Tuesday, October 13, 2009
WTF, We're In First Place: Bengals Knock Off Ravens, Sunday's Official Fan Diary
Montana-to-Rice, Manning-to-Harrison... Child Please.
Carson-to-Caldwell? All day.
For every Bengals fan that wasn't in Baltimore Sunday here's the official day long diary. It would have been up Monday, but 3,000 words is impossible to write on an airplane.
Characters in this story include me, Melissa (in the tiger skirt above), my friend Jeremy, my friend Justin, Justin's girlfriend (who up until Sunday only allegedly existed) and the 467 other Bengals fans in attendance:
10:23 p.m. Arrival in D.C.: We're staying at my buddy Jeremy's place. When I say Jeremy's my buddy, here's how I know him: He's my ex-girlfriend's little sister's ex-boyfriend. I've never read anything more made up either. On our way to his house, Melissa and I ride the Washington Metro (that's the train system for those of you that have never been to the nation's capitol). We spent 45 minutes on the train and out of 35 people we talked to, three spoke English. Turkish, Spanish and French Rosetta stones are now on my Christmas List.
1:24 a.m. At an apartment somewhere in the inner city, Jeremy almost commits involuntary suicide when he somehow breaks two wine glasses even though he wasn't drinking wine or holding glasses. His wrist should have been slit, he should be dead. He was wearing a Bengals 85 jersey when this happened. Every Bengals fan for the rest of the night is ridiculed.
7:54 a.m.: My alarm goes off, but no one wakes up. Lets try this again in 42 minutes. Our goal of being at D.C.'s Union Station by 8:45 a.m. is now shot to hell.
8:36 a.m.: Alarm goes off and I actually wake up this time. Thus starting my Bengals game day ritual. Every Sunday morning I play the Bengals touchdown song when I wake up. Also, I play it loudly, no matter where I am. On this particular Sunday, I was in a house with nine people, six of whom hate the Bengals. After 39 straight minutes of the touchdown song, it is clear that all six non-Bengals fans in the house now hate me, the song, the color orange and all people from Cincinnati.
9:24 a.m.: If you're ever in D.C. and you're looking to catch a train to Baltimore, it's probably a smart idea to look up the train schedule on the internet. For some reason I thought there would be trains leaving every five minutes. Nope, try every hour. Next train: 10:15 a.m. That news meant we were moving the tailgate party from an M&T Bank stadium parking lot to an Amtrak Train. If you've never tailgated on an Amtrak train before, I highly recommend it. Just remember, grills are not allowed. They are generally mistaken for bombs. Moral of the story: Things that look like bombs are frowned upon in Washington D.C.
10:12 a.m.: My girlfriend Mel decided she needed to buy a water, no one is shocked because the night before she drank six cans of nati light. Drinking nati light is always a horrible idea unless you're playing beer pong with a drunk freshman girl you're about to score with. Mel was not doing that. Anyway, Mel goes to get the water and she comes back with seven other things that are not water, among them: honey nut cheerios, oreo cookies, kool-aid, sprite, two percent milk and a taco shell. I didn't even know you could buy taco shells. Way to waste our money Mel. There are four other Bengals fans besides us on the train. We high five them every time we see them.
11:01 a.m.: I do a radio show every Sunday morning in Atlanta at 11 on 920 am WGKA. First problem of the day: I'm on the train at 11:01 a.m., meaning I'm not on the phone to the show. My first thought: I'll do the show by text message. Unfortunately you can't do the show by text message. Seriously, it's 2009, I can set the DVR on my TV from my f*cking cell phone but I can't do a radio show by text message. Technology can go to hell.
11:08 a.m.: Finally the train stops and I have a brilliant idea: "Hey Jeremy and Mel, while I'm doing the radio show, lets start walking to the stadium!!!"
"Hey John, how about we wait until the show is over and we take a cab."
"Gayest idea ever guys, the stadium is like one mile away."
Lesson learned here: The stadium is not one mile away from Penn Station. I did my radio show for 30 minutes, we walked at least three miles and the stadium was nowhere in site. So then, I had another brilliant idea:
"Lets take a cab"
Mel and Jeremy in unison, "You're the Browns offense of this trip. You suck more than words describe."
We get a cab.
11:41 a.m.: Cabbie drops us off at a Hilton hotel by the stadium. He says there is no way the Bengals can win today. If I've learned one thing in life it's this: cabbies know a lot about cricket, but nothing about professional football. We were meeting Justin and his girlfriend Lesley at a restaurant down the street. Jeremy and Mel noted that we needed some sprite for tailgating purposes. I run into a local Subway to buy a large sprite.
Me to the person behind the Subway counter: Hey yo, here's some money, can I have a large cup for Sprite?
Please keep in mind that there are 12 people in line at Subway and they're all Ravens fans. To them, me asking for a cup = me cutting in line.
Huge Ravens fan: If you get that cup and cut in front of me, you'll be leaving this place with something besides sprite.
Me: Like what, a fist to my face.
Ravens fan does not laugh, he gives me the "If you're not out of here in 11 seconds, I'm going to do something to you and then probably go to jail and I won't care one bit" face. I leave Subway sprite-less.
11:58 a.m.: After asking several pedestrians, I find out that the closest gas station is 11 miles away. Seriously!?! Where the hell do people get gas downtown. My crusade ends with no sprite, I head to the restaurant to meet the others.
