche bag, a borderline narcissist, and someone who peddles opinion as fact. You think I'm a complete nutjob and everything else you mentioned. I doubt either one of us will lose sleep over the others opinions. So go ahead and get your last word in. I'm going to go do something a little more challenging, like rearrange my sock drawer. Yes that was a "Last Action Hero" reference. Goodbye Colts Authority Fuhrer.
@Peyton for President I'm not oblivious to the fact that I've insulted you. Your behavior merits insult. It's been juvenile and repulsive.
That absolutely merits derision. You earned your derision by trolling. You tried to extol virtues you neither possess nor actually believe in.
I know full well what I've said about you, in order:
lacking moral compass
Given the way you began the discussion (trying to assert a moral authority), and the way you quickly devolved into petty vulgarity and personal attacks, I'd say those are apt and fair descriptions.
I am using shame words to describe you because they are accurate reflections of your behavior. You should be ashamed of the way you've acted.
I called your words "sanctimonious, annoying and a little hypocritical".
You rejoined with personal insults and implored me to 'go fuck myself'.
It's all there in black and white.
And by the way, it's my blog, so I will have the last word. I won't ever ban you, because I'm actually quite fine with dissent. However, I will not back down.
You took my normal method of resolution off the table. Letting arguments go isn't what I'm about. I've always been happy to settle them privately, but that's not an option with you. You prefer it all public, so I'm honoring your request.
Here it is. Public. All the worse for you.
@Nate Dunlevy Dude, it's hilarious how you are completely oblivious to the fact that you are just as insulting as me. What's the difference? I have a potty mouth and you keep it PG13? Maybe if you could jump off your high horse and quit the self righteous act you would be able to see that. We're both wollowing in the mud at this point. I can see that. Your ego blinds you from that truth. The great Nate Dunleavy being drug through the mud by a random blogger. If you were the bigger man you would have ended this already. So think about everything you've called me and go take a look in the mirror. I'm not the only one who's shown their ass buddy.
@Peyton for President I'm glad this is on the record.
Now people can see you plainly for what you are.
@Nate Dunlevy LOL OK slingbade. I love how your massive ego blinds you from reality. Like anything else that you know very little about, you think you know it all. You seem to think that as long as you don't curse, you have a right to insult people in any way you see fit. An art you have mastered over the years. You are one big walking contradiction. You are a thinned skin little baby who thinks he is superior to his readers. If I am anything, let alone everything you've said, you sure are quick to jump into the muck head first. Kinda like you did at the Superbowl. I'm starting to see a pattern here. Oh wait, I almost forgot, you did use the he did it first defense. Something that most people learn isn't a valid excuse by 1st grade. Your whole know it all Ahole act, isn't an act at all. It's what you are. You clearly only write to stroke your own ego and anyone who isn't willing to do the same is worthy of your insults. Everyone should bow down to Nate the Great. I got knews for you fatboy. This isn't Nazi Germany, it's The United States of America. Welcoming dissenting views is something you should be a bit more open to considering your occupation. I'm not sure who didn't love you enough growing up, but anyone who was confident in their self would be much more open to criticism. And trust me Natedog. If we ever have a chance to meet in person, you'll find out just how honest and sincere I am. I'll relish the opportunity to tell you what a bloated sack of shit you are directly to your face. Sorry for not writing more, but I have to go finish slathering myself in butter. Cause I'm craaaaaazy!
@Peyton for President Seriously? Your best bet is to question my resume? See, that's why I worry about you.
I was annoyed by you initial criticism because I suspected you might be a certain kind of person at first. I do care about the opinions of good people. I thought you were one kind of person. Pharisaical but sincere. It's a personality type that bugs me, but I try to work with. I find extreme rule followers to be sort of boring and annoying, but try to respect that they do have a code they honestly want to follow. They are annoying, but honest in their way.
Once you gave your flip out answer, I realized I was wrong about you. You don't have any moral compass at all. You were just making a lame passive-aggressive attempt to bait me.
Now you can say whatever you want, because I know there's no honesty behind your words. You aren't the least bit sincere. You are completely fraudulent. You don't really care about the happiness of those around you at games. It's just a lie. No one truly sensitive to the feelings of others would behave like you. You aren't an honest hypocrite, you are just a liar.
