Yesterday’s Ravens/Steelers game started out with a message of unity — it was, after all, the tenth anniversary of 9/11. We all stood for Taps, paid more than the usual amount of attention for the Star Spangled Banner, then oohed and aahed as fighter jets screamed by overhead.

And then the football started. According to an opinionated man in the nosebleed section with me, there were fewer scuffles between players “because of today.” It still looked pretty brutal out there, though. After one nefarious move by Pittsburgh, everyone in my section started shouting “Steelers SUCK, Steelers SUCK!” One sincere-looking guy tried to switch it to “USA! USA!” but that didn’t really work. Resentment trumps nationalism, at least when it comes to football.

But it was hard to stay cynical when the Ravens were rocking it so hard. And the upside of having a long and sometimes miserable rivalry is that other times, you get to triumph. All those silly outfits seem worth it.

And on the hot, crowded light rail home from the game, no one was grouchy; we were even nice to the Steelers fan who tried to shove his way on the overstuffed car. After all, we felt kind of sorry for him.

2 replies on “Ravens’ First Game: A View From the Nosebleed Section”

  1. Unity smoonity. Obviously Ms. Writer makes the assumption her audience will be unified in their belief that any anniversary of the occurrence of 9-11 should be acknowledged. Because we live in a nation of sheep willingly flocking to embrace any craze, fashion trend, appliance production, mortgage-backed security option, bad movie, PC app. download, football-field-sized gas-guzzling automobile purchase, and the like, very few are willing to appreciate and concede the fact that far more people died during the Iraqi invasion. What kind of citizenry are we? I will never “celebrate” any anniversy of 9-11. Ever. I well remember Vietnam. I doubt Ms. Writer was even in utero at the time. The spectacle and pagentry at the Ravens stadium was simply that: the spectable and pagentry of of a bunch of barbarians. I can now appreciate how easy it was for Hitler. So very easy.

  2. Yikes! Don’t worry about me, dear commenter — I’m pretty rabidly anti-war. Just didn’t feel like a story about a football game was the place to grandstand about it. Mostly, I thought it was interesting how both teams seemed to feel the need to make a big show of unity before the game…. one that quickly went out the window once the footballin’ actually started. As my friend said, “Don’t let the terrorists — I mean Steelers! — win.” I’m sure you can appreciate the irony there, no?

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