When I told people I went to a professional woman’s football game last Saturday night, the popular response was, “What the hell. You hate football!”
Truth! I really do hate football, and the only thing I hate worse than football is PITTSBURGH football. Boys or girls, I hate them all the same. No discrimination here. But when my friend Kristy asked me if I wanted to go and explained that she was only going because her friend Katie plays for the opposing team, the New York Sharks, and also that we were going to drink at the Smiling Moose beforehand, I was like, “Fuck yeah, I’ll go.” I get a lot of joy rooting for opposing teams! I’m like a sports hipster, I guess.
Besides, if I was going to go to a Pittsburgh Passion game with anyone, it would be Kristy. I don’t know why, but I stand behind this statement.
Kristy even made this awesome sign to show support for her friend Katie! It was kind of adorable. I want to join some kind of team now or run for Congress so that Kristy will make a poster for me.
When we got inside Cupples Stadium, Kristy decided she didn’t want to sit in the middle of Passion fans, because Pittsburgh sports fans are a special brand of crazy. Like, bath salts crazy. Before we even made it to the stands, we stumbled upon a small group of Sharks fans with some assertive Passion broad who was trying to accommodate their seating needs. And by seating needs, I mean that they were asking to sit as far away from psycho Yinzer sports fans as possible. So we tagged along and entered the field with them, and that’s when I realized that one of the Sharks ladies was actually a part of the organization, so I started to feel really special, because that’s the type of person I am: the type that gloats when mascots or someone on a professional women’s football team payroll spends one extra nanosecond on me than the rest of the kids. It’s because I’m attention starved, OK? I will take flirtatious sentiments from anyone: in a fur-suit, NY Sharks shirt or prison jumpsuit, I don’t give a fuck.
Anyway, the Passion broad explained to us that she was unable to unlock the gate so that we could sit on the bleachers across the field from the Pittsburgh side, some lame excuse about how the Passion organization only paid for half of the stadium to be cleaned so they couldn’t have us getting our filth all over the other side of stands, too. However, what she was able to do instead was bring over extra benches ON THE SIDELINE so that we could still sit far away. There was some grumbling from the other Sharks fans about how they weren’t going to be able to see real well, but I was like, “Fuck yes.” Because if I’m going to have to watch some dumb football game, you better believe I want it to be on the field, like Jay-z.
(I don’t even like Jay-Z, but I wouldn’t mind living like him.)
While we were getting situated on our special benches, one of the Sharks ladies felt compelled to beg us to behave. Don’t distract the players, don’t get up and walk off the field during play, and basically just don’t breathe. Then she came back with her camera and yelled, “OK SHARKS FANS!” and everyone put their hands up on top of their heads like shark fins, and I had to whip my head around to look at everyone else’s so that I didn’t fuck it up because I’m a hand-gesture dunce.
“I wonder what the Passion sign is?” Kristy wondered out loud, making a diamond over her crotch with her hands. “Do they just like, masturbate?” And I died for the first of 87 times that night.
Seriously, this was our view: a recreational lesbian’s field day. I cultivated no less than 8 crushes in the first five minutes of sitting down. It’s actually kind of surprising that Christina doesn’t play professional women’s football.
“Fair warning, my twin daughters play for the Sharks, so I might get kind of loud,” an older man who bore a mild resemblance to Laura Palmer’s Dad (but enough so that I would run with it for the rest of the night) said cordially as he sat down next to me. “Wow, Pittsburgh’s sure got a big fan base. Look at that!” he enthused, pointing across the field to the home bleachers. I thought he was being sarcastic, because there didn’t seem to be that many people there, but then I remembered that this was WOMEN’S football and we all know that no one cares about women’s sports.
Passion’s Impressive Fan Base.
Did you know that the players have to pay for this shit themselves? It’s true! Kristy told me. And they all have to have regular day jobs too, unlike those fat NFL rapist douchebags. So I was able to overlook my hatred of football by convincing myself that I was actually there to support girls doing shit. Because I’m a girl.
I took this picture when we returned after halftime to illustrate how sparse the Sharks section was.
