Three observations from last weekend's Redskins preseason game, in order of ascending hatred.
3) Worst color scheme for a stadium ever. [Product-placed shipping company] Field's ugliness seriously now eclipses the Houston's Astrodome's red-red/orange-orange seats (you know, the colors everyone in the '70s thought would be the "COLORS OF THE FUTURE!").
The team had the same set-up in 2001. The stadium was originally "Jack Kent Cooke Stadium" after the team's old owner, but when the aforementioned [product-placed shipping company] took over the naming rights, they apparently decided that the top ring of the stadium needed to be colored similarly to the company's logo. Which gives us a band of purple, orange and green colored fences at the top of the stadium, like this:
It goes spectacularly badly with the inside of the stadium, where seats are colored... burgundy and gold.
Yecch. This picture doesn't even do it justice. I can't explain in words how awful these colors look together.
2) You can't bring backpacks into the stadium, thanks to a policy instituted after 9/11.
I'm getting a little tired of being treated like a potential terrorist everywhere I go. I realize that our area is often a target for terrorism of various kinds, and that there's occasionally fan-related violence in the stands but that's why you search backpacks before letting them in. When I go to a game, all told I'm generally away from home for seven hours. I want to take reading material, my radio, and sunscreen, and it's a pain in the ass having to fit all that crap into my shorts pockets.
Can we please get over 9/11 already and start living our fucking lives normally, like we used to? Yeah, we're at risk of being the victims of terrorism. We always have been. I'm willing to accept that if I can get on with my life, and not have to make do without a backpack for the whole day. Let's pull up our socks and get back to normal.
This country has the self-image of perservering through tough times and standing up to attacks, but now we're just acting like a bunch of chickens. Or is that just in Washington? I was just at Wrigley Field a month ago, where they had no problem letting me bring a backpack inside; I don't see why [product-placed shipping company] Field or [product-placed telecommunications company guilty of fraudulent accounting practices] Center should be any different.
You also can't bring umbrellas into the game. Ostensibly, that's probably so everyone has a clear view of the game. But the couple behind me at the stadium was convinced it was because of terrorism. "Oh sure, you could hide something up in there [in the folded umbrella]," the husband said.
What the fuck?! Did the Penguin escape from Arkham Asylum again? Are we really still so skittish that we're concerned the umbrellas people carry might be deadly weapons? If so, we're all a bunch of fucking cowards.
1) The ushers at the game are like unto the Gestapo.
Now, I understand that they have a job to do. Keeping order at a football game among rowdy and drunk fans is not easy. But this is a preseason game. It doesn't count in the standings, the starters only play for half the game, and the ticket holders tend to either stay home or leave during the third quarter. Plenty of seats open up closer to the field in the second half, and it's a perfect opportunity for us poor upper-deck denizens to move down and watch the scrubs play from a closer vantage point.
And yet, the ushers forbid it. I had to do quite a lot of sneaking around at halftime in order to find an aisle that happened to be unguarded by these fucking bastards. Once I did, I sat in the back of the lower corner section of the stadium, alternately watching the game and reading a magazine.
When I finally got up to go with a minute left in the game, I witnessed an usher preventing a kid from entering the section. Understand that there were maybe 5,000 people left in a stadium that seats 80,000. This kid wasn't going to be taking anyone's seat, and he probably just wanted to get a glimpse of the field close up. But no, Mr. Ticket Gestapo wouldn't let him.
Now, being the nice guy that I am, I directed this kid towards the unguarded section. But why must this usher be so vigilant in his duties at the end of a meaningless exhibition matchup?
Oh right, because the Redskins are evil, Dan Snyder is Satan, Washington is a joyless metropolis, etc.