"Priority Seating -- Not."
If they had painted a banner to hang in the end-zone bleacher seats, that's what it would have said.
But Richard and Kimberly Porter of Catonsville were too mad to make the effort.
"You remember when they had that coupon in the paper way back in October?" said Kimberly Porter, a nurse. "Well, I sent it in that day. And this is what we get."
From where she was sitting, Porter was going to have a great view of the back of the ESPN end-zone cameraman. She'd have had a better view at home watching ESPN.
"I talked to everybody, Herb Belgrad. Everybody," said her husband, Richard, referring to the chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority.
"They all said the same thing. Sorry, but tough."
Mike Burton of Glen Arm was sitting at field level at about the 20-yard line. He spent the game watching those sparkling gold ** New Orleans Saints uniforms pace in front of him.
Like the Porters, he acquired his tickets by mailing a postcard in the fall.
"A friend of ours bought tickets when they went on sale [on the Saturday before the Super Bowl] and got better seats.
"But what the heck, we're here and we are going to have a good time," he said.
The postcard method of reserving good seats early didn't work. Organizers had not wanted to sell tickets by that method, but felt compelled to respond when they were deluged with ticket requests when the preseason game was announced.
As a result, a mix of good and not-so-good seats was distributed that way.
"Imagine our amazement when we got the tickets and a letter congratulating us on our priority seats," said J. B. Siegel of Reisterstown, stuck in the far corner of the end-zone bleachers.
Siegel was a season-ticket holder during the Colts' final season at Memorial Stadium and he had asked for his old 50-yard line seats.
"I was one of those 16,000 rain-soaked idiots at that last game. We deserve something for that," he said.
Siegel, who works as an account executive for an ad agency, allowed as how he knew lots of people in the fancy 50-yard line seats where he used to sit.
What? He couldn't play any of those connections for this game?"
"Hey, this is an NFL game and I'm at it. I'll save those connections for when we get our team."