Steelers MMQB: NFL Preseason Week 3 Wrap Up

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What we learned after Week 3 of the NFL preseason:

  • Injuries dominate the headlines during preseason
  • San Francisco and Oakland play separate games and no one got shot
  • Ndamukong Suh is the NFL’s newest bad boy of hard hits
  • The Steelers have an impressive game against the Falcons but lose Leftwich in the process

We’re finally down to the last week of preseason games and are more than ready to see the regular season kick off.  But first, let’s go over some of the things that happened during the 3rd week of the preseason.

Both San Francisco and Oakland were able to host games without resulting in any gun shots, which is an improvement over their meeting in the 2nd week of the preseason. The annual meeting of the Bay area teams resulted in 2 gunshot victims, and a fan seriously beaten in a bathroom inside the stadium.  The NFL has responded by stating there will no longer be the annual preseason meeting between the teams and the 49ers have banned tailgating after the start of the game. How in the world did it get to the point where fans are being beaten and shot at preseason games?  Have people lost their friggin minds?

When going to a visiting team’s stadium to see your team play, there’s a certain degree of harassment you should expect.  You should not have to have a contingency plan based on the possibility of gunshots, however.  This goes back to my previous article about rivalries.  It’s fine to have “football hatred” for other teams but if you can’t separate that from actual acts of violence you have problems.

Steeler fans are notorious for filling the seats in visiting stadiums.  Partly because we travel so well and partly because so many of us have moved away from the ‘burgh and settled in different cities across the country but have never lost the passion for our Black & Gold.  Personally, living in Florida, I’ve only ever seen the Steelers in visiting stadiums.  (I’m taking donations for anyone wanting to send me to my first Steelers home game in Heinz Field) I can tell you
first-hand how great it is to see so many Steeler fans take over Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville, and I’ve had the pleasure of never actually fearing for my safety in any of those stadiums.  Possibly there is safety in numbers and this recent outbreak of violence is something that Steeler fans won’t ever be affected by.

I can tell you that the worst stadium experience I’ve ever had was in Jagoffville.  I traveled there with my sister for a Monday night game the season after the Steelers had just won Super Bowl XL.  First off, as the NFL realized when Jacksonville hosted the Super Bowl years back, the city is a hole.  The stadium is awful and the parking is worse.  Going to the stadium there are several lots around the stadium that held signs up that read the rates
to park.  However, when the person holding the sign saw that it was a car full of Steeler fans, they would turn the sign around and it read “Lot full”. Okay, that’s a little petty and not at all violent but still very irritating and totally unecessary.  Entering the stadium, my sister and I realized we were sitting in pretty much the only section that was dominant with Jagoff fans.  The lovely woman right behind us with her teal and black feather boa and teal glitter eye shadow had her liquid courage and was raining profanities on us from the moment we sat down.  She tried to have security kick us out of the game because she insisted we were hitting her with our Terrible Towels.  The one thing that got me the most irritated by the whole experience is the fact that this woman felt the need to treat us as if for some reason we weren’t entitled to watch the game, enjoy a few beers, and have a good time. She didn’t consider the fact that we had most likely spent more money on our tickets than she had, and that we were spending our hard earned money in her awful city.

I am a big fan of smack-talking and, as the daughter of two sailors, I am in no way a stranger to profanity.  I don’t begrudge anyone the right to talk smack about the team visiting their stadium, or talking proud of their home team.  One thing these idiot fans need to realize, however, is that it’s not that serious, it’s a game for crying out loud.  The players shake hands with each other at the end of the game.  They’re not pulling guns on each other and beating someone senseless in the locker room bathroom all in the name of team pride. It’s not going to make the Jaggoffs, 49ers, Raiders, or any other team play any better if you harass and bully fans of the teams they are playing.  That should go without saying, but apparently some people haven’t gotten the memo yet.