What happens when a flight filled with Packers and Steelers fans, headed to Dallas for the Super Bowl, is delayed 2.5 hours? The fans make the terminal, and then the plane ride, into a tailgate party. I’ve been on a lot of flights and though I love meeting new people, I have to admit, while traveling I immediately put on my headphones and tune out the world and hope that I don’t get stuck sitting next to a chatty Kathy on the plane (unless of course chatty Kathy is a hot single dude, and we hit it off and the romantic comedy that’s playing in my head becomes a reality). In the terminal and on this specific flight however, I welcomed the human interaction and actively sought it out because it was fun…everyone was just so happy, so excited, and so friendly. You could feel the hope and positivity radiating from each fan whether they were a Cheesehead or a Steeler…the possibility of victory was on the table for everyone, and each fan was convinced that their team would be the champion.
The anticipation was contagious, every row on the plane was engaging one another in conversation on a level I had never experienced on a flight; taking pictures of their fellow fans in their giant leather Steelers Jackets, proudly patched in Super Bowl logos from nostalgic victories past (like my Brownies uniform in elementary school! Yea I totally earned that Friendship badge), hoping that this weekend would bring the chance to sew on another patch…or taking pictures of fans from the opposing team because they had “never seen a Cheesehead hat in person” and had to document it as a part of their overall Super Bowl experience. One man I became instant buddies with while impatiently waiting to board the plane was taking videos of the crowd because he wanted to “capture the fans pre-inebriation.” I nodded in agreement, the sobriety of this group was sure to go out the window once the drink cart was cleared to roam the aisles (overheard from the woman behind me: “mmm! I’m gonna have to have another one of these, they are tasty!” referencing her first of many vodka sodas). Another lady, clad head to toe in Packers gear, who I’m pretty sure had been passing her time at the airport bar, started a “Go Pack, Go!” chant.
Despite the irritating 2.5-hour delay, I was smiling ear to ear.
Tomorrow I leave for Dallas with Chrysler to attend the Super Bowl (oh yes, oh yes) and to get in the proper football spirit (not like I’m not pumped up enough), last night the rooms and I watched Any Given Sunday. I loved it. Not only did I love the sweet neon patterned 90s outfit throwbacks sported by the likes of LL Cool J and Jamie Foxx, I loved the way it was filmed; it was nitty gritty in your face with camera shots and angles that placed the viewer smack dab in the middle of the action. The shaky camera moves and quick darting shots emphasized how fast paced the game really is…how nerve racking the whole experience can be from the angle of one small individual on the field and how small they really are in relation to the mass energy and magnitude of the stadium and fans surrounding them but also how important it is for that one person to connect with their team. Harsh lights, screaming fans, split second decisions and plays, Any Given Sunday did a superb job of capturing the essence of the game on the field, and off.
For those of you who have seen Any Given Sunday, which is probably most of you since I’m about 12 years late…let’s talk about the locker room shower scene for a second…I was not expecting that…was I watching the unrated version?! Geez that was graphic. I must say that is probably the most male nudity I have ever seen in a sports movie. I would absolutely expect lots of naked women in a sports film for dudes, but alas, the female nudity was solely reserved for Elizabeth (Jessie “I’m SO excited/Showgirls” Spano) Berkley (her Pacino football coach lovin’ hooker role in Any Given Sunday and her stripper role in Showgirls are most likely her acting out in a direct relation to her pent up feminism and hatred for macho pig football player Slater, obvs I’m like a psychiatrist).
Besides Any Given Sunday having messages of humility, teamwork, and feminism (Cameron Diaz plays a strong biatch and good for her…it’s unfortunate that by being one she was demonized as someone who would “eat her young”) Willie Beamen, the rookie QB, turned drama queen fame whore, brought up an interesting observation on the race point. Watching the movie I found myself thinking how Dennis Quaid’s character was a QB I could identify with more as being true to life…I don’t know if I’m just oblivious but I had never even thought about the fact that most QBs are caucasian…what’s with that?
The final game of the movie, Knights vs. Sharks (lets pretend it was the Jets vs. Sharks a la West Side Story so I can picture the football players dance fighting and singing “I Feel Pretty” throughout the game) was exactly the kind of exciting game I hope to see on Sunday. I was literally sitting on the edge of my couch in suspense wondering who was going to win. I want the Super Bowl to come down to the last second with big heroic moves…Shark Lavay sticking his neck out for the team and putting his life on the line style moves (“don’t you guys drop me. I’m worth a million dollars!”)…Steamin’ Beamen jumping over dudes and into the end zone kinda moves (“I introduce, introduce the invisible juice”). I want the drama, lights, camera, action…Super Bowl, here I come!
Is that song about a gang…or the Steelers? Kinda the same thing minus the violence? Well, football has violence too…you know what I mean. Anyway, as you all know, I am not a Steelers fan. That being said, I thoroughly respect all hardcore fans because honestly, I just respect die-hard dedication to anything…sports teams, hobbies, fetishes, puzzles, baking, taxidermy, whatever floats your boat as long as it does not bring harm to others (safety first, duh!). Though I do not like the Steelers, as I learn more about their history, and the history of the “Steeler Nation” I admit I can admire their fandom (it’s too bad however, that no one can respect their QB in the moral sense- as a good football player, obvs, but as a man…no, and when it comes down to it, I’d rather respect the man than the athlete).
