The NFL Experience

The NFL Experience

Carson Coleman, Staff Writer

We all watch sports on TV, in bars, or restaurants, but what is it like at a real event? I’m not talking about your son’s football game or the annual Aces game. I am talking about one of the big ones. An MLB, NHL, NBA, or NFL game. The biggest stage out of the big four is the NFL. An NFL game is everything you think of and more. The energy of it is amazing. Imagine 30,000 fans screaming, having fun, celebrating their teams. That is the NFL.

On November 8th, 2020, I had the privilege of going to the Dallas Cowboys versus the Pittsburgh Steelers game. It was an experience I will never forget. I got into At&t Stadium about 2 hours and 25 minutes before kickoff. I watched both teams warm up and go into their respective locker rooms. This was where the fun began.

At about 15 minutes before kickoff, the stadium speakers started to introduce the Pittsburgh Steelers first because they were the away team. “Ladies and gentlemen, here comes the pride of the AFC North, the only undefeated team in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers.” The crowd goes crazy. It is the loudest noise i had ever heard. It was amazing.

Then the Cowboys came out and they had a big light show and introductions for certain players but what was crazy was that there were more Pittsburgh Steelers fans at the Dallas Cowboys game than there were Dallas Cowboys fans, so the roar of the crowd wasn’t as loud.

As the game went on I began to notice things about the Cowboys fans. Their star running-back is named Ezekiel Elliot. Whenever he did anything good, he was called Zek. Their star wide receiver is named Amari Cooper. Wherever he did anything good the crowd would scream “COOOOOPA”. It sounded like they were booing him.

Now there’s a famous incident that happened at At&t stadium when Terrell Owens, when he was on the 49er’s, scored a touchdown. He then took the ball, ran to the giant star at the middle of the field, slammed the ball onto the ground and looked up to God through the open roof of the Dallas Stadium. This was extremely disrespectful to Cowboy fans and when he did it the 2nd time he was blown up by a Cowboys defensemen.

At the game I saw, the Steelers have a great receiver named Juju Smith-Schuster. He is a young guy so he dances around a lot and has a super silly personality. When he scored his 4th quarter touchdown he tried to run to the Star. Dallas defenseman Atwaun Woods wouldn’t let him get there. So Juju did it at the 40 instead of at the star. Terrell Owens later tweeted, “I see you Juju”.

After this touchdown, plus a field goal the game was 19-18 Cowboys. The Steelers were one point behind. Their Steel Curtain defense stopped the Cowboys and Juju had a huge 30 yard reception to bring the Steelers to the 15 yard line. The ball was passed to Eric Ebron, the Steelers tight-end, on the far left side. The only thing stopping him from scoring was a Dallas safety. So what does Eric Ebron decide to do? Eric Ebron, the 6’4”, 253 pound monster, decides to hurdle the clueless safety and trot into the end zone winning the game for the Steelers. The crowd, including me, goes absolutely nuts.

We are jumping around, the Dallas fans are leaving, the experience was surreal. It was like I was a part of a family of 20 thousand screaming Steelers fans. It was the greatest experience I’ve ever felt. People say that their family is all about football, you see the connections between them and the bonds they have. Then you go to an actual NFL game surrounded by people you don’t even know and you feel those bonds. You always stick together and support your team. No matter what.