Re: Brady Not Happy With Gillete Crowd
posted at 9/15/2010 6:33 PM EDT
Once upon a long time ago (198something or other), there was a drunken fan. Well . . . the truth is, there were a lot of drunken fans. But this one particular drunken fan was singled out of a larger crowd of drunken, obnoxious fans who were hooting and throwing detritus (that's trash) at a small group of renegade 49ers fans who had unwisely located themselves in the northwest corner of what was then (fittingly) Schaefer Stadium. He was selected out of the large group and asked by a stadium security guy -- the company was First Security in those days, and this guy probably earned about five bucks an hour to stand with his back to the game and scowl -- to leave. Well . . . the drunken fan had no intention of leaving. He had paid the princely sum of $8.00 for his endzone seat (in which he was not sitting) that day, and he politely told the First Security guy that he hadn't been doing anything everybody else wasn't doing and that the security guard could happily go f*ck himself.
Apparently, the security guy took himself more seriously than the fan did, because it was at this point that he (the security guy) actually put his hands on the fan and attempted to drag him forcibly from the section. This is where the story gets interesting. Not amused in the least that this minimum-wage deuschebag had dared to become physical -- and very drunk -- the fan (not then far removed from his high school wrestling days) hooked the guy in a passable semblance of a chicken wing and threw his weight into the security guy, tumbling them both, locked together, down the risers of the stadium. When they got to the bottom, the situation might have escalated into something much uglier, but by this time, there was one of those nine-foot-tall state cops standing there, and this guy did not appear to have any sense of humor at all. He told the drunken fan that it was time to go and, much to his credit, the drunken fan agreed that it was so, and was quietly escorted to the nearest exit.
Problem solved, yes?
Well . . . as it turned out . . . no.
Once outside the stadium and free to do as he wished again, the drunken fan noticed that the barbed wire which topped the chain link fence that seperated the concourse beneath the stadium from the parking lot did not extend over the backs of the concession stands, and that he could quite easily scale the concession stand, skitter across the roof and drop down into the concourse, thus winning his way back into the stadium -- he had, after all, paid his eight dollars. Well . . . wouldn't you know it . . . the very same cop who had just escorted him outside saw the drunken fan attempting this and shouted at him in disbelief, "Do you WANT to go to jail?" Obviously, drunk as he was, the drunken fan saw clearly this time that he was utterly defeated (although not yet under arrest) and clambered back down the fence, and went on his merry way back to the parking lot.
Or would have . . .
But it chanced that as he was passing by the south endzone, he noticed a high school marching band entering through a service gate in the chain link fence, obviously on hand to perform the halftime show. Inspiration struck the drunken fan, and he simply walked up behind the marching band and walked back into the stadium as if he had every right in the world to be there (which, having paid his eight dollars, he believed he did). He quickly hopped a low wall into the stands and snaked his way back to the northwest corner, where his friends were not in the least surprised to see him returned -- and where he kept a low profile for the rest of the game as the Pats were systematically throttled by the Niners and he got drunker and drunker as the day wore on (you could buy beer right up until the end of the game in those days, too).
Ultimately (although there were no further incidents), the fan got so drunk that he got seperated from his friends in the crush leaving the game and actually got lost crossing the street -- you get that? HE GOT LOST CROSSING THE STREET --, and it took him two hours to find the lot (nothing but an open field among many in those days) where they had parked.
This is an absolutely true story that has not been embellished in any way. I will leave it to you to guess who that drunken fan may or may not have been, and simply leave you with a question.
What would you rather have: A fan base that is absolutely no help whatsoever to its team, or a stadium full of that guy -- who risked the very loss of his freedom multiple times, simply for the opportunity to cheer on a team that was an utter laughingstock? Yes, he was hopelessly inebriated; but he was passionate, that guy. I think that's what's missing. The passion.
Either that, or I am entirely wrong.