13 MINUTES AIN’T ENUFF
There was a time, when following the lead of my brother Tony; I restricted my liquid intake at Steelers games. Once my ass was in a seat pre-game, it ordinarily did not rise until the conclusion of the afternoon’s festivities. I would regularly smuggle in an 8-ounce bottle of water to Three Rivers, that to wash down the 6 Advil that I would ingest throughout the game. Why the Advil? Well, it’s like this. I do my part as a fan by making as much noise as possible when the Steelers are on defense. From the time the opposition break their huddle, until they snap the ball, I’m screaming. Not screaming any words, mind you, just pure noise, sort of like….”AHHHHHHHHHHHHH” as loudly and continuously as possible. I turned my nephew onto this practice as well. Doing this for this time period, every play, often produces a headache. Some sacrifices we must make.
However, during this decade I’ve begun to imbibe pre-game. I think it was the presence of an IC distributor’s truck at the ’01 AFCCG, giving away his product. “Wanna beer?” he asked me. “Sure,” I said, never one to refuse a free beer. “Wanna beer?” he said to my then 17-year-old nephew. “No,” I said, “he doesn’t want one, but I’ll take his.” I drank a few more, and then staggered to the Stadium. My practice now is to drink as much as I can pre-game, even if it’s not free, and then buy a beer prior to kickoff for $6, then another hopefully at halftime. Actually, in retirement, whenever that is, I might purchase an RV and a Heinz Field parking pass, sell all day pee passes for inside my RV for $10. At the Jets playoff game in ’04. I had to stand in line for the Porto-potty forever, and found myself jealous of the RVers and their ease in peeing. I might not have sprung for ten bucks, but I would have paid $2 to take a single whiz.
Many Steelers fans that I’ve talked to have noticed the abundance of yellow seats at Heinz at the onset of the third quarter. Some have attributed this to a lack of interest among the Steelers populace, to overwhelming segments of tickets having fallen into the hands of the HFFCB (High-Falutin’ Fat Cats Bourgeois). To me, based upon my direct experience at Heinz, the answer is simple….13 minutes Ain’t Enuff. Thirteen minutes Ain’t Enuff to both pee and get a beer for the second half. Thirteen minutes might work fine for the fan at home in his recliner; 13 minutes might work for the networks trying to squeeze the game into a 3-hour segment and still air a full complement of commercials…..but 13 minutes Ain’t Enuff for a fan at the stadium.
The fan at Heinz who, quite reasonably, wants to not miss a play after shelling out his dough for a ticket, faces the dilemma of either peeing or getting a beer….can’t do both. And…you get a beer without having peed first, given your pre-game and first half consumption…..good luck to you!!
This leads to a number of other unseemly practices. I abhor the practice of fans leaving the stands while the game is in progress, returning to their seat. Nothing drives me crazier than having my view blocked by slovenly fatsos walking up the stairs, right in front of me, during a big 3rd down, stuffing their fat faces with nachos and cheese whiz. As an aside, Heinz sells a ton of this bullshit. I’ve hardly a discriminating palate, but that cheese whiz they throw on those chips…no way I touch that stuff.
My personal practice is to leave my seat at the two minute warning, hang near the tunnel to the concourse until the first half expires, sometimes needing to evade the ushers who are doddamn lucky to get that job, and should be watching like the rest of us, leaving their fellow Pittsburghers alone. Instead sometimes, they’re pricks and tell us to move along, making good Steelers fans face the challenge needing of to walk to and fro whilst watching the game at the same time. Anyway, when time expires in the half, I make a mad dash for the rest room, followed by the beer stand.
Beer stands also present a problem. Ain’t but a few that sell anything decent, like Yuengling. Most of ‘em sell some Iron City junk. And please; do not tell me that IC’s good beer. We always contended that it was brewed with Mon River water, even during the Mon’s worst days. That doesn’t stop me from drinking it when it’s free though.
And let’s talk gender differences here. Nothing in life has further convinced me that this is indeed a man’s world than the ease at which men can pee compared to our female sisters (I know that’s redundant terminology). During playoffs at TRS, the sinks were put into use as additional pee receptacles. I’m going to assume that this was not the case in the Ladies’ Room, unless any of you were agile enough to hoist yourselves up, or were exceptionally long-legged.
I’ve long thought about things I might invent, had I any mechanical or engineering skills. For this site, I'll spare you the details of my initial invention. You can check out the unabridged version over at www.stillers-forums.com. I’ve actually thought this out in a fair amount of detail, but it’s really NHNT (Neither Here Nor There) for this discussion. It would be good though, if there was a mechanism whereby one could pee without leaving their seat.
Closest I saw to the ability, en masse, of a crowd to pee at their seats, was a high school playoff game in Minersville, Pa, a good example of Coal Miner Ingenuity. Minersville Stadium had open bleachers, thereby allowing patrons (again, those of the male persuasion only), to turn completely around in their seats, and with legs dangling, and while looking into the eye of Aunt Esther, and Cousin Agnes in the row behind them, relieve themselves onto the ground below. As the Guinness boys would say, “Brilliant!”
How about running more commercials during halftime, extend it to 20 minutes…cut out the bullshit of a commercial after a score, then again after the following kickoff. This could also help the fan at home as well, who if inexcusably ill-prepared, has to run out for more beer at halftime. A 20-minute halftime wouldn’t kill us. It could even bring back a high school band, or more Punt, Pass & Kick where we can boo the New England kid. At any rate, 13 Minutes Ain’t Enuff.