As I had several spare hours this week, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and investigate this mysterious phenomenon called "football
My old friend Kosh
(a.k.a., Ms. Beaverhausen) undertook the finer points of my education, tsk tsking quite frequently over my apparently alarming ignorance.Attire
One must dress in team colors from head to toe, and face paint is frequently used to add a certain je ne sais quois
to any dedicated fan. Also undescribable in their unique design are the logo-emblazoned accessories available at kiosks standing every five feet or so. For women, team logo earrings are de rigueur
, as well as logo hair scrunchies and logo purses. Women may also wear team logo bandanas, but only if they are worn as microscopic tube tops paired with hot pants. For men, an oversized team jersy is a must
, as well as a very large cup of Budweiser; if a team jersey is unavailable, the pregnant look is also very popular. For the very adventurous, a pirate costume will never go out of style.Parking
I discovered that fans are not allowed to park less than five miles from the stadium unless they are driving A.) a Hummer, B.) an oversized pickup truck, C.) an Incredibly Large SUV, or D.) a Recreational Vehicle covered in Buccaneer flags. This restriction may occasionally be circumvented by crying or offering bribes to the uncheerful parking attendant, who will force you to park in a giant mud pit.Tailgating
As this was my first lesson, it was decided that my initial foray into this mysterious art would be quite basic: we sipped a nicely chilled wine from glasses emblazoned with the Buccaneer team logo
and nibbled delicately on fresh fruit, an array of charming cheeses, prosciutto, antipasto, crackers and roasted portabello mushrooms. Generally, one nibbles on fresh lobster or steak and champagne, but pre-season games are just a teensy bit more casual. Although it is considered more traditional to dine on burgers, it is also slightly less "fashion-forward".Pre-Game Display
A gigantically rippling American flag was toted onto the field by hundreds of volunteers as thousands of fans hummed the National Anthem off-key. An equally gigantic Tampa Bay Buccaneers flag was also dragged onto the field, and all the players flitted merrily through a grunting gauntlet of their fellow players. It was really quite festive.The Game
While much pre-game posturing was undertaken to symbolize centuries of raping and pillaging, the players were quite smoothly organized and strategic in their play. As soon as someone touched the ball, all play halted and a committee meeting was immediately held to discuss the matter. Frequently, someone would shove the ball at someone else, and then they would hold another
committee meeting to discuss that
. If someone tackled someone else, then they would hold a committee meeting to mull that one over as well. From what Kosh told me, there was a lot of snappng and sacking going on with all the linebacks, quarterbacks, halfbacks, defensive backs, offensive backs and bad backs-- but it mainly seemed to be a lot of committee meetings. However, one could tell that these were quite strategic, as there was quite a bit of thoughtful ball scratching and butt patting going on.Halftime
During halftime (did you know that football has absolutely no
innings?), all the cheerleaders started romping on the field, doing the latest pole dances and blinding fans with their big white teeth and glittery pom poms. Later, the Association For the Future Bimbos of America (composed mainly of five year olds) joined them in a rousing, gyrating rendition of "I Want Your Candy".*** Tips For the New Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fan ***
1. Don't be too disappointed at the absence of fist fights among the stands. While these are generally acknowledged to be the most exciting part of any game, they are frequently absent from pre-season games, as well as games lacking intense rivalries..
2. Don't joke too loudly about the stadium being so pink due to the red bleacher seats being bleached by the sun. People are very sensitive
about football's homoeroticism.
3. When the National Anthem is sung, hum along patriotically and wave your Budweiser in the air. It is considered quite festive to splash the other fans.
4. Scream obscenities at the opposing team and the referee whenever possible.
5. All litter must be left on the stadium floor and seats.