|It was open seating, so we found a spot close to the field at around the 30-40 yard line. It felt like being at a college football game.|
|Plenty of people bought their dinner at stadium kiosks, Standard restaurant fare - fried noodles and such.|
|Ah, there's the junk food you expect at a stadium!|
|Didn't Neil Young sing about her?|
|During the national anthem, the crowd rose and proceeded to freeze in place. Never seen anything like it.|
|This was different. Above the numbers on the jerseys is the name of the team, not the player. Unless by remarkable coincidence every player is named Impulse...|
Onto the cheerleaders. This was a HUGE part of the game, because they almost never stopped! Between every play, they were at it again, and you couldn't ignore them since they had a mic which took over the PA system. Not really a complaint - it was all in good fun.
Oh that reminds me - this is a funny bit. So we got in and sat down, happy as can be. Pretty soon we discovered that entire side of the stadium was for fans of the Panasonic Impulse team, and the other side (which was much more roudy) was for the other team (the Obic Seagulls ).
So our cheer commandant was on the field chanting "Defense!" and coordinating thunder stick activity. At the same time, the other side was directed by their own squad. So the stadium would be quiet and then you'd hear a thunderous chorus of boos from everyone on the other side. No booing at all from us - mostly thunder stick action - pretty much because we weren't directed to boo. The crowd activity was completely coordinated, and we were marionettes waiting for Gepetto's orders. Well, it wasn't that bad, but I wish we had been directed to boo! ^_^
|The head cheerleader and her Mic of Power!|
|We were given thunder sticks, of course!|
Get this, the team was on its own 40, with a healthy 3 minutes on the clock. They kept calling running plays and only used one of their three time outs! They just stood there on the field as time wound down, with TWO time outs remaining, and made zero effort to run a hurry-up offense. Time expired, and they walked off the field. It was bizarre, like they were so worried about committing a turnover (there were ZERO TOs in the 3 quarters we stayed for) that they took a page out of the "do nothing, but at least stay safe!" playbook.
A few game shots:
|There was some pyramid building, which the crowd loved..|
|This was funny, They had one of these inflatable things at each corner of the field, but they took them away at halftime and then ran back to set them up again before the 2nd half.|
That reminds me - the teams are named after their corporate sponsors, so there's a squad called IBM Big Blue. That may be the coolest thing about the X League.
(Rant aside, I'd love to check out a couple of baseball games in Japan - not to mention soccer matches and sumo tournaments. That's the good stuff!)