The Phantom of the Playoffs.
Waaaaay back in December (stop me if you've heard this one), my sister Mary asked to go see The Phantom of the Opera for Christmas, instead of a "real" Christmas present. Mary and I had a blast at Brigadoon and Singin' in the Rain (which she and Jenn watch non-stop on on-demand), so I figured hey, give the kid what she wants for Christmas!
Then Melissa overhears this, and asks if she's going to be left out. I didn't take her to see The Nutcracker this year (which we do almost every year) because a) I was uber busy with school in December, and b) they didn't have any shows after Christmas. Their last show was on the 23rd, and we always went the week between Christmas and New Years, because we were both off. Of course, Mary usually came along too, so I figured hey, Phantom only comes once every few years, the Nutcracker is around every year.
I started thinking... you know, if I take both of them to see The Phantom of the Opera, and I don't take Jenn, Jenn'll feel left out. Jenn wanted to see the movie so much that we went together, so she's probably interested, even if she'll never admit it to another human bean. So, ok. Three tickets for Phantom of the Opera. A little pricy, but doable.
Then I let slip that I was taking the girls, and my brother stared on the "what about me" stuff. I told him I'd been planning on getting him booze. First, he's 21. Booze is important. Second, he already saw Phantom of the Opera when I dragged him when he was in middle school. And... well, it's kinda girly. But he says, and I quote, "I can by myself alcohol."
And thus it was so, the Phantom tickets were bought. Mom was having a bad Christmas (what with having a crappy job she'd just started, and being in the middle of a divorce), so I got a few cool things for the kids to have something to unwrap (you'd think that they're old enough that it wouldn't be a big deal, but Mary was really bummed about it), and let them know I had the tickets.
Sunday night. I'm dressed all cute in Jenn's dress (Which looks better on me, I might add) and freezing my behind off in the cold. Last week all that badness with the Steelers in the fourth quarter happened because I'd been watching the game. For the good of the city, I stayed as far away from television as I could, but the last I'd heard, we were ahead. And there was also plenty of game left to mess it up.
We had to wait and wait for Jenn to leave her BF's place before we could walk over to the Benidum. As we were walking, we had a conversation that went a little something like this:
Jenn says "why did they plan a show for the same time the Steelers were playing?"
I tried to explain that, uh, last year when they were setting the schedule for the shows in Pittsburgh, they probably wern't thinking too hard about if/when the Steelers got to the AFC game. Strange, though it may seem, the world does not revolve around Steelers football (it revolves around NASCAR, dummy--already got the Budwiser Shootout set to record on the TiVo).
We got in there and climbed up an endless set of stairs. Instead of reaching a monastary, or even Ra's al Ghoul (which would have been cool at least) we reached the top tier. We sat there for quite a while. Eventually, Jenn had the phone attached to her head again, and I figured she was doing something lame like calling her boyfriend. I also HAAAATE it when people can't put down the cell phone long enough to interract with the world around them, and use their phones in places where it's not appropriate. That's not the point. She was calling dad to ask for the score. He said we were ahead, and it was the two minute warning. Mary was all excited that they were "going to win," as she put it. I reminded her that all of last week's craziness happened after the 2 min mark.
Within about thirty seconds, word got through the auditorium, and there was clapping through the audience.
A few minute later, even MORE applause and cheering when it was announced that we'd won, and we were going to the Superbowl. A yellow towel here and there waved, one or two whistles. The applause was good and hearty and lasted a minute or so. It died down and a few minutes later, the lights dimmed and the conductor came out. He waved a Terrible Towel, or something, and the crowed errupted. I saw just as many Terrible Towels as at a Steelers home game. We're talking, whistles, clapping, a standing O for the Steelers. Then the chanting started. Yes, thirty seconds before The Phantom of the Opera started, the sold-out Benidum Hall was thundering with "Here we go Steelers, here we go!" And it went on, and on, and on.
I know we're a drinking town with a football problem. I wasn't sure whether this rather uncouth display of fandom was cool, or a little disturbing.