Steffanie Rivers

*The Texas Rangers in the World Series? Some say hell will freeze over first. But if the Rangers beat the New York Yankees on the way there people in north Texas might consider that win to be just as satisfying.

Although I’m not a baseball fan, I’ve been to at least one Rangers game if for no other reason than to say I was there; that and the fact that someone else paid for the ticket. But me and football? That’s another story.

I’ve been a football fan since Superbowl XII. And I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys fan ever since that day too. It’s been my goal to attend a Superbowl. And with four months left until Superbowl XLV comes to Cowboys Stadium, next February would be my best opportunity to cross that goal off my list.

But just in case I don’t come up with the $1,000 that I’ve been told is the cost of a Superbowl ticket, I thought I better attend a regular season Cowboys home game for a fraction of the price. And that’s just what I did when the Titans came to town.

As the largest domed stadium in the world, I’d heard about how great the new Cowboys Stadium is with its jumbo trons, retractable roof and climate controlled atmosphere. I also had heard about the traffic jams after the games. So I decided to take public transportation and save myself the headache. I started out at 12 noon for the 3 o’clock game and made it to the stadium an hour before kickoff which left me enough time to eat a meal at the fast food joint aross the street for half the price of one hotdog at the stadium. As I approached the staduim on a full stomach there were dozens of tailgaters eating, drinking, and dancing in the parking lot. That’s when I realized for some people tailgating is the main event and a great way to celebrate with friends.

Before I could have a tailgate party, though, I would have to have friends. And then those friends would have to like football and have the money to help pay for the party. I was 0 for 3. These days the best friends I know are me, myself and I so no tailgating for me. But I digress.

When I entered the stadium it was as if I had stepped into a giant party of silver and blue! There was a group performing from a stage high in the rafters and thousands of people in the Party Pass section watching the show. The party pass sections, akin to the balcony area of a theatre, are at each endzone behind the seats. It costs $30 per person. There are no chairs, just cocktail tables for all the food and drinks you’re sure to eat standing up. My ticket was for the sit-down section.  So I waded through the people and found my seat.

I didn’t expect to be seated forty yards behind the end zone, but that’s where I was! Eventhough I could see the game clearly from where I sat, it’s true In Texas Stadium there is no bad seat – even in the pary pass section – thanks to the four jumbo trons facing each direction.  And though the home team could be accused of not trying their best to win the game, the same cannot be said about the jumbo tron crew who took every opportunity to use the big screens. If they weren’t showing the game or replays of the game they were putting couples on the spot forcing them into closeup kisses for the camera, or showing candid shots of the fans in the stands, or closeup shots of players on the sidelines forcing them to smile for the camera when they should have had their minds on the game. Did I digress again?

Aside from losing the game, I had a great time collectively cheering for my team and heckling the other. If our cheers could have made a difference the Cowboys most certainly would have won because the stadium was packed to its near capacity of 110,000 including the standing room only section. But our cheers didn’t make a difference. And my team lost. That’s the bad news. The good news: I was at Superbowl XLV four months early!

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send questions, comments or requests for speaking engagements to Steffanie at [email protected]. And see the video version of her journal at youtube.com/steffanierivers.