This year I've bought into a season ticket package with some other guys to go to Philadelphia Eagles football games. I went to a couple of games last year with them, and it was a good time, so I was enthusiastic when they offered the opportunity to join them for the rest of the season.
As part of the season ticket package, there are tickets to home pre-season games. Typically these games are on Thursday night, which makes them difficult to schedule to attend. Combined with the fact that the big name players don't play, there isn't a big demand in our group for these tickets. As a result, I requested all four of our tickets for the Jets game, and took Berta and the kids.
The game was entertaining. It wasn't as busy as a regular season game by a long shot, but it was busier than any pre-season game I'd been to before. I would say that that stadium wasn't quite half full.
I tried to convey all of this to the kids while we were heading into the stadium. We took the train, which was probably a mistake, but always seems so convenient to Berta's work to get in and out of the city, which I really hate driving to myself. Abby was amazed at the number of people that were in the subway with us headed toward the game. I told her that it was just one subway train, and it that there would be many more people at the game itself. She seemed impressed.
It's hard to convey the difference in atmosphere between pre-season and regular season games. There isn't the same sense of urgency. The same energy isn't there. The pageantry remains, but the crowd isn't as enthusiastic. It's an odd thing.
Riley spent most of the game complaining about how he doesn't like football, "It's boring." Instead of watching Philadelphia play the Jets, he watched the jets on approach to Philadelphia International Airport. There were 25 that he counted.
I also wanted this to be an opportunity for Berta to see what the games were like to attend, since I'd be doing this every other week or so during the season. There are some things that are a pain, like how you can't bring a purse into the stadium unless it's completely transparent. The game itself, if you like football, balances a lot of that out. The food prices are insane at the stadium, though. I don't care how good you think Chickie and Pete's Crabby Fries are, that's too much to pay. On regular games, we usually just grab a sandwich outside the stadium and pack it into the game in a clear bag. Anyway, the game isn't always so expensive to attend.
There was a bit of a bother getting home since I hadn't taken into account the returning train schedule, and we got the kids to be a little later than we'd like. Abby and Riley both commented about how they disliked the city -- it was dirty, polluted, full of weird people... I was a bit sad that I have yet to convey the wonder (this is not the best word, but good enough for now) that I see in the city to the kids. Maybe they will appreciate it more when they're older.
Still, the evening was entertaining, and we survived. Now the kids have been to a pro football game. Hopefully they'll look back on it as the positive experience I was hoping for.