The verdict? Interesting and fun, but I won't be feeling pressure in the future to attend another.
At first it was surreal to see the field all lit up and the players running around like little blue clowns and I thought, "Ahhh, this is magical! I can't believe I'm really here!!!!! What a night! What a night! Perfect night for a game!"
But after a while, I realized I kept missing important plays because I was distracted by the nighthawks flying around in the stadium catching moths. Or I was noticing how dumb the cheerleaders look in their ridiculous thigh-high white boots (and how unskillful their dancing REALLY is. Seriously, they're basically strippers except that they never actually undress entirely in public. But close enough), or I was looking at the line for the Logan's Roadhouse stand. And when you're at the game, there's no announcer narrating the action for you. Those guys are extremely necessary.
When you watch a game on TV they say things like, "Collins to Johnson, ooohhhhhhh a ten yard gain," or "INTERCEPTION!!!!!!" and so you know when to keep your eyes glued to the TV. While I was at the game in person, turnovers were happening faster than the wink of an eye. It would be first down for the Titans, I'd look away to eat a nacho, look back at the field and the offensive guys would be running off the field as the defense took up their positions.
It was INSANE.
And there wouldn't have been any crowd indicators that a crazy play had happened, so I had no reason to feel I'd missed something (except that another turnover had happened). Mind you.
Because that is, apparently, the only cue that something earth-shattering has taken place at a live game. The crowd going wild. And they go wild. Believe me. It's actually surprising that they even know what's going on. As far as I could tell, most people around me were busy eating, drinking, and gabbing with their neighbors. I have no idea how they did all three while still being able to interpret what was happening on the field, but somehow they did. Every time something exciting happened, BOOM! Food everywhere.
Probably the best part of the experience was the mass migration across the Shelby street footbridge. It was a tide of blue. And really, it felt strange to be on a bridge of that size with that many people also on it, spanning a rather large river. People were everywhere! Selling tickets, selling water, selling ice cream, selling their bodies. No kidding. There were some really unsavory characters around.
Still. I found all of it extremely entertaining.
Oh, and the South loves football. I'm telling you. During half-time, these little kids came out on the field all done up in serious football gear, helmets four times the size of their actual bodies, and did some scrimmaging. For entertainment. Each team had three chances to score, I guess. The kid sitting behind me really got into it. "Get 'em, boys!" he'd yell. And then when one of the teams scored, THE CROWD WENT WILD.
Over third graders playing football.
That's an addiction.
I didn't even know anyone was paying attention.
The clowns line up for a kick off. I love these clowns, I really do.
Stoker figures out that watching the game from home is WAAAAAAAY better. For us.
Me and my nose watching the game.