Laura Palmer’s Dad was a pretty laid back guy and I didn’t mind that he was trying to lure conversation from my clamped mouth because was mildly charming. But then 10 seconds into the game, he fucking EXPLODED with rage and bulging forehead veins.
“PAIGE!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!?!?!? CONTAIN!!!!! WHERE’S THE D?!?!?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME, REF?! WHAT WAS THAT!?!??! HEY REF, YOU NEED TO BORROW SOMEONE’S GLASSES BECAUSE YOU CAN’T SEE!”
And on and on and on. Kristy slowly looked over at me and we totally lost it. At this point, he was standing on top of the back of the bench, leaning against the fence behind him for balance, and every time he yelled, it sounded like angry jets were being launched from his throat and into my ears. And then another dad on the bench next to us joined in, the two of them volleying disparaging reviews of the ref’s competence back and forth between them in their thick New York accents. Laura Palmer’s Dad kept marching over to the Sharks bench and reaming out his daughters, Paige and Jenna, but it seemed like poor, fuck-up Paige was taking the brunt of it. She just stood there with her head down, shoulders rolled forward, probably wondering when she was going to have time to finish digging her dad’s grave in the woods.
Please, please, please watch this dumb video.
Laura Palmer’s Dad was screaming so hoarsely, that I feared he was going to have a stroke. I was honestly afraid to turn around to see what he looked like while verbally battering the entire Sharks team and officials. I half-expected to catch him deep-throating an entire horse out of unchained anger.
I kept getting misted with Haterade every time he screamed too, so now I can say Laura Palmer’s Dad showered me.
Meanwhile, my brother Corey was texting me because he saw my video on Instagram, so then it became even funnier to me, knowing that it was this funny to Corey, also. You know who definitely didn’t think it was “that funny”? HENRY. I kept texting him with a play-by-play to NO RESPONSE. He was just jealous because he wasn’t there and he probably knew it was only a matter of time before I fell in love with Laura Palmer’s Dad. I mean, he was totally my type. I bet he has sexually harassed an impressive amount of secretaries in his day.
Or Henry was just sleeping.
Laura Palmer’s Dad in a rare moment where his lips were demonstrating what some people might recognize as “a closed mouth.”
What? You guys don’t take shoulder selfies?
The other angry dad is standing next to the guy stroking his chin, who was actually with Laura Palmer’s Dad but not nearly as loud. Occasionally he would bellow “SHARKS!” but I felt like it was more because he didn’t want Laura Palmer’s Dad to be disappointed in him, too.
Here’s one of the twins getting berated.
And the other.
He reallllly wanted them to “contain it,” whatever the fuck that means. And see, that was a big problem, not understanding the game and terminology. I would have to wait for my Sharks peeps to cheer or clap to know how to proceed, but sometimes I was confused because the Passion fans would also be clapping and I thought we hated each other? Anyway, when one of the Sharks got the ball-thing and started booking it down the field with no one close enough to stop her, I knew to stand up and do jump-y things and yell. And I also knew that when things weren’t going our way, to blame the refs. That’s universal. And if I hadn’t known that, Laura Palmer’s Dad would have taught me real fast.
The Passion scored enough times for the speakers to bleed out “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “Single Ladies.” You know, just in case we forgot we were at a girls football game.
Too bad we were losing pretty good (I guess?) by halftime. I was pissed when we came back from not getting stabbed during our halftime drinks at Jack’s because KRISTY lied to me and we were LATE getting back to a sporting event I don’t even care about, except for when I do, so we had to stand off the field and wait for the quarter thing to end before going back to our dumb bench. THANKS, KRISTY. I was so concerned that we were going to be ostracized from our elite Sharks section. But as soon as the clock turned to 0:00, I speed-walked across the field back to our bench.
“Hurry! I don’t want to get in trouble!” I kept hissing at Kristy. And approximately 3 minutes after I said that, Laura Palmer’s Dad and Other Official-Hating Dad came together to throw a joint temper tantrum so histrionic that the ref literally turned toward us and screamed, “NO! YOU SUCK!” blew his whistle, made a violent motion with his arms, and stomped off the field.
