I think today may have been the first NFL game I have attended as a fan since about 1996…no, wait, 2000 (thanks to my awesome girlfriend, Brenda). Anyway, I’m thrilled the Bucs beat the Cardinals in a wild game that maybe wouldn’t have been that wild if Raheem Morris weren’t the dumbest man in America. But I can tell you this about going to NFL games:
Staying home is better.
With a big TV, NFL Sunday Ticket and/or NFL Red Zone, your own food and facilities and no obnoxious fans of the other team, home is definitely the way to experience the NFL these days. Replay challenges – which seem to take forever on TV – take forever and a day when you’re in the stadium waiting for them live. Commercial breaks are death. They can try showing Red Zone highlights on the big screen, but it’s not the same. I can’t change the channel myself.
As pro sporting event experiences go, University of Phoenix Stadium was actually quite good (my expectations have been beaten into the ground, truth be told). The gameday staff at the stadium couldn’t have been nicer (genuinely nice, it felt like). Concessionaires were also very friendly and efficient (it’s a different company than works Diamondbacks games at Chase Field, which are the polar opposite) and the prices were actually reasonable. It wasn’t hard to get in or out of the stadium (mostly because we got there early and most Cardinals fans left with two minutes to go). We didn’t get harassed at all despite wearing Bucs gear, another polar opposite from Chase Field.
But home’s the way to go.
(Going to the game did spare me having to hear Chris Myers call the game. I’ll disagree with Bill Simmons that this is the worst call ever, but it’s fairly lame. It probably doesn’t make the top ten list of dumb things Myers has done, though. And, oh, by the way, Arrelious Benn pushed off. I didn’t see that live.)