If you don’t follow sports, or if you’re not in the US and just don’t follow US pro football, you may or may not know that last night’s Monday Night Football game was an instant classic, being labeled by many as one of the greatest regular season games in history. But you might not care, so feel free to ignore today’s rant!
“I’m out of the office at 2:30, go to NoHo, Red Line to 7th Street/Metro Center, Metro Line to USC – should be there about 4:30” – 11/18/2018 text message to The Younger Daughter
“No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy” – Helmuth von Moltke, 19th century head of the Prussian army
It was much closer to 3:00 before I left the office. The freeway onramp at DeSoto was blocked by an accident. I tried to get to the Winnetka onramp, only to find a few thousand other folks had the same idea. It took twenty minutes or so to work my way through the side streets down to the Reseda onramp. Free sailing until I got to the Universal Studios Metro station, only to find ALL the parking spots full with dozens of Rams and Chiefs fans circling the lot in gridlock. I bailed and drove ten minutes out to the NoHo Metro station (which has a much larger lot), only to find ALL the parking spots full with dozens and dozens of Rams and Chiefs fans circling the lot in gridlock. I went to the NoHo Metro station overflow lot, only to find ALL the parking spots full with…
I started cruising the streets of North Hollywood, looking for street parking. All of it was metered, most for one or two hours max. (How much is a parking ticket compared to what I paid for the tickets that I was going to miss using? Would they just give me a ticket or tow me?)
I finally found a spot about eight blocks from the Metro station with a four-hour limit. So-so neighborhood judging by the graffiti and piles of dog poop, but any port in a storm, eh?
Got to the Red Line and on a train to Metro Center with no problems. A couple of Chiefs fans on the train, but LOTS of Rams fans. Let the friendly banter begin.
The Expo line train from Metro Center to USC was packed. Then they let us out to start the cattle herd to the Coliseum.
Fighting through those crowds, only to get to a twenty-minute-plus wait to get screened through security at the gate.
Finally at my seat with The Younger Daughter and The Fiance! “Should be there about 4:30,” he said in ignorance. The time stamp on the photo is 5:36.
But we were there!
There’s a lot of construction going on at the LA Coliseum. And it was absolutely packed.
We were in the end zone, about halfway up, so our seats didn’t suck, but weren’t fantastic either.
At half time, the ESPN guys were doing their report from right down in front of us. You can also get a good feel for how many Chiefs fans (dressed in red) there were compared to the Rams fans. Unlike the games we’ve seen at the Chargers’ stadium (where it’s literally more Chiefs fans than Chargers fans) here the Chiefs fans were in the distinct minority.
Also at halftime we got a three-song “concert” from The Chain Smokers – who I have never, ever heard of. But the fireworks were nice.
As I said at the top, the game was an instant classic, being labeled by many as one of the greatest regular season games in history. It was something like the third highest scoring regular season game in history, and by far the highest scoring Monday Night Football game. The crowd was on its feet and just electric all night.
In the end, my beloved Chiefs fell to defeat, 54-51, in large part due to far, far too many penalties and three touchdowns for the Rams off of Chiefs’ fumbles and interceptions. We made more mistakes than they did. But we never, ever gave up. Even with all of those mistakes, we were driving with less than a minute less and could have easily tied it and sent it to overtime or won it outright in regulation.
It was utterly fantastic, and we were there.
It was a freakin’ adventure.
And if you think those crowds in the stadium and on the Metro trains were bad coming in (when the crowd arrived spaced out over four hours or so), you can’t even imagine how bad they were when 100,000 people all leave the game at the same time at the end. It took almost three hours to get home.
Worth. Every. Bit. Of. Effort!!