You don't believe a word of your attack. If you did, you wouldn't have conducted yourself like this. You are just a troll, nothing more. So feel free to fire away. You can't bother me any more. I know what you are now. The only emotion I feel toward you is embarrassment that I ever thought you were something more decent.
@Nate Dunlevy Are you sure you didn't mean ten people thousand of times? That would be more believable. I'm suprised you didn't mention the dozens of people who have read your book. I didn't want to talk offline because I know your type. I've watched "To Catch a Predator". And you're right, anyone who disagrees with you must be crazy. You've said far more personal things than I ever have. You are exactly everything you accuse me of. Just out of curiousity, if I'm so crazy why is it so easy for me to get under your skin? Now on a serious note, I have to get to bed. I don't want to miss my morning naked run.
Sorry, I didn't want to say tens of thousands.
I didn't want to sound like a braggart.
What is your trip? Seriously, I was worried about you when you said you didn't want to email offline, because it showed you were clearly paranoid and irrational, but holy crap...I had no idea you were legitimately deranged.
What makes a person come and act like this on a website?
Normal people don't behave like you do.
@Nate Dunlevy The fact that you've dealt with hundreds of people in five years of running a website speaks volumes of your talent. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go back to smearing poo on my walls.
@Peyton for President Wow, you are a piece of work.
In five years of running a site, I've dealt with hundreds of people, many of whom disagreed violently with me.
You just happen to be the most intellectually dishonest to ever comment.
I genuinely think you are a horribly troubled human being.
@Nate Dunlevy I guess I struck a nerve. I'm not the one who dedicated half of an article to brag about making the Superbowl a miserable experience for others. If you can't accept dissenting opinions maybe you should re-think this whole writing online gig. I didn't know that people who don't line up to kiss your ass weren't aloud to post their opinions. I must have missed the disclaimer. As far as our convo goes. I can't recall ever hearing of people who have gotten beat up or worse because of blogging. Even if I wanted to kick your ass it's not going to happen because I'm not going to walk out the same exit as you after our verbal exchange. On the other hand I've heard of plenty of people getting beat up or worse because of words esculating at football games. While you might not be violent by nature, other people are. So if you choose to participate in the verbal back and forths at football games don't feel sorry for yourself when someone cracks you over your thick skull in the parking lot. Sanctimonious? Wasn't my point. I done some pretty fucked up things in my life. Trust me. The difference is that I don't brag about it. Still think I'm being sanctimonious? Let me prove you wrong. Go fuck yourself!
" I've never felt it was my job to make someone miserable."
Yet, that's what you are doing right now. See, despite being ridiculously sanctimonious over what was meant to be a largely humorous post, you are attempting to assert moral superiority and general douchiness into this conversation. You are trying to portray yourself as morally superior because you see no reason to irritate visiting fans. Yet, strangely seem to have no sense of your own effect on me or this conversation. You are annoying me right now, and doing the very thing you are judging me for doing. It's sad really. You are so busy minding specks, that you've missed the giant log. I've found most of our conversations to be unpleasant, and found you to be very willing to call names, so forgive me if I find you more than a little hypocritical on this point.
Criticizing people for non-violent, non-profane behavior toward visiting fans who are behaving obnoxiously is simply ridiculous. You need to think about your motives for sharing your thoughts here. What are you trying to accomplish and why? Did this seem like a forum for discussing fan decorum? Is that what this article was really about? Why did you choose this time to have this discussion?
If you want to come after me, do it. Open up. Let the guns blaze. Don't pull your punches. I have no interest in a half way conversation.
Otherwise, feel free to keep your thoughts to yourself.
I'm sorry you didn't like my article and don't like me. You are more than welcome to stop reading and never come back. I won't mind, really.
@Nate Dunlevy No problem. I just act the same way no matter where I'm at. Anyone who can by a ticket has a right to be there. We crucify players for poor sportsmanship but don't hold each other to the same standard. I have mad respect for anyone who has the balls to come into a visiting venue. I hold myself to my own set of standards not the standards of the most obnoxious person in the room. I've never been anywhere that a heckler made my experience better regardless of which side I'm on. Everyone has a right to enjoy the game and I've never felt it was my job to make someone miserable.
@Peyton for President Visiting fans have no right to be there. I don't act that way out of respect for the home fans.
What is your problem?