Ok, I have to say I tried blogging from the game but logistically, it just didn’t work out. I had some phone issues….
Looking back, I can say that it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Baseball Ross and I recently moved to the Tampa area on a permanent basis. We love the Bay area and were excited to take advantage of a Facebook offer before the season started to get advance tickets to the game. (Ok, I’ll admit it, I follow the Bucs on FB)
One of our new neighbors is a season ticket holder so we road together so we didn’t have to worry about paying $25 for parking. (REALLY, $25 for parking, even Disney doesn’t charge that much.)
Ross and I have had some, shall we say, less than desirable experiences at Eagles games before (in Philadelphia) the worst of which was when I was punched by a Redskins fan! I had a few hesitations, but upon arriving, they were for nothing.
Raymond James Stadium was sold out for the game, ironically it would have been only the 2nd televised game of the year so we could have watched it at home. You’d think with that volume of people, it would feel crowded and claustrophobic, but it didn’t.
Our first stop was at a “Philadelphia Cheese Steak” stand for lunch. Ross had a standard steak and I had “a premium”. While Ross’ steak would have been good except we’ve had the REAL thing, and as we all know, there is NOTHING like a real Philly Cheese Steak! The premium was pretty good…it had thick slices of marinated steak, caramelized onions, sauce all on a chibatta bread. It was good, but not a real Philly Cheese Steak. The soda was actually good, not watered down like at many sports venues.
There were a great deal of Philly fans and we had tickets to sit in the Philly fan section. Sadly, we lost our Eagles gear in the move. We had gone to several stores the week of the game, once we realized that we didn’t have our gear…but could not find any Eagles shirts or hats in the local mall. So we wore Bucs’ shirts.
The stadium has very wide concourses and FREE refills for soda and popcorn if you get the souvenir size. (When have you EVER seen that?) The Pirate Ship was really cool.
I found that my fears had been unfounded. The fans were very vocal, as they always are, but it was a great time.
We got to see the cannons on the ship fire. Ok, it meant that the Bucs scored, but it WAS cool…and loud.
We were in the 10th row and the view was beyond AMAZING. I also caught beads that were thrown up into the stands. We were feet from the cheerleaders, too.
The thing that I loved at that distance was that you could FEEL the game. You could see the power of the players, the light glinting off of their cleats and feel how fast it all happens. It was something you can’t get by watching the game on TV. It was such an amazing experience. We saw one Bucs’ touchdown literally feet in front of us, we were sitting right on the goal line. The Eagles game winning touchdown was just on the other side of the field from where we were sitting and since we were at the goal line, we could see how great a catch it was.
It was such an amazing experience. Sadly, it’s going to be a few years before our Eagles make it back to “RayJay” but you know we’ll be there…