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Must see TV

January 27, 2008 - Steve Murch
The current “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” on HBO has a definite football angle this month. With the Super Bowl a week away, the biggest focus of the sporting world is squarely on football.

Real Sports casts a light on the sport in an unflattering light. The lone story not about football is an update on the king of streaking. The others are about football — all three less than feel-good.

The first story is about out of control drinking before and during NFL games. Tailgating is a way of life in parking lots prior to football games all around the country. Those featured in the piece show the unsavory aspect of the practice.

One group of Washington Redskins fans brag about their consumption in the piece. Another segment of the same story talks about all the arrests, while the third aspect of the story was a fan who took his son to a game and wound up leaving at the half because of the boorish behavior of the fans. He said he was trying to get those around him to respect the fact he had his young son with him, which seemed to make matters worse. He said the person next to him told him not to worry because the biggest offender who sat right in front of him would be passed out by halftime. He didn’t wait to find out.

It reminded me of a Monday night game several years ago at the Pontiac Silverdome I went to with my brother and two friends. We were in the upper deck in one of the end zones in front of group of Chicago Bears fans. It was the first start for Chuck Long as a Lion and the atmosphere was rather electric.

This was the year after the Bears won the Super Bowl, so the place was packed. The Lions held a lead heading into the fourth quarter, but that didn’t stop the Chicago fans from celebrating — and fighting amongst themselves. Part of their “fun” was throwing food at one another.

I didn’t understand back then why these fans thought it was fun to act like a bunch of college frat boys and have a food fight. Today, I don’t know why, with ticket prices as high as they are, anyone would drink to the point of missing half the game because they pass out at the half.

The full details of the story — including a woman who lost her husband and daughter — as well as the stories about Reggie Bush and the wives of former NFL players should be seen.


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