The fucking ref stopped the game and stormed off, you guys. IT WAS FUCKING FANTASTIC!
But….then the Sharks lady (I learned after the game that she is the CEO or CFO or COO or some acronym equally as important) marched over and said sternly, “I told you that you had to knock it off. Ref wants you gone. ALL OF YOU.”
Laura Palmer’s Dad said, “No! You guys stay. I’ll take the hit on this one.” MY MOTHERFUCKING HERO. Oh god, please let me be Laura Palmer’s Dad wife. Oh, who am I kidding. Laura Palmer’s Dad’s penis coozy is good enough for me. He can scream at me to contain the D all night. Yell at me like I’m one of your disappointing twins!
“Ref wants you ALL gone!” Important Sharks Lady repeated. So we all got up and dejectedly walked off the field, Kristy with her rolled-up Sharks poster, basically the entire Cupples Stadium watching.
This is what Womens’ Football Game Ejection looks like.
And just in case one of us was planning on resisting the ref’s request, two cops were sent out to make sure we left peacefully. It was the most ridiculous thing ever and I was so afraid I was going to pee from laughing so hard.
“Womp womp,” Kristy said with mock sadness into her rolled-up poster, and that just made me laugh even harder.
Once we were off the field, we all kind of stood in a cluster, laughing nervously by the concession stand. I was glad to see that Laura Palmer’s Dad was also laughing about it and not snapping metal rods over his legs in fury like I had anticipated.
“Sorry guys,” he said, with a shrug and then he flashed that good old Laura Palmer’s Dad smile at us and I melted. UGH HOW CAN I BE MAD AT THAT.
By then, one of the Passion broads had learned about what happened, so she decided to intervene. I guess because it was the ref who kicked us out and not the actual Passion team, she let us back on the field. They tried once again to get the gate unlocked for us, but then realized no one had the key. So the compromise was to move one of the benches further away from the field and have one of the cops babysit us.
“I feel like a red-headed stepchild,” Laura Palmer’s Dad laughed as he helped drag the bench away from the rest of the benches. Kristy and I opted to sit on his bench rather than return to our original spots, because I wanted him to see that we were IN THIS BITCH TOGETHER.
I just like being a part of things, OK?
Anyway, the game resumed after the ref rubbed the hurt out of his butt, and it didn’t take long for the two dads to get all fired up once again.
“OH NOW HE THROWS A FLAG!” the other dad bellowed, his voice cracking under the weight of the sarcasm.
This was right after the ref called an illegal formation, whatever the fuck that is, and that set off Laura Palmer’s Dad and his Partner-in-Scream-Hemorrhaging all over again, to the point where I thought for sure they were going to cause us to make the 11 o’clock news. FUCK YOU AND YOUR ILLEGAL FORMATION, REF!
This lady refused to leave when we got kicked out. I guess that’s her daughter. She popped her shoulder out.
And then, after it was all said and done, Laura Palmer’s Dad STOOD ON THE FIELD, yelling for his daughters’ attention. He was relentless.
I LOVE THAT IN A MAN.
During the final minutes of the game, “Girl On Fire” warbled out of the cheap sound speakers, and we just lost it. I wish they had put as much effort into their concession stand offerings as they did with the girl-centric stadium anthems.
Anyway, the dumb Passion beat the Sharks and I’m 99.999999999999999% sure it was fixed. We hung around after everyone left, watching the Passion do some sloppy Electric Slide thing to a really terrible pop song while the Sharks sat in a slumped huddle and cried. For a girl who hates football, I felt surprisingly really sad. Once the Sharks started to mill around on the field, Kristy and I went over to say goodbye to Katie, who hugged me twice which I thought was really nice of her but I think she was really just using my torso as a Shamwow for her sweat.
“What was going on over there?” she asked us, and we got to giddily tell the story of Laura Palmer’s Dad, a story that I look forward to retelling over and over and over again for the rest of my life.
SHARKS 4 EVA.