Part 1 Can Be Found Here.
On Sunday, I had the opportunity to work at M&T Stadium for a Ravens Game, and this is the second part of my description of what it is like to see sports from another perspective.
our lunch break was over, which was about 1:50, we got moved to the
upperdeck of M&T stadium for reassignment. My first assignment on
the upperdeck lasted all of 5 minutes. The way the deck is constructed,
the concourse is like a giant outdoor porch, which is very nice, the
issue they have is people then going out of the bowl to smoke, and not
standing in the right spot. So the job of myself and my friend was to
stand 3 feet from the smoking fence, and if we saw anyone smoking in
front of us, we had to tell them to smoke behind us. This obvisously
does not sound like a job for two people, which the Supervisors figured
out and five minutes later, I was moved into a section of the upperdeck
with about 40 seconds left in the first half.
My intial job in
the section was to watch the crowd and make sure that the fans from
Philly didn’t fight the fans from Baltimore. I phrase the statement
like that because I was told to specifically watch the Philly fans,
because they were already tagged as the problem fans just because they
were the away fans. Personally, I agree with that statement to some
degree. Trouble will be centered around away fans, but as I got to see
first hand, its not always the away fan’s fault.
As soon as the
third quarter started, a Supervisor, and a few cops ran by me up to the
top of the section, took an Eagle’s fan out of the ballpark for
fighting. I was then told to stand in the back of the section and
basically babysit the Philadelphia fans. I was given a clicker which
had four buttons on it. The first one called a supervisor, the second
called a courtesy squad, the third called the police and the last one
called the medics.
For the rest of the game I stood with the
40 or so Eagle’s fans who kept on making their case to me that it was
one of the Ravens fans who started all of the trouble in the section.
They called me their babysitter, they talked to me a lot during the
game. I had to break up a few arguments with fans during the rest of
the game. That was when I was glad I have been a camp counselor for
several years, if it wasn’t for the conflict resolution skills I
developed then, I would been sunk when trying to handle these arguments
(basically I would have had to call the Supervisor for everything).
the end of the game, the Eagles fans gave me an ovation and tried to
get a cheer going for my first day on the job. What I found very
interesting is that I was the first level of security for that section,
and I have never been trained to be such. It was very easy for me to
get trained personell if I needed them, but it makes you wonder when
your at a game, how many people are trained secuity and how many people
are just standing to look like security to make it seem like there is
more security than there actually is. Its a very interesting dynamic
because psychologically, one is less likely to cause trouble when it
looks like theire are a ton of security guards.
Now I am not
trying to bash the security system at football games From what I
understand, in addition to the significant amount of cops in the
stadium, there are a ton of undercover cops located all over the
stadium to increase safety.
In the third installment of the
series, I will discuss the end of the day, the stadium emptying out,
and more behind the door things that happen at the stadium.
Check 213 Miles From Shea!