Monday, October 10, 2011

The Georgia Dome is a backwards hell-hole.

When the tickets to the Falcons vs. Packers game fell into my hands on Friday, I wanted nothing more than to see the stupid Atlanta team get their dicks ripped off by Aaron Rodgers and stuffed down their throats. As expected, this is basically what happened as the game clock finally counted down to zero. However, I was not as elated as I had expected to be as this happened. Why not? Because the news came to me through a text message as I walked down Ivan Allen Blvd, away from the Georgia Dome and towards my lonely apartment.

The day began as anyone might expect. We took a taxi from our apartment to the Yellow Lot outside of the Georgia Dome with a fistful of Riot Punch. What is Riot Punch? On this occasion it happened to be equal parts Everclear, vodka, and coconut rum topped off with Coca-Cola. We sat in the parking lot for a few hours playing beer pong, talking to other Packers fans, and watching pieces of the Brewers game in some random person’s tent. The normal shit-talking one would expect from Falcons fans was in abundance. People walked around with WWE championship belts that they wrote “Falcons” over the top in order to mock Green Bay’s wonderful quarterback and his famed celebration. Speakers were set up to blast rap music so a small group could perform a choreographed dance routine. Nothing too out of the ordinary.

As game time approached, we parted ways with the people we had been hanging out with and made our way to the stadium. We quickly found our seats in the top tier and waited for kick off. It didn’t take long for the stupid Falcons fans sitting behind us to complain about damn near everything we did.

“Hey, sit down! We can’t see!”

Well, maybe you should stand up and support your goddamn team. But of course they are Falcons fans, and supporting their team isn’t nearly as important as appearing to support their team, but only when they are winning. I was also in attendance for the playoff game between the Packers and the Falcons the previous year when Green Bay stomped the living hell out of the Falcons. It was beautiful. During this slaughter, we noticed nearly all of the Falcons fans leaving during the third quarter. That means that with at least twenty-five minutes of game time left, the fans gave up on their team and decided to try to beat traffic. In the playoffs, mind you.

I never had a problem with Falcons fans before moving to Atlanta. Now I am subjected to their horse shit all the time. Generally speaking, Falcons fans are loudmouths, quick to tell you how great they will be when your team plays them. And then, after their team loses, they get mad at you for bringing it up. But if they win, you won’t hear the end of it for two weeks. That’s just how they are. Falcons fans don’t actually care about their team. They want their team to win so they can have a reason to gloat. That’s why they’re all fair-weather fans. If their team isn’t winning, then they don’t give a shit. But as soon as they get a few wins, then they are the biggest “fans” of their team that you’ll be able to find. They don’t celebrate their team winning, they celebrate your team losing. And that is despicable.

So these pricks are yelling through their gold teeth for us to sit down while their team is actually winning the game. However, we didn’t give a shit what they said because they’re Falcons fans. So fuck them. We stood, clapped, yelled, and did what any normal person would do at a professional football game.

Eventually, half time came around and we decided to find the smoking deck.

“Down one floor,” an attendant told us on every floor until we finally reached the ground level. We found the area to smoke, but of course everything was completely ass-backwards because it’s Atlanta so nothing can make sense so we just went back to our seats. We sat down, but I still wanted to smoke. I did a quick poll of everyone surrounding me, asking if they would mind if I had a cigarette. Everyone said no. I shrugged and lit a cigarette. Two drags later, I hear a voice from eight rows back.

“Is he smoking?” the guy yelled.

Okay, fine. I put it out and stuck it in my pocket. Two small drags, not a big deal in a place as big as the Georgia Dome. It wasn’t long before an attendant in a yellow jacket approached our row.

“Sir? Come with me.”

“Oh sweet Jesus,” I thought. I followed him out of the seating area and into the hallway that wraps around the stadium.

“Were you smoking out there?” he asked with the same tone that a man might use while asking his wife how many times she cheated on him.

“What? No, of course not.”

“You weren’t smoking?” Apparently, he expected me to tell the truth.


He walked away and spoke with another worker before coming back to me.

“Step over here, sir.”

