Ten things I learned about football today: A nerd’s perspective

So I’m a nerd of basically the most traditional caliber.  An avid indoorsman, and without a doubt one of the least athletic people on Earth.  It took years (and the advent of HDTV) for my sports nerd friends to even cultivate my interest in watching anything of the kind on TV.  Once that happened though, I gravitated quickly towards football as my TV sport of choice.  I’m not sure why, I guess the relatively short season makes it more exciting.  With baseball, for example, you’re around a thousand games in before they really start to count.  So anyway, my girlfriend took me to my first Browns game today.  My first NFL game ever, in fact.  Like any responsible journalist dropped into an alien culture for a day, I took some notes.

1. Leave super early.  We’re about five miles from the stadium, give or take, and the line to get in basically started at our house.  Lines to show your tickets, lines to get frisked, and lines to get to your seat.

2. If they’re handing out tiny American flags before the game, take one to avoid a scene.  I declined and the guy basically reacted like I’d shown him a bomb vest.  I promised earnestly that i could remember my country of origin without visual aids, and he finally relented.  Dudes love America.

3. Football fans are more into football than anyone else is into anything.  Well, America and football.  The two are probably about even.  I enjoy the game, but will never be that emotionally invested in anything that happens once a week.

4. Put the straightest male NFL fan you can find anywhere near a stadium, and he will just go supergay for the remainder of the day.  Ditch the shirt, throw on five pounds of Mardi Gras beads, stick four American flags in your headband, and slap the ass of the guy in front of you anytime anyone does anything.  Bonus points for having a field goal kicker’s name tattooed on your arm like you used to date him.

5. Stadium food is priced like it is the last food on Earth.  $11.25 for the same soda/chips/hot dog combo the gas station sells for $2.  I would have to have consumed all other survivors of my plane crash before that felt like a good plan.

6. On a similar note: Stadium beer, woah.  $7.25-8 each, depending on where you got it.  There were guys near us that assuredly spent in three hours what I spend on beer in a whole month.  And I drink, like, a hundred beers a month.  A situation with so many people and so many stairs is the last place I’d want to be drunk anyway though, so no loss there.

7. This might be city-specific, but watching football with Browns fans is like playing peek-a-boo with a baby.  Doesn’t matter how many times the same thing happens, they’re surprised every time.  Poor, poor Browns fans.

8. The guy in front of us was personally responsible for everything good the Browns did for the entirety of the game.  Every first down was a new round of high-fives for everyone in a fifteen foot radius.  I think he may have been part owner.

9. A simple mathematical equation: 6 minutes + rain = 47 minutes.  Oh, fourth quarter.

And last but not least….

10. There is never an oar, two chainsaws, and some duct tape when you really need it.  Getting home from the same place as 70,000 other people will be my own customized hell when I die.  Walking eight city blocks to avoid the “crowded” train station and realizing the sea of people around you has still not thinned at all is a pretty surreal experience.  When we finally got home, beers in hand (net savings for a six pack vs. stadium beers, $41.50), part of me expected the hallway of our apartment building to be crammed with shoulder-to-shoulder brown and orange.

All things considered though, I had a great time and will do this again the very next time I get a chance.  There’s really nothing else like it, being there in person is pretty cool.  Even if all the challenges and time-outs did make me long for commercials and a conveniently placed refrigerator, live football is totally the way to go.  A++, would watch again.

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About Ryan Searles

I like watching movies, and then talking about those movies. Sometimes I write things about them, which you should read. Other interests include boxed wine, video games, the works of Harlan Ellison and HG Wells, and being a general curmudgeon.

Posted on September 11, 2011, in Occurrences, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Who Dey!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. It is pretty sad your first NFL experience was a Browns game.

  3. So cool your 1st game was the Browns. I took them to the Superbowl, today..

  4. If you think the NFL is nuts, you should try college

  5. One would think that with the economy these days and the prices for anything including tickets is way out there (currently passing Uranus bout now), I am surprised that there were 70,000 fans and not 700. Hmmmm, tickets to the game or rent, game or rent hmmmmmm GOOO BROWNS!! My parents still have a spare room. :)

  6. Has anyone ever told you how poignant you are? In case they haven’t, I will. You are VERY poignant.

    Good for you. Keep at it.

