Bengals vs. Patriots: A Personal Experience in New England

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Sep 14, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A Cincinnati Bengals fan during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated Atlanta 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Game

– This was without a doubt the most disappointing experience of my life in terms of sporting events. I have been to playoff games. I have been to night games with Steelers fans and Ravens fans. I have been to San Diego which has had several stabbings outside the stadium in the last couple of years. I have been to South Florida and Inner City Chicago for games. I have been to Wrigley Field. Not once, until that night, had I ever felt physically threatened during a game.

We had a party of people behind us who kept grabbing on to our shoulders and pushing us around. The same group started to smack a member of my party on the shoulders pretty hard. We had turned around and asked them to stop. They responded by claiming that they were going to, “beat the **** out of us”.

This did not stop for the entirety of the game. I had another man climb over four other people just to get into my face, and I mean way in my face. When I can smell your breath, you are too close. He kept grabbing my hands and pulling on them. He looked over in my direction every other play to tell me to “**** off” and to go back to Cincinnati.

As I said before, I am a well traveled fan. I can handle people yelling at you, but once it comes to physicality, that is where I draw the line. I was looking for any sign of security. I could not find anyone near my section. I could not find a phone number to call or text. At Paul Brown Stadium they have the “Jerk Line” and it is advertised on the Jumbo Trons during the game. Not once did I see anything about that.

At one point late in the second quarter, there was a personal foul penalty called on the Patriots. I had expected the boo-birds to come out like every stadium has, but these fans jumped in a time machine and went back to high school. “Bull****, Bull****” was the chant I heard over and over again.

And the issues did not stop there. I had a man follow me from the stadium, through the woods, back to my train, probably following no farther than ten feet away and he kept getting closer. I know he was following me because he kept heckling my jersey. He kept getting closer until he was in my face. Again, if I can smell your breath and you have made an extra effort to reach me, there is a problem. None the less, he followed me for a quarter mile back to my transportation.