“Did somebody say I was smoking?”

No response.

“Who said I was smoking? Was it a Falcons fan?”

“Sir, stop talking.”

“No, this is bullshit. If it was a Falcons fan then they said that just to get me out of here. Do you really think we’d be having this discussion if I was wearing a Falcons shirt?”

He spoke briefly into his radio before turning into a statue. I tried to speak with him on a human level, to appeal to his emotions about how I just came there to watch a football game, and that I paid good money for my seat (even though the tickets were free). But the man didn’t acknowledge anything I said. He stood motionless like a robot without a battery. This is when I flipped my “Fuck It” switch and start berating this man. I can’t recall my exact words and I wish I had the sense to record what I said to him. I was going for a while without any breaks about his demeanor and my general displeasure with it.

And honestly, what was the big deal? I took two drags off of a cigarette. It’s not like I had a bomb. If they are worried about the fact that it’s a dome and the smoke will linger in the air and be harmful to everyone’s health, then maybe they shouldn’t light off fireworks which burn sulfur, magnesium, and god knows what else. I have a feeling those fumes are a bit more toxic than a Camel Light.

After verbally abusing this man for about five minutes, an officer showed up and asked for my ID. He took it, gazed longingly at my picture (probably), and handed it back to me before asking me to turn around. I was pretty surprised as I felt the handcuffs get firmly locked around my wrists. For a cigarette? Fucking handcuffs? Are you kidding me? The argument could be made that they gave me the handcuffs because of my verbal abuse of the attendant, but that’s bullshit. As soon as the officer showed up, I stopped talking to the guy in the yellow jacket and was very courteous and genial with the officer. He had a gun and a can of mace, that’s the only way to talk to him. I think the handcuffs were more about the fact that I had a green shirt with a big “G” in the middle of it. They relished the time we spent walking down the hallway, me with my hands strapped behind my back like a goddamn animal and him with a smirk. They refused to discuss the incident with me no matter how hard I tried to speak to him on a personal level. I forgot that I wasn’t dealing with a person, I was dealing with a cop. Emotions are not one of their attributes. They are simply machines built to enforce an arbitrary sentence written on a piece of paper. If you step over that line, they will do what the piece of paper says, void of all empathy.

We rode an elevator to the basement of the Georgia Dome and into a little dungeon of a room filled with other cops and a few people that all seemed to be constantly muttering the word, “Bullshit.” After sitting in this fucking hole in the middle of nowhere at the bottom of a building that should be burned to the ground for twenty minutes or so, they gave me a piece of paper voicing their displeasure with my conduct and instructed me to follow the man that first dragged me there. We walked through a few indistinct corridors and before I knew it, the cool air of the autumn night was blowing against my face and I was on my way home.

I immediately pulled out my phone and started frantically sending text messages and making phone calls, ready to rant about the injustice I felt I had just endured. Of course, in the end, they were right. I broke a rule of the stadium and deserved to be punished. But handcuffed like a convict? Tossed out of the entire stadium for something that honestly didn’t affect anybody? That’s a bit much. The worst part is that I know this wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t wearing a Green Bay Packers shirt. The guy that snitched on me like a little bitch was a Falcons fan that hated me because he knew is team was going to get annihilated. In fact, this guy didn’t stop being a bitch even after he got me kicked out. My roommate stayed for the rest of the game and was continually yelled at for standing, by spectators and Georgia Dome personnel alike. After watching me get the boot, apparently his “Fuck It” switch had also been flipped because just told everybody to go fuck themselves, like a true American.

Thankfully, this will likely be the last time I ever have to go to the Georgia Dome, and I can simply hate it from the outside like everybody else. Unless, of course, the Packers come back for another playoff game. But the Falcons will actually have to win some games for that to happen, and I don’t think they have too much of a chance of that.

Fuck the Georgia Dome. Fuck the Falcons. And fuck Falcons fans. I’m sure that when I go to work tonight I’ll still have to hear some idiot Falcons fan talk shit on the Packers even though they just lost last night.

"Hey, Detroit is gonna beat y’all ass.”

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