In every walk of life, we come across things that routinely make us scratch our heads and wonder what the hell is going on. It’s no different in the NFL where oddities seem to be an embedded part of the football landscape.
The Pirate Ship
There’s not a whole lot to say about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers these days. They’re coming off of one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory, and they’ll be starting with fresh coaches in 2012.
All of that aside, the only other interesting note about the Buccaneers is the fact that they have a pirate ship in their stadium. Sports franchises have always been quick to find gimmicky ways to make their brand stand apart, and the ship gives the Bucs a center piece that sets them apart from every other team. Unfortunately, those cannons weren’t exactly used very often in 2011.
Attending a Raiders game in Oakland may feel more like an acid trip than reality. I’m not sure if these guys are fanatical about their home town team or if they’re just really pissed off at the direction the Raiders have taken over the past decade. Regardless, things aren’t getting better for the Raiders, especially with owner Mark Davis saying the team may be interested in moving back to Los Angeles.
There are few sacred places left in sports, but Soldier Field is one such location. The stadium originally opened in 1924, and it’s seen some great moments since that time. Most NFL teams strike deals for new stadiums when the old venue becomes outdated, but the Bears were treated to a renovation rather than a new place to play. The stadium reopened in 2003, and it remains one of the best venues in football.
That’s not why Soldier Field made this list, however. If you’re in the Chicago area or have driven past the stadium, you can appreciate the following. It looks like a freakin’ spaceship from ground level! Yes that’s right. The Chicago Bears now play in a spaceship.
There’s not a whole lot you can say that’s good about Candlestick Park. Really, it’s become one of the most outdated stadiums in any professional sport. Just by looking at the layout of the field and stands you can tell that the architects had “multipurpose” on their minds. Still the offset field adds a sense of character to an otherwise crummy situation. On the bright side of things, the 49ers won’t be playing there much longer as they’re supposed to be in their new stadium in Santa Clara by the beginning of the 2014 season.
Really, Cowboys Stadium is the exact opposite of everything an NFL stadium should be. The center piece is a massive HD video screen, otherwise known as the “Jerry-Tron” that spans 160 feet from end to end. The stadium also has a bar right off of where the players run down the tunnel to come onto the field. The stadium is nothing short of amazing, but if I wanted to watch the game on TV, I would have just stayed home. Really Jerry. It’s too much.