Let’s take a trip in the DeLorean with Doc and go Back to the Future…er, past, and take a look at what makes Steelers fans tick. First of all it is important to note that this rivalry runs deep with their somewhat equally matched passionate fans, as both teams vying for the Lombardi trophy are two of the original teams in the NFL. But why are the Steelers fans so intense you ask? Well, as the name would indicate, steel happens to be an asset to Pittsburgh and in the 1980s as steel mills were closing and peeps were getting sad (I know a lot of us today can relate with this kind of spirit suppressing unemployment) the Steelers’ successes as a football team uplifted a city that was bitter and cold and sad…like steel. So when all this was going on, Pittsburghians (?) packed up and moved elsewhere, (as people tend to do when things aren’t going well with their principle hometown industry), which would account for why the Steelers seem to have fans all over the freakin’ place…they stayed dedicated to their hometown team that brought them joy in their time of need (tear).
Fun fact that I found on Wikipedia (“Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information” -Michael Scott): A study found that the percentage of female fans in the Pittsburgh market was more than double the average…go PA women (also stand up for yourself against rapists!)! Another fun fact: super hottie Jake Gyllenhaal is a Steelers fan…will you be attending the Super Bowl, Jake? Wanna hang out? Wave some “terrible towels” together? I’d wave one for you…
While I plan on making my own mind up on Sunday… I hear that Steelers’ fans are some of the “grubbiest, loudest, and nastiest fan base in all of sports”…not the most stellar review…we shall see…
Along with not supporting the Steelers, I do not support animal cruelty as I am pretty sure this demonstrates:
Cheese. I love cheese. The French, the Italian, the American, the smelly, the weird, the soft, the hard, even the fake-diet-verging-on-softened-plastic-slices that I use on diet-fake-bread to simulate the melted goodness of a kraft grilled cheese sandwich because sometimes a girls gotta watch the cals, of course. You get the point, I don’t discriminate…I am an equal opportunity cheese lover of all cheese nationalities, shapes, sizes…a cheese connoisseur if you will. The cheese and cracker table at a party…yea, you’ll find me there. My faves: chevre and smoked mozzarella (specifically from Joe’s Dairy in Soho NYC-they gave me free slices when I was a toddler most likely spurring my unnatural love of cheese today) It would then, make sense that I fully support Wisconsin, it’s cheese production, and the Packers’ fans’ nickname the “cheeseheads” because I am one at heart.
The more research I do on the Packers and their fans…the more I like them. The whole cheese thing would be enough to have me rooting for them this coming weekend but here are some more fun facts that only add to their molten delicious fondue fan pot charm. A lot of said charm has to do with their fans, the feeling of the “good ole days,” traditions, and the small city and community that supports them with a passion (I’m totally a sucker for small town-esque cute things…you know like homemade jams, ice creams, and fancy looking other homemade stuff that’s totally an over priced rip off at Whole Foods but obviously superior because it was made by an actual farmer on a actual farm with a real live cow in small-town, middle of nowhere, America. Organic, yes please). Did you know that the Packers are the only community owned pro sports team in the country? That’s right, not one rich dude on a power trip, not a large moral-less corporation, just some lovable cheesy fans. They also happen to be the second oldest franchise in the league (older than the NFL itself, actually), which plays a large part in their home base location. Back in the olden days when my grandpa and his buddies were out playin’ “hookie” from school at Coney Island, smaller cities had pro teams. But alas, the times they are a changin’, and “small town leagues” eventually became extinct. Not Green Bay though…Packers fans literally are a “pack” (adorable!) and these fans aka the owners, wouldn’t let the hometown location change with the times and the big corporations…no sell-outs in Wisconsin. The Packers are their fans and their home is Green Bay and that’s where they’re gonna stay. As a result, Green Bay is the smallest metropolitan areas to have an NFL team. Though their city of Green Bay, Wisconsin may be small, they are mighty and proud, and that’s the kind of fandom I can respect (plus the cheese, it is essential that we remember the cheese).
So who has better fans? The Steelers or the Packers? Steelers fan evaluation to come!
Ah, it’s too bad your team did not reach the Super Bowl, and somewhere along the way your season’s dreams were smashed, but not to worry you will get to play one last consolation game…in Hawaii!!! (insert Oprah’s audience screaming fans) So, I’m new to this whole Pro Bowl thing, but my first reaction was just that, minus the screaming (I would totally be one of those people if I was in the audience on Oprah’s fave things episodes though). I thought, “aww that’s so nice that they’ll get to play another game and that they were each voted into it because their fans love them and they did well this season!” Kinda cool to get to see the bestest players all on one field I would think. I hear no one cares though? It’s “glorified flag football” and lots of dudes have dropped out due to various most likely pretend ailments? But come on football players, awesome free trip to paradise! Well, I guess you can afford to just go to Hawaii anytime since you’re filthy rich.
I, however, am pretty pumped that I have a few Patriots to watch. What will Bill be wearing since it will be warm in Hawaii? Will he be wearing a cut-off sweatshirt tank top instead of his usual three quarter sleeve cut-off? (side note, I hear Bill has been running a tighter AFC shift than Mike Smith, oh Bill, your determination to win in every game…loves it) Has Tom cut his hair yet? Can we all hope to see Gisele in a bikini rooting him on from the sidelines?
I wonder if they like playing with the dudes from other teams? Do the claws come out with certain players who hate one another? Can I hope to see a male cat fight? So many questions to have answered! Will you be watching? Or, are you taking it easy this Sunday, and preparing yourself for the food/pack/commercials/game/party/glee/blackeyedpeas/cheesehead/yayi’mgoingtobethere! intensity of what is to come in one week??