12:14 p.m.: Mel has been at the restaurant for 16 minutes trying to get a drink for herself. Because she's a Bengals fan, she gets no service. Talk about profiling. To a .00001 percent degree, Mel can now empathize with black people in the 19th century.
12:31 p.m.: What I'm about to describe, I don't ever advocate doing. Mel orders a sprite from the waitress. Mel disappears into the bathroom for 8 minutes. Mel comes back with a sprite that is no longer clear. It now looks like Ginger Ale. We spend the next eight minutes guessing what she added to the drink and how long it will be before someone in our party gets arrested.
12:44 p.m.: After eating more Buffalo chicken spring rolls then should be legal, we go to the stadium.
12:58 p.m.: I'm not sure if Baltimore's newspapers are prominently featuring events that happened in 2006, but the number one thing we hear on the way to the stadium is, "hope none of your players got arrested last night (that's original retard)" and "We dey." I don't care who you are or what team you cheer for: We-dey wasn't funny when Bill Cowher said it the first time and it's gotten less funny since.
1:20 p.m.: As we near our seats, we hear the crowd roar. Thanks to an update from my sister, we knew the Bengals were driving, so in my head I thought two things: "St. Louis just F*cked us over or Carson threw a pic." 38 seconds later I get a text from my dad, a former Bengals kicker himself. The text says "high snap." For the rest of the game, I enjoy every Brad St. Louis snap because I know he's gone 8 seconds after the game ends (Update: it ended up being 48 hours, but who's counting).
1:24 p.m.: As Mel and I walk up to our seats someone yells, "SLUT," I say "why would you call her that," he says, "I'm talking to you." Third time in 18 years I've been called a slut, gets better every time.
1:52 p.m.: Why is the guy in the picture to the right pointing at my camera, why is his buddy making a face like he's about to french kiss an underage orphan... because Ed Reed takes an interception 52-yards to the house. At that exact point, about 17 Raven's fans say the same thing, "Ha ha, you're still the Bungles."
2:01 p.m.: The Bungles drive right down the field and quickly respond with a Shayne Graham field goal. Ravens fans say, "oh we're a bend and don't break defense." Um, no you're not. You're a break everyone's will defense and you're doing a horrible job of breaking our will today. The Bengals O is treating the Ravens D like Bobby Brown used to treat Whitney Houston.
Halftime 7-3 Ravens: At halftime I learn something fun, Ravens fans absolutely hate being called the Browns. There team is from Cleveland and every fan knows it. But they don't like to acknowledge it. It's kind of like when your kid grows up to be Jeffrey Dahmer, you try to keep that on the down low.
In the bathroom line I tell a few Ravens fans that the Browns defense was more impressive last week. Even though I back my statement up with facts and several examples, I am still exiled from the bathroom, forcing me to find a different one.
On my way to the next bathroom, I take a photo of the couple above who apparently got married and came straight to the game. If the game ends up foreshadowing their marriage, divorce is probably only days away.
Third Quarter: Back in my seat, me and some other Bengals fans spot this guy (Pictured right): the only thing more embarrassing than getting beat up by a girl would be getting beat up by this guy. All seven Bengals fans in my section agreed that there is no way the Ravens have ever won a game with him in attendance.
3:15 p.m.: Stadium security is called to our section because of an incident four rows in front of us. Why do I mention this? Because Cedric Benson scores on a 28-yard run and I'm not allowed to stand and cheer because the security guy says I am 'taunting' Ravens fans. I take a picture of the security guy, he is now on my list of people who I am going to set on fire if I ever become a crazed, revenge seeking murderer.
3:40 p.m.: The Ray Rice touchdown. Ravens fans have a smug look on their face, I ask them why and they tell me "You guys lucked into your 10 points today," (We didn't, our offense has rocked the Raven defense, but I can't wait to hear the rest of this guy's statement) "And our defense never gives up game-winning scores." (Bingo, that's what I wanted to hear). This is like Ronald Goldman saying to Nicole Brown Simpson, "I'm kind of scared of your ex-husband," and she says, "Oh don't worry, he would never commit double-murder."
3:56 p.m.: Ravens fans are crying about the penalties. Apparently they don't understand the helmet-to-helmet rule. One fan actually tried to tell me the Ray Lewis hit on Ocho should have been a no-call. He said this with a straight face.
3:57 p.m.: Palmer to Caldwell. Silence from Ravens fans. 500 Bengals fans started screaming in a way that made you think they won the lottery and lost their virginity at the same time. Everyone in purple starts leaving the stadium. Bengals fans start high fiving anyone with at least one hand.
4:08 p.m.: Pictured right, Bengals fans decided to convene after the game and "who dey" every Ravens fan that walked by. An officer that happened to be a Steelers fan made sure no one got the piss beaten out of them. We all agreed that the guy in the blue shirt giving the 'shocker' probably should have been punched at least once.
4:19 p.m.: Jeremy exits the stadium parking lot in style as Mel trails behind calling every number in her cell phone to tell them the Bengals won. Mel doesn't seem to understand that CBS broadcasts the game nationally to Bengals fans all over the country. Kudos to any of her friends who acted surprised at the news.
Quick Epilogue: At 9:30 p.m. Sunday night, Jeremy, Mel and I ordered $60 of chinese food. We seriously could have fed half of China with what we ordered.
Monday night on the way home from the airport, a homeless drifter jumped in front of our car and Mel had to swerve at the last second to keep from killing him. After 13 awkward seconds, I say, "Mel, I'll be honest, I don't think I could date anyone with vehicular manslaughter to their name." Mel makes me walk the rest of the way home.