  7. mrsoftware666@yahoo.com

    Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: hotdogs and football. -Juvenile

  8. Just a heads up, the whole American flag thing was probably because it was 9/11…might wanna keep up with current events there a bit

    • Duh, duh and duh. Holding the miniature flag wouldn’t have been a moment of clarity… We were already well aware that it was 9/11 thanks to all forms of media and well, every single day since 9/11/01.

    • If they were handing out Santa hats at a game in December, I’d have turned that down too. Just cause I wouldn’t want to carry it around just to toss it later. Not because I didn’t realize it was Christmas.

  9. Just when I thought I couldnt hate the state of Ohio anymore, you entered my life

  10. Marshall Cypress

    I Don’t get it. Football that is.

  11. You wonder about the American flags and patriotism. Your first NFL game was on the 10th anniversery of Sept 11th. I assure you people calm down about that any other time. Show some respect.

  12. WHODEY!!!! Go Bengals!!!! I really wish I could have traveled from Dayton to Cleveland to see this game in my Bengals jersey and all.

    Go to a Bengals game in Cincinnati…. the lines arent bad, the stadium is awesome and the fans are great. I love going to the games there.

  13. You’re not a nerd you’re just a lame-ass know-nothing asshole without a clue. This coming from someone who’s a bigger nerd than you.

  14. Protip: start to anticipate the plays. The easiest first step is to guess when the offense runs the ball, and when the offense will pass the ball. You’ll notice that sometimes the offense will feint a running play and throw the ball (or viceversa). Next, pay attention to how the defense is guessing, and how successful they are at guessing. Advanced stage: learn about “running lanes.”
    Like anything else, football is as nerdy as you want it to be.

  15. I know you’re lying because you said you have a girlfriend.

    • There are nerd girls out there, nerd gamer girls as well- you might just be jealous because you don’t have one.
      As to the post- awesome! My game of choice is baseball, but I like the slower pace – I can’t quite keep up with football or basketball. Glad to see you went to see my favorite footbal team, the Browns, though!

  16. So you’re unathletic (fat), you drink 100 beers per month (drunk), you have a beard (unabashedly heterosexual)…and it was your girlfriend that brought you to a football game. You should seriously consider becoming a fat, drunk, unabashedly heterosexual woman.

  17. As a Clevelander, a life long Browns fan, and a Nerd you will be hard pressed to find a fan as loving and devoted as a Browns fan. We expect every play/game/season to be the best thing ever. When it’s good we high five everyone because our expectations are so often let down.Any Cosplayer in the WORLD would revel in a Browns game. Anyone caught in normal clothes is automatically thought of as “not really a fan”. Fit in. Dress up. the more outlandish, the more accepted. Eat before a game, but buy at least 1 hot dog at the stadium. You can’t not have a dog at a game. Especially with the Stadium Mustard. Yes it’s a proper known. Yes, it’s different here. It’s a CLE tradition. Then just sit back, high five, get ready to laugh.

  18. This guy sure does complain a lot, I feel bad for the people you sat next to.

    • I hi-fived the hell out of those guys, it was a good time. Pretty sure they weren’t inconvenienced by a comedy article I wrote several hours later. :)

      • As a 70s Bucs fan, I know how to attend home games and support the home team even though you know they’ll lose. You, sir, are a credit to real football fans everywhere.

        (Meanwhile, special Sunday football editions of Dr Drankenstein would be totally acceptable.)

  19. nice post and i got more information thanks

  20. hahahaha, there really is nothing like it :) I’m glad you got to go :)

  21. #7 is absolutely city specific. Browns fans are always surprised when the Browns do something that’s not so completely incompetent as to appear to have been planned by second graders.

  22. Just proves the old adage. Its an ill wind that blows no good. Never trust a computer you cant throw out a window. Attributed to Steve Wozniak

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