Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Cackling Magpie of Browns Stadium

So anyway, this lady (via SportsFilter) has apparently gotten herself into some hot water with the University of Tennessee for cheering too loudly at the Vols football games this season. Ordinarily, I'd say people were out of their minds to complain about something like this, but that's before I spent two seasons in the same section as the Cackling Magpie of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

She showed up about a year after we moved to the section, and her fingernails on a chalk board voice will forever be seared into my brain. It wasn't so much that the Magpie cackled "c'mon Browns!, c'mon Charlie!" before every single play and during TV timeouts, it was more her overwhelming ignorance of the game coupled with her compulsion to share that ignorance at 165 decibels that drove me insane. As far as she was concerned, every incomplete pass thrown by the Browns since 2004 was solely the result of interference, and the Browns never held, facemasked or jumped offside. Every field goal was good, every spot was bad, and every play call that didn't gain 20 yards or was a running play was stupid. (Okay, she was usually right about the play calling).

I'll admit that the fact that Ms. Magpie was coyote ugly didn't help matters, nor did the fact that she ratted smokers out to the ushers (a classic a-hole move) and insisted that they toss them out. But the most unnerving thing about Ms. Magpie was the Svengali-like hold that she appeared to have over her boyfriend, whom we learned --again at 165 decibels--actually owned the ticket that she used to find her perch in the stadium week after week.

The dynamic between her and her boyfriend was beyond bizarre. I mean, the guy didn't appear to have been the victim of an industrial accident or an illegal alien dating her for a shot at a Green Card, so I'll never understand what he found so irresistible about the Magpie. I guess it's like Woody Allen said when people asked him why he was dating his girlfriend's daughter: "the heart wants what the heart wants." Uh-huh. Well my heart wanted to get the Hell away from her, and thanks to my buddy the Starfish's sweet talking of the Browns ticket office, we did just that.

I went to my first NFL game when I was 9 years old at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo (aka, The Rockpile). At that game, I learned that anti-social behavior and the NFL go together like beer and chicken wings. Somebody lit a program on fire and threw it down toward our section. It hit the lady in front of us, setting her early 70s hairdo ablaze. My dad used his coat to put the fire out. Since then, I've seen just about everything from foul mouthed drunks to section-wide brawls to the beer bottle bowl. I was able to take everything in stride, until I met the Magpie.

4 comments:

chocolate starfish said...

Many times on my way home from a game I wondered if my pounding headache was a function of (a) the quality play by the Browns on the field;(b)being overserved by the accommodating beer guy in our section;(c)the incessant shrieking of this frugly fruitbat; or(d) all of the above. We moved away from this high-decibel skank and now I just drive home with a numbing buzz which desensitizes me to what transpires on the field.

If I were her boyfriend I'd yank off my boys and hurl myself from the upperdeck after Maurice's next trick pass on third and 2 ....

jimmy the cheese man said...

Somewhere someone's bitching about you.

Hornless Rhino said...

You can't begin to imagine how much that possibility crushes my fragile ego.

chocolate starfish said...

On December 31, 1967 the Packers hosted the Cowboys for the NFL Championship in the greatest pro game ever played. The temperature at kickoff was -13 -- with the wind chill it was 46 below. Mahatma Gandhi, a season ticket holder for the Packers during their championship years, was among those in attendance. Among Lombardi's many innovations was the installation of heated coils below the turf on the field. On this day, depending on to whom you speak, those coils were either broken or turned off, perhaps to give the perennial champions a decided home field advantage. Those who know football refer to this classic as the "Ice Bowl," more famous than either of the wins Lombardi registered in the first two Super Bowls ever played ....

The New Year's eve game was an epic battle played on a sheet of ice. As the fourth quarter wound down, Bart Starr took the football and ran for the game winning, come from behind touchdown, giving the Packers a 21-17 victory.

Mahtma never saw the winning touchdown. A screeching overweight broad with an Angie Dickinson scaredo diverted his attention by screaming "KICK A FIELD GOAL !!!!" directly in his ear for the umpteenth time during the drive. Starr dove across the line and the place went wild. Mahatma had missed the defining play of the defining pro football team of all time ....

Mahatma then turned and dropped a c bomb on that cackling magpie ....

Thought you'd want to know.