The NFL’s five most haunted houses
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
With Halloween a week away, it got me thinking about what scares me. Paranormal Activity movies, spiders and that feeling of knowing there’s no bacon left in the house. Yeah, this stuff is pretty scary.
I’ll do you one better.
Does any of this even compare to a stadium filled with 80,000 fanatics – many of whom are intoxicated – taking out all their frustrations of the week over the course of a three-hour period? Now imagine they lose the game, and they’ve been losing for 40 years. Now that is skin crawlingly horrifying.
So here’s my list of the five most haunted houses in the NFL:
No. 5: Veterans Stadium/Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, Pa.):
Talk about a place that breathes evil. Keep in mind, this is the same city that booed and threw snowballs at Santa Claus. These are the same fans that threw snowballs at the Cowboys’ players, which resulted in the stadium going two weeks without selling alcohol.
If the Bills (don’t worry, you’ll get your turn), thought losing four straight Super Bowls is bad, at least they made it there. From 2002-04, the Eagles lost three straight NFC Championship games. Two of them were at home, one at “The Vet” and the other at Lincoln Financial Field. But don’t worry, Eagles fans, you guys finally made it to big show the following year – only to lose to Tom Brady while McNabb was busy puking up a lung in the middle of their potential game-winning drive.
This cursed franchise has yet to get its hands on a Lombardi Trophy, but it did celebrate an “NFL Championship” in 1960 – the pre-Super Bowl era. To top it all off, both of the Philadelphia stadiums had a jail in their basement. Yeah, scary stuff. Stay away.
No. 4: CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Wash.)
This 72,000-person stadium gives opposing NFL quarterbacks nightmares. There’s no trick or treating – only tricks. You can assume it’s only the Seahawks and there won’t be an issue rolling over them before flying out of their rainy, awful city.
But there’s one problem: the 12th man. It gets so loud in this stadium, it’s as if there’s another defender on the field (a ghost perhaps?). Just ask Tony Romo – he would rather walk through a zombie parade than step foot back in that stadium. This is the house that hosted his dropped field goal hold, which would have advanced the Cowboys to the divisional round of the playoffs. He was clearly spooked when he returned to Seattle this year, losing 27-7, while throwing an interception and fumbling once.
Romo’s not the only quarterback who has felt the wrath of the 12th man. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have had days they would like to forget as well. This year, Brady threw two interceptions and lost to the Seahawks in the final 90 seconds of the game, thanks to a deep touchdown pass from Russell Wilson – something that has become Wilson’s trademark.
In week three of Monday Night Football, Wilson helped defeat the Packers on a dual possession Hail Mary as time expired. The dual possession call by the replacement referees was asinine. It’s almost as if the refs were possessed by the powers of the 12th man.
No. 3: Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
Imagine being in the world’s largest domed stadium and also the world’s largest column-free interior. A stadium that cost $1.15 billion and holds over 110,000 people.
Now all of a sudden the lights go out.
They are never going to find you; you could be walking around that place for hours, making no progress. Even with the light on, this wouldn’t be the ideal place to be.
The Dallas Cowboys have gone only 13-11 over their first three seasons playing there – far under the expectations and investment made by owner Jerry Jones. Maybe Jones should start using this place for haunted hayrides – at least horse feces will be picked off the field, instead of the latest Romo-blunders.
No. 2: Oakland Coliseum (Oakland, Calif.)
You want to see some crazy, pissed-off fans? Look no further than an Oakland Raiders game.
The freaks come out in thousands and wherever you look in the stadium, people will be dressed anywhere from a demon to a gladiator. Spikes sticking out of helmets, shoulders, stomachs – you name it, they wear it.
The section behind the end zone is known as the “Black Hole.” If you’re an unemployed head coach, stay away from the Raiders’ frequent vacancy at the position. You’ll be out of there before you hold your introductory press conference. The Raiders have gone through seven coaches since the end of 2001 – only one has lasted longer than two seasons.
The last successful Raiders coach was John Gruden, who earned the nickname “Chuckie.” If you ask me, this guy has put a curse on all future coaches who take the job. Gruden left for Tampa Bay following the 2001 season and went on to win the Super Bowl. Who did he beat? Oh yeah, the Oakland Raiders. Coaches and fans hoping to root for a team and not become terrified, veer away. Curse of the Chuckie.