Today’s delay of the Pittsburgh Steeler game in St. Louis — because the pyrotechnics set a section of the artificial turf on fire — I HOPE may be the beginning of the end of this stupid practice.
Having players running in between flaming torches onto the field has been picked up by so many colleges as well as pro teams. It even happens in basketball (with smoke instead of fire — out of concern, I suppose, for fans who are sitting closer to the action than in football).
We can’t blame the players. These decisions about decorating the introduction of the home team are made by higher-ups. Bill Currie, a famed broadcaster in his day, called these front-office characters “yummies.” They have huge salaries — don’t know much about anything other than copying what others do — but still insist on interfering. Pyrotechnics in football, fireworks after a home run, blasting rock music in between innings in baseball and hitting a button that plays fake organ ditties (“Charge!”) in between pitches — are only some of the genius innovations that we fans have to endure.
I don’t enjoy going to PNC Park, anymore. I always leave with a headache. It’s like being at a rock concert. The minor-league games that I’ve been to are all the worse. You can’t hold a conversation — the music is blasted so loud.
THAT is the main problem with ALL of these innovations — fiery, loud, huge…They take AWAY from the game!
When a home run is hit, part of the magnitude of the moment is the roar of the crowd as the player circles the bases. But — NOW — the crowd is drowned out — by fireworks. Score one for the yummies.
The fake organ music which is played in between pitches becomes so irritable that fans don’t even respond. The “Charge!” call goes out — a few scattered fans mumble in response. Good grief — give the fans a break. They KNOW when to cheer. Why do the front-office people think the fans need to be prodded like someone who can’t get a joke? Score another for the yummies.
When at the start of a football game, the pyrotechnics blast off, have you noticed that they do not highlight the players — the production DWARFS the players! One more for the yummies.
I only have one hope remaining before the front-office characters find yet more ways of removing people’s attention from the players to the gadgets — and that is: insurance. Insurance coverage for pyrotechnics after an incident like today could be raised. We all know that insurance rules the world. Medical procedures, school procedures, etc. — all bow to insurance. But now — finally — I find the system to be an ally. May the premiums for those using pyrotechnics — soar!