Monday, September 20, 2004

Behind the Velvet Curtain

Alright, so I tempted everyone to "stay tuned" for some interesting events. The weekend is over and the events took place. Last week my buddy Eric (EVP) comes to me and asks if I would be interested in going to a Dallas Cowboys game with him. I paused because, first off, I hate the cowboys. Secondly, they were playing the Cleveland Browns and I don't really have any emotion for them either way. But then he said the magic words. The seats are in a luxury box suite. That translates to a great view, comfy seats and tons of free food. Sold. Im in.

Sunday arrives and we leave about 2 hours early for the 3:15pm kick off. This turned out to be a good idea. Despite being only 30 minutes from Texas Stadium, traffic would be bad near the field. As we aproach the exit for the stadium, we see traffic already backing up onto the highway. It actually wasn't as bad as we thought. From the exit ramp to our seats, totalled 30 minutes roughly. When we entered the stadium is where things went from, just another sporting event, to an eye opening experience. Normally, im one of what I like to call the "peasants". The people who sit in the rock hard, tiny, cramped seats in the normal seating area of the stadium. Getting the a concession stand or to the bathroom is a battle and a big event. You never get to see the people deep in the bowels of the building and behind all the glass windows surrounding the field. But on that day, I was one of them. Eric and I ask a stadium attendant how to go about getting to our seats. She points to some back stairs to our left. We approach the stairs and get in line with a bunch of older, well dressed people. A lady carefully inspects each ticket to make sure no one is trying to get up there for a free ride I guess. We get upstairs and walk into what looks like a hotel hall way. Again, there are more well dress people walking thru the hallways, occationally stopping to greet eachother and saying things like "lets have a good game today!" or "Go cowboys!". Ugg It was kind of a surreal world, plush carpet, everyone dressed nice... you'd think you were at a formal banquet or something. As we walk down the hallway, some of the suite doors are open. The view over the field is incredible. You can see every bit of the field clearly. Since EVP and I came in on the oppisote side of the stadium than our seats, we had to take this hallway all the way around the stadium. We come to an end in the hallway and it seems to be some very large banquet room. It has full wall sized windows overlooking the fields and blue carpet and walls. There are tables with people everywhere eating from buffet's with chef's standing at each table. This was definatly, for the most part, a room of "beautiful people". There were told we could cut thru the room but not to stop and eat anything. Bummer. Shortly after, we arrive at our box suite. To our surprise, we are the first to arrive! We quickly pick the best seats, down in the front row and begin to take in the scenery. The host of the event shortly arrives and he introduces himself as "Paul". He then gives us a surprise. He says that although he was told dinner would not be served to us, there was a change of plans and we all get passes to go eat in the "blue room" we had earlier passed through. We quickly left our stuff in our seats and headed back to dish up! We got to the blue room, got our dishes and then got our food. Everything was delicious. Shrimp, roast, vegetables, bread and desserts were ours for the taking. I could clearly tell, from all the people smoozing and talking, this was a normal weekend activity for many of the people in this room. Ive been told it wasn't uncommon for Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, to walk thru greeting people.
So, we finish eating and head back to the box suite. The others are starting to arrive but our good seats remain entact. By now its 20 minutes till kick off and the seats are filling in the stadium and the players are begining to take the field for warm up. As soon as a few Browns players enter the field, the stadium fills with boo's. Then Cowboys come on to the field and the stadium roars. As 3:15 came, the game kicked off and the place had a sellout crowd of 65,000 people. The view was great, but what I found amusing was how many people kept turning around in their seats to look up into our box. I couldn't help but think, "is that what I look like when i'm sitting down there looking up?". With the players on the field and the action starting, I began to snap away with my Canon Digital Rebel. I was able to get a number of good shots of the players... and cheerleaders, from our suite. I'll be posting those on my site soon, since I recently upgraded and now have more disk space! :)

The game was one of the sloppiest NFL games ive seen played in a while. Still, the Cowgirls won, 24-9 (i think). It was time to leave and EVP and I knew we had a LONG walk back out to our car. Coming in, a trolley brought us in from the distant parking lot. But leaving, those trolleys don't run. There were a number of Browns fans at the game dressed in their orange and brown colors. They were walking mixed in with everyone else and were now at the mercy of the thousands of now, drunk, loud Cowboys fans still lined up in the parking lot at their talegate parties. I actually felt bad for the Browns fans. They were just cheering for their team and now they had to be practically assulted by cowgirl fans who would get right up in their face and taunt them while they were still walking. I thought a fight would surely break out, but none did. What's more sad is the cowboys really aren't a good team, nor have they had a good record in recent seasons... and now they get one scrappy win and they feel like they're kings of the NFL. How pathetic.

All in all it was a great time. The food was delicious, the game was entertaining and it was an eye opening experience to see that much "money" socializing behind the "velvet curtain". So many rich, smoozers and their trophy wives talking about who has the biggest Cadillac Escalade or the nicest summer condo. Ah, the superficial life.

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