Monday, November 30, 2015

Do yourself a favor: don't go to a Seahawks game.

Words cannot adequately explain what a nightmare attending the Seattle/Pittsburgh football game at CenturyLink (AKA, the Clink, AKA, Paul Allen's fun house) turned into today as I went to my first... and last... event at that Castle of Horrors.

In every imaginable way, from $60 parking due to the deliberately inadequate facilities, to the idiotic NFL policies on how big a purse can be (my wife's clutch was two inches too big: the option, we were told, was to pay $20 to store it, or walk back the 3/4's of a mile to our car to empty it, leave it there and then return... which we did.) to the rude, drunken arrogance of the fans... were a major distraction from why, allegedly, we were there.

Ultimately, there may be worse fans in football... but I can't imagine where.

The idiocy of the NFL's moronic rules on purses is just another of the many idiotic policies they have in place, from everything concerning player discipline to on-field conduct to, you guessed it, the stupidity of an inexplicable policy that is a waste of time, effort and energy and a major inconvenience for the fans... you know... the schleps that pay the bills?  Us?

I know that the reader at this point may be asking themselves, "But, what about security?"

Well, what about it?

You see, we had just, two days ago (Friday), attended the outright thumping of the hapless Cougs, 45 to 10, at Husky Stadium.

Some 70,458 (around 1300 or so more fans than the 'Hawks in the Clink) of us managed to get into the Huskyville stadium with ZERO restrictions on the size of the purses of the fans.  In fact, my wife brought a much larger purse into the facility and no one cared... besides inspecting it on entrance.

So, if the Huskies can pull that off... why can't their allegedly professional cousins down the street do the same?

Look... I get that this idiocy has sprouted up a local cottage industry of purse lockers where the charge for holding your oversized bag... something, say, bigger than 7 inches by 10 or so, is $20 for 4 hours.

I get that the criminal lack of parking and the hundreds of open, unused parking spaces around the stadium have enriched area merchants who charge more for parking than the gross national product of Zimbabwe.

But there's no excuse for it.  None.

And after all of that, I have a holster buttpack that I wear on my belt.  While I typically go everywhere armed, I knew that security in the stadium would be heightened and I felt safe enough to go unarmed.  I still had my buttpack on my belt to carry my spare cell phone battery, cable and wallet.

The irony is, that these kids were using hand-held metal detectors and I COULD have brought a fricking HOWITZER into the stadium, the use of that thing was so incompetent.

And THEN, once inside, that place floats on a sea of alcohol.  Our Hawk's Nest seats were a fine vantage... for a little while.  But the 6 foot 5 inch drunk in front of us insisted on standing, when he wasn't getting his next two beers, throughout the entire game, EVEN THOUGH HE HAD A COMPLETELY UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW OF THE FIELD (no one could sit in front of him because of the stadium configuration.) So most of the game I saw was on the outdoor screen over the north end of the stadium.  Think in terms of dragging your big screen out into the front yard right NOW, (it's 11:30 pm and 21 degrees here) and watching a football game.

And oh, yeah... you want that 8 ounce cup of plain coffee to keep from fricking freezing?

That'll be $5.  Want a bottle of water?  $5.  Everything there was, relatively speaking, insanely expensive.

The Seattle fans were, in the Hawks Nest, both drunk and arrogant.  In addition, the cheerful Clink staff kept them liberally beer'd up in that freezing weather.... And the more they drank, the dumber they got.  They also were insulting to Steeler fans, to include getting in their face and screaming at them, etc.

The irony is that those paying $10 for ONE beer don't even know they're getting hosed: (No, *I* didn't buy any.  No, *I* don't drink.)

The fans acted like their average age was 8... with this kind of idiot oil, what other outcome can be expected?

Yes, in the end, the Seahawks played inspired football in the second half and won the game.  Pittsburgh played like mad men but suffered injuries to key personnel that severely crippled them in the late going.

It was a night and day experience, with day being provided by Husky Stadium at the Apple Cup and night being provided by CenturyLink.

On Tuesday, we also both attended a Blazers game (against Chicago) and that went like butter.  The prices were a little high... but the smoothness and professionalism of the staff, the comfort of the seats... the excellence of the operation... the cheapness of the parking ($15 across the street from the Rose Garden) relative to the football scam costs showed that someone in the Allen operation in Portland knows what they're doing.

But then, Allen is having a tougher time filling the Garden up.  That's not so much of an issue with the Seahawks, so it appears treating fans like crap comes with the territory.

But considering that the Clink was built on a lie for MLS Soccer (Rules prohibit us from professional soccer playing on artificial turf, their lobbyists told us when they were setting up the Allen Voting Scam back in the late 90's... and you can't grow grass indoors... the excuse for getting rid of the Kingdome.  Except the Arizona Cardinals find a way, don't they? And, of course, what's MLS playing on now?  The same "turf" we were told they wouldn't play on...) perhaps I just expected far too much.

I was disappointed to say the least... and I will never go back there.  Do yourself a favor as I will... and just watch the game on TV.

You'll save a few hundred bucks, lower your blood pressure, and not have to concern yourself with dealing with morons both on incompetent staff enforcing incompetent rules and fans who spend a bundle on stadium beer and act like they need a hole